The Keio Line principally connects Shinjuku to the western side of Tokyo with seven different lines running through to the likes of suburban city Hachiōji and the mountainous area at Takaosanguchi. All of it’s stations actually lie within the boundaries of Tokyo and, thanks to regular free tickets, Tokyo Fox has dug deep to come up with a few places worthy of visit beyond perennial favourites like Mount Takao and Tama Zoo……
#1 – Nakayasu Hotel @ 1-36-6 Akatsukicho, Hachioji, Tokyo
Keiō-Hachiōji (KO34) is about 40 minutes away from Shinjuku (providing you get lucky with taking the fastest route!) and a further 20 minutes on foot from that station takes you along the Asa River and then you can finally see the fascinating rare architecture that is the Nakayasu Hotel.
Go round to the north side of the building and you could easily mistake it for being open but that is not the hotel reception area. It is just a restaurant specialising in kaiseki ryori (a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner) which is actually quite famous and supposedly frequented by some famous singers.
The origins of this building can be traced all the way back to 1950 when the owner set up a store which got developed 15-16 years later into a two storey hotel and inn. The expansion continued and the most visually stunning part of the hotel was fully completed in 1972 which was also the year when the Nakagin Capsule Tower (8-10-6 Ginza, Chūō-ku) was finished. Both buildings are similar in appearance and style due to the individualistic lego block-like nature of each room. For me, the intense golden sandy colour is very reminiscent of the Ksours in southern Tunisia which were used to portray the planet Tatooine in ‘Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace‘ (1999). See what you think with the comparison below!
However, some of the walls on the top floor collapsed and the hotel sadly had to close in 2003 due to it’s continuing deterioration. Thankfully though the building hasn’t been demolished and still towers over the skyline of this part of Hachioji to be seen and enjoyed by photographers of interesting architecture in and around Tokyo.
Click here to read ‘Tokyo Modern Architecture #1’
Click here to read ‘Tokyo Modern Architecture #2’
Click here to read ‘Tokyo Modern Architecture #3’