In 1964 my mom traveled from her home in Nagoya to attend the Olympics in Tokyo.
During that trip, she snapped this photo of the relatively new Palace Hotel.
What struck me about this photo is that the Palace’s one and only sign is written in English. I’ve seen other English signs in my mom’s slides from 1960s Japan, but they’re usually paired with Japanese writing.
The Palace opened in 1961, probably in anticipation of the 1964 Olympics.
But before that, the site was home to a state-run hotel called the Teito, which opened after the end of the war. (The building had been used as government offices before it became a hotel.)
Then in 1959 the Teito was sold to a private company, who tore down the building and constructed the Palace.
As you can imagine, a building like the one in this photo probably has a hard time attracting attention in the high-tech world of the 21st century. So last year the Palace building was raised to make way for a new structure.
The next incarnation of the Palace is scheduled to open in 2012.