The premiere of The Tokyo EDITION, Toranomon represents a very delicate balancing act between the refined, elegant, simple and pure approach of Japan’s culture, style and traditions and EDITION’s passion, emotion, sophistication, perpetual subversion of the status quo and desire to break rules to create something entirely new and that has never been seen before. As a result of this unlikely combination, a new entity emerges out of these two disparate approaches whose sum is greater than its individual parts. This symbiosis is what makes the end result so magical. The Tokyo EDITION, Toranomon is a true bespoke, custom-made hotel embodying the best of the East and the best of the West. It defies categorization and simply cannot be placed into a box. It has its own unique and original identity. It’s an urban resort in the middle of a dynamic world-class, 24-hour, international gateway city filled with excitement and promise. Designed in partnership with renowned architect Kengo Kuma–the architect of the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo and many other iconic buildings–the hotel allows you to experience the essence and spirit of Tokyo without ever having to leave the premises.
The Tokyo EDITION, Toranomon brings together a dream-team collaboration between Marriott International, Ian Schrager and Mori Trust, led by its brilliant visionary president and CEO, Miwako Date. It also marks a very special “homecoming” of sorts for Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson and EDITION brand creator Ian Schrager. The opening is especially poignant for Sorenson, who was born in Tokyo and feels a special connection to the city, and Schrager, who has been profoundly influenced by and long revered the purity, simplicity, elegance and refinement of Japanese culture and aesthetics. This has become the foundation of his career, evident throughout his work and many projects dating back to Studio 54 in 1977.
“Nothing makes me more excited than seeing the EDITION Hotel open in Tokyo, a favorite destination of mine and the place I was born. In partnership with Mori Trust and my friend Ian Schrager, The Tokyo EDITION, Toranomon is a beacon of hope and optimism for the future, a place where thousands of travelers and local customers will be welcomed in the years ahead. Particularly in this time of complexity, the opening of The Tokyo EDITION, Toranomon stands as proof that we will return – to travel, to togetherness and to joy,” says Arne Sorenson.
Schrager became devoted to the Japanese way of life, architecture, design, visual arts and culture early on in his career in a very deep and profound way. It established a thread that continues to run through all of his work, even today. He has been fortunate enough to have had the incredible privilege and opportunity to work with and meet some of the most creative and brilliant Japanese minds and talents of a generation. In 1977 at the legendary Studio 54 nightclub, Schrager produced the first American fashion show for the iconic Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake. It was a provocative, seminal event that featured all black models and was the first show of its kind. In 1985, he tapped then relatively unknown in America Japanese architect Arata Isozaki to design the Palladium nightclub in New York City, his first project in America. Drawn to his revolutionary use of materials and individualistic, iconoclastic, original approach to creating unique and exciting spaces and experiences, Schrager convinced Isozaki that a nightclub was the perfect canvas for a world-class architect, such as himself, as there is no discernible product other than the design itself and the experience created. Therefore, it is more about architecture and design than anything else he could possibly do. Schrager has also collaborated numerous times, including on The West Hollywood EDITION, with renowned British architect John Pawson who spent his twenties in Japan studying the culture and architecture; David Chipperfield who designed multiple Issey Miyake stores around the world; Fashion icon, Kenzo; and world famous designer Shiro Kuramata whose influence and impact are still felt around the world today.
“I have always had a spiritual connection with the approach and aesthetics of Japan. Their rationality, their simplicity, and their restraint has been the foundation of everything I’ve done,” says Schrager, who recalls being captivated by the way the soft-spoken Isozaki could create such original and provocative spaces, something he also experienced working with Kengo Kuma on the The Tokyo EDITION, Toranomon and a project in Bangkok. “They are truly original thinkers but execute their ideas in such a humble and modest fashion. The end results are bold yet refined and shouts in a quiet way. It’s a sweet spot that is completely seductive for me”, Schrager adds.
The hotel’s soaring public space was inspired by Buddhist temples and their structure, purpose and organization. They consisted of a central courtyard surrounded by various other structures, each with its own specific purpose. This central courtyard was used for ceremonies, gatherings, communal prayer and, in general, for people to come together and interact, congregate and create a community. It was a true communal space and experience. In much the same way and to achieve the same goal, The Tokyo EDITION, Toranomon’s two-story lobby, over 450ft (140m) in the sky, is a centralized space that operates and functions not only as a new and modern gathering place, but is also meant to facilitate and encourage communal and social interaction in all of its forms. It is where the hotel comes to life with a palpable, high energy created by bringing a diverse group of people together from all over the world. Several eating, drinking, entertainment and other experiences, each distinctly different in both look and feel, radiate from the Lobby in the same manner as the peripheral buildings do in a Buddhist temple. Each of these eating, drinking and entertainment areas has its own individual reality, yet still feels like part of the whole, and each can be enjoyed separately or together all in one night. As with all EDITION hotels, lines blur between work and play, eating and drinking, talking and thinking, solitude and socializing.
The Tokyo EDITION, Toranomon is also a microcosm of all the best that the vibrant city of Tokyo has to offer, with something for everyone, both a respite from the fast pace of city life and a lively and dynamic destination both day and night. Centrally located near the metro stations of Kamiyacho, Roppongi-Itchome and Toranomon and steps away from Tokyo’s best neighbourhoods and attractions, the hotel is housed within Tokyo World Gate, a new 591ft (180m), 38-story mixed-use skyscraper, where it occupies floors 31-36 and commands jaw-dropping unobstructed views of the Tokyo skyline and the absolute best view of the landmark Tokyo Tower from anywhere in the city. Guests feel as though they can reach out and touch the 1,000ft (305m) tower!