Tokyo Architecture Walk: Hilltop Hotel

Hilltop Hotel

When standing in front of the famous Hilltop Hotel (the Japanese name is Yamanoue Hotel), try looking up, and you can clearly see the classic yet modern architecture of the Art Deco style. The hotel recently reopened after a construction period during which the hotel was transformed back to its original appearance (from 1937!) based on some old blueprints.

Hilltop Hotel

The geometric terrazzo pattern on the floor of the hotel’s entrance lobby, and the straight-lined, understated décor, are truly Art Deco. Just like Art Deco, you’ll find nothing “too extra” or “too much” at “Hilltop Hotel”. Still, the interior has more details than for example a Bauhaus style building. Every small detail you find has a certain “warmth” to it making this building really remarkable.

The terrazzo pattern on the floor is the same shape as the ceiling lighting right above!
Spiral stairs from above and below.

Especially the lounge near the hotel shop is interesting. The tables placed in front of each sofa are so small!

This unusual sizing creates a completely different atmosphere. Wonderful! It’s a place with old flair making you relax to the core. This might be the only hotel in Tokyo with this kind of nostalgic ambience.

Look at these delicious cakes! All of the cakes are made inside the hotel. Take-outs are available, too!

A relaxing space for artists and writers of all decades

When Hilltop Hotel opened its doors in 1954, there still weren’t a lot of salons and hotels in Tokyo for writers and artists to meet and chat. Therefore, the Hilltop Hotel soon became a very popular place among Japan’s great writers. Big names such as Yasunari Kawabata and Yukio Mishima stayed at this hotel many times!

The desk on the first floor looks like something the famous writers would have used. Maybe, if you write a letter here, it might sound more poetic…

The Japanese and Western rooms at the hotel are luxurious but modest. The largest suite has a Japanese rooftop garden!
Seven restaurants to choose from

The hotel has 35 guest rooms, but seven restaurants! Therefore, you can choose a restaurant according to your mood and needs. The hotel’s restaurants include a variety ranging from tempura and Japanese cuisine, to Chinese cuisine, teppanyaki, a bar, and even a wine bar. Of course, you can use all the restaurants without staying at the hotel, too.

At the tempura restaurant, the chef prepares the tempura in front of your eyes. This is the freshest tempura you will ever taste!
Authentic Japanese tempura is only lightly battered. Dip it into the carefully selected salt or into the light soup-like sauce – nothing too extra. You might even consider adding nothing at all to truly enjoy the natural flavor of the ingredients.

The refrigerator uses big ice blocks. No electricity!

When you immerse yourself in a place that has steered clear of modern items and gadgets as much as possible, you will feel how time begins flowing slower and slower… This is how new ideas are born. Unquestionably, this hotel will be loved by artistic people and become a source of inspiration for everyone visiting this magical historic place.

Enjoy the retro ambiance of the “Hilltop Hotel”!

Hilltop Hotel (Yamanoue Hotel)
1-1 Kanda Surugadai, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Google Maps:
Nearest stations: Ochanomizu Station, Shin-Ochanomizu Station, Jimbocho Station