By now you all know of my love for Japanese bathrooms, so when I heard that the Meguro Gajoen Hotel had a million dollar bathroom, I HAD to check it out!
Here is the beautiful entrance, so far so good!
Once inside the sliding doors, we were met with gorgeous murals, inlaid with pearly accents.
Upon entering the ladies room, we found ourselves in a traditional Japanese wonderland, complete with a vermillion bridge and a koi pond.
The ceiling was a stunning gold, adorned with very intricately detailed fans.
The window frames were finely carved Japanese woodwork.
There were separate powder rooms, with a mirror, sink and chair.
Also a bench for waiting....or perhaps meditation? Haha!
And last but not least, the stalls.
The doors were beautiful red lacquer, with pearl inlays.
The toilet, however, was a bit of a let down. I guess I was expecting more of a grand throne, after all of the build up. But the critical factor was met... the heated seat! (You have no idea the joy it brings me to sit on a warm seat, especially on a cold day. I sincerely hope you all have that pleasure someday!)
The million dollar bathroom did not disappoint! Now for a look at the rest of this unique hotel.
Huge murals of raised wood figures lined the hallways.
I wish the depth showed up better, the murals were quite beautiful.
There was a large indoor atrium in the center of the hotel. Of course, it was manicured to perfection, in true Japanese fashion.
The indoor atrium also opened to an outdoor area, which served as the "view" for the restaurant.
We always love a good koi pond!
The water ran through the hotel too, koi and everything! Beautiful!
Every year on March 3, the Japanese celebrate hinamatsuri, or Girl's Day. It is customary to display certain dolls in your home, thought to take away bad spirits from your daughters. Girl's Day is also a time to pray for happiness and prosperity for your daughters (but remove your decorations by March 4, or your daughters will marry late!). Coincidentally, the hotel was also having a special doll exhibit for Girl's Day, perfect timing!
The hotel collection had dolls from all over the country, some were quite old. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take photos inside, but this display sat outside the exhibit as an example. The dolls, and even the props, are always displayed in this specific order and have specific meanings. The top being the Emperor and Empress, moving down to the lowest tier, for the "drinkers." (The drinkers? We noticed during the exhibit that the three dolls on the bottom always had silly expressions or props. When I researched further, those dolls are the "emotional drinker", the "cantankerous drinker" and the "merry drinker." Haha! Well? Which one are you?)
Also popular are these colorful, quilted doll mobiles, called, tsurushi kazari. I've seen these in traditional Japanese stores, but now that I know their purpose, I'll definitely be making a purchase!
The doll exhibit was held in the only remaining part of the original hotel structure, which was built in 1931. We ascended the "100 step" staircase (yes, they were actually numbered), to the traditional banquet rooms, which were ornately, and beautifully decorated. I wish I could have taken pictures!
***An interesting side note: The hotel was occupied by the U.S. Marines during WWII, in order for the area to escape bomb damage, thereby saving an important cultural asset of Japan.
This was the perfect adventure for a cold day. The million dollar bathroom was amazing, but spending Girl's Day, with my girls, in the heart of Tokyo, was truly priceless!