TOKYO — Some visitors to the New Otani hotel in Tokyo likely get a feeling of deja vu.
They should, at least if they’ve seen a lot of James Bond movies. The hotel provided a key exterior for the 1967 film You Only Live Twice.
In the film, Bond takes the place of an assassin he has killed. The agent is taken to the headquarters of Osato Chemical & Engineering Co. He ends up having to fight his way out, helped by Aki, an agent for the Japanese Secret Service.
Later, Bond goes undercover into Osato headquarters to try and find out more about the company, which turns out to be a front for SPECTRE’s plot to start World War III. Again, he needs Aki’s help to get out alive. That leads to a high-speed car chase, climaxing with a helicopter with a giant magnet, snatching the car chasing Bond and Aki.
In real life, at least in 2015, it’d be extremely difficult to have a high-speed car chase. The nearby streets are crowded most of the time. Most of the Osato sequences were actually filmed on Ken Adam-designed sets at Pinewood Studios in England.
The hotel includes a revolving restaurant at the top and a variety of stores and services. Its guests include tourists from around the world and is also used for corporate events.
Here’s a 2011 video contrasting the hotel as it appeared in the movie (filmed in 1966) and in real life.