Japanese rituals on a construction site in AmsterdamThe Art of Blending Cultures
The Art of Blending Cultures is at the heart of Hotel Okura Amsterdam, where authentic Eastern traditions are combined with the finest expression of Western luxury. The epitome of hospitality. But, on occasion, the Art of Blending Cultures can also offer a remarkable first glimpse into other people’s traditions. And that is exactly what happened during the colourful Shinto ceremony that was held on a construction site in a working-class area of Amsterdam.
Let’s travel back in time... to Wednesday 23 April, 1969, to a sandy expanse of land stretching along Ferdinand Bolstraat in Amsterdam’s working-class neighbourhood, De Pijp. It’s chilly and cloudy and there’s a stiff breeze – typical Dutch spring weather. The members of the eclectic crowd that has gathered on the construction site, including Amsterdam’s mayor Ivo Samkalden and Okura International’s president Iwajiro Noda, keep their coats firmly buttoned up. But, despite the weather, there is a sense of celebration in the air. Because today marks the official start of work on Hotel Okura Amsterdam, the second Okura Hotel in the world!