Following MacArthur's Footsteps: Part I, Hotel New Grand

Earlier, I detailed Commodore Matthew Perry's stops in Japan (Following Perry, Part I & Part II), but for those of you history buffs who are staying in the Tokyo/Yokohama area and are interested in the U.S.-Japan relationship, I recommend following in the footsteps of General Douglas A. MacArthur.

General MacArthur served as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers-Pacific (SCAP-P) during World War II, and when the war ended, he took command of the Allied Occupation of Japan.  Landing in Atsugi Air Field on 30 August 1945, General MacArthur's first stop was at the Hotel New Grand in Yokohama.  As fate would have it, this was the third time that MacArthur stayed at the New Grand.  The first was when he was a young military officer and aide to his father, General Arthur MacArthur, in the Philippines.  The second time, MacArthur decided to honeymoon with his wife in Japan, and the Hotel New Grand provided their accommodations.



On his third time, MacArthur returned to the Hotel New Grand after much of Yokohama had been devastated by allied bombings.  Amidst the rubble of the port city stood the hotel, spared from the ravages of war.  As General MacArthur approached the entrance, he was greeted by the hotel manager, who bowed and simply stated, "Welcome back, General MacArthur."


Now the hotel stands as a historical landmark flanked by a new and cosmopolitan Yokohama.  Hotel New Grand is about a fifteen minute walk down the promenade from Minato-Mirai station and about a five minute walk from Chinatown.  The hotel offers rooms that are a little pricey for the average tourist, but also has a few restaurants.  The most notable eatery is Le Normandie, a French restaurant that offers gourmet food and excellent views of Yokohama bay.  Visit http://www.hotel-newgrand.co.jp/english/ for more information.

By the way, the MacArthur Suite is still intact, much as it would have been when the General arrived over seventy years ago.