by Armand Vaquer
The Imperial Hotel, the one that Steve Martin (Raymond Burr) stayed at while in Tokyo (while there was still a Tokyo) during Godzilla's rampage, saw a group of power players at the hotel's Imperial Viking restaurant gather for a relaxed dinner.
|Above, the dinner group at the Imperial Viking restaurant at the Imperial Hotel.|
Over the years, I have been treated to many a courtesy and assists by friends from Toho Co., Ltd. and I thought this trip would provide a good opportunity to host a thank-you dinner to return the favor and show my appreciation.
The Imperial Viking was chosen as it was able to accommodate dinner parties and I was seeking an elegant place to treat everyone. The restaurant is on the hotel's 17th floor and had commanding views of Hibiya Park, the Imperial Palace and the National Diet Building.
|Above, the view of the lit-up National Diet Building from our table at the Imperial Viking restaurant. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
Those joining Denise and I were Mr. G-FEST himself, Yoshikazu Ishii; former Toho L.A. General Managers Masaharu Ina (now with Toho Cinemas division) and Shozo Watanabe (now with Toho's legal division); former Toho Pictures President Shogo Tomiyama; translator and Tohoku documentary star at NHK World, Jessica Claros.
The conversation ranged from what everyone's doing today, remembering Koichi Kawakita, Shin Godzilla (now in production), Godzilla Final Wars, Japanese cuisine, Japan's beaches, Toho's Malibu estate (where Toho's general managers live during their tenures in Los Angeles), my fondness for cheesecake and many other subjects.