TOKYO -- Japan's modern hotel era began in the Meiji period (1868-1912) when Western culture entered the country. At that time, hotels were mainly built as resorts. According to Kurakata of Osaka Metropolitan University, architects tried to bring their best skills together so that they would not be embarrassed to welcome Westerners. Many of these properties have been demolished, but those that remain are now known as "classic hotels" because of their retro feel.
After World War II, Western-style hotels gradually gained in popularity, especially with the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and the 1970 Osaka World Expo. As hotels became more frequently used for weddings and meetings, functionality became more important than design.