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This hotel’s most splendid feature is its garden, the best of any Tokyo hotel: more than 400 years old and once the private estate of a feudal lord. Spreading over 4 hectares (10 acres), it contains ponds filled with koi, waterfalls, arched bridges, manicured bushes (the azaleas are striking in spring), stone lanterns, and bamboo groves; it’s not unusual to see Japanese in their finest kimono gathered here for family photos. The large outdoor pool, shrouded by greenery, provides more privacy than most hotel pools and is free for members of Otani Club International (membership is free). That's about it, however, when it comes to communing with nature, as this is one of Tokyo's largest hotels (be sure to pick up hotel and garden maps at the concierge—you're going to need them). Its 33 restaurants and 6 bars draw huge crowds of locals, especially the very popular Garden Lounge, offering the best garden views. A huge variety of rooms are spread among the main building, built for the 1964 Olympics and offering up-close views of the garden, and the 40-story Garden Tower, with glittering city vistas. Rates are the same regardless of view, so request a room facing the garden. Hotel facilities are so exhaustive, this is like a city within a city; folks who shun crowds may be happier elsewhere.