‘Lost in Translation’ is a Sofia Coppola movie starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson. Bill Murray plays Bob Harris, an American actor having a mid-life crisis, who is in Japan to make a whiskey commercial. Scarlett Johansson plays Charlotte, who is bored while accompanying her husband on a business trip. If you ever stayed alone at a luxury hotel in a strange city, then you’ll love this movie.

Bob and Charlotte both stay at the Park Hyatt, Tokyo and first meet in the New York Bar on the hotel’s top floor. This is a classic picture of their first meeting:


While in Tokyo last year, our plan was to take the metro across town to the Park Hyatt and have a Suntory whisky in the New York Bar, sitting in the same seats as Bob and Charlotte. I rehearsed my “for relaxing times make it Santory time” line.

Here’s Bob making the Santory commercial:

The New York Bar is expensive and there is a cover charge after 8pm. We planned to be out before then. But I was fully prepared to splash out on a few drinks.

We exited the metro and crossed the street to the Hyatt. Into the elevator and press the button for the top floor – no bar in sight. Turns out it’s the Hyatt Regency. £6 taxi to the nearby Park Hyatt.

By 19:30, we find the New York bar and it’s busy. The spectacular view is missing – just grey clouds so the windows appear white.

Bob and Charlotte’s seats were occupied by a group of Americans sporting beatnik looks, one wearing a beanie hat indoors – they probably didn’t even know the significance of their seats.

The waitress offers us a table and we take that – she explains that there is an £18 per person cover charge and I can see that we’re getting too close to 8pm to avoid it. I’m wondering whether I can ask the beatniks to move for a few seconds while I get the picture.

Prices are expensive. There’s no view and it’s also pretty smoky, which is odd as you aren’t allowed to smoke in the street here but bars and restaurants are okay. We left.

Having spent nothing at the hotel, we cheekily took the free shuttle bus back to the station (Shinjuku L-Tower Building).

Metro back to near our hotel and we had pretty good food from a local place where you order food/beer and pay at a machine and they cook and bring it to you. Large beer £2.25. Half bottle of Suntory whisky £4 compared to the Hyatt £9.40 beer and £14 a measure.

If you are a fan of the movie, I’d recommend you visit when the bar isn’t open, or maybe just after opening time – otherwise you’ll be stuck in what is a pretty soulless hotel bar, paying too much for your drinks.


Park Hyatt
3-7-1-2 Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo, Japan, 163-1055
Tel: +81 3 5322 1234

Here’s the full scene from the movie: