Obata was opened more than 100 years ago and gained renown as a high-class Japanese restaurant until it closed in 1998. The exterior of the building was used as an office in the movie Departures, which won an Academy Award for the best foreign-language film in the 81st Academy Awards. Though scenes inside the office were shot in a film studio, the film set was recreated inside Obata after the movie won the Academy Award and opened to the public. However, it has been closed since March 2015.