Final guests have arrived for a birthday bash dubbed the party of the year after a Japanese billionaire splashed out more than £300,000 to hire an Italian city.
Kaoru Nakajima has block booked the finest hotels in Palermo, on the island of Sicily, as well as two theatres for a gala concert and dinner on Sunday for the four-day event.
Excited guests who have been flown business class from Japan by him, excitedly posed for selfies as they made their way to Palermo on connecting flights.
As he posed on the tarmac with pals, one guest Naohiko Takagi, told MailOnline:’ We have been looking forward to this event for days.
Japanese billionaire Kaoru Nakajima has flown more than 1,000 people to fly business class to Italy to join him for his birthday celebration
Kaoru Nakajima, pictured, has block booked the finest hotels in Palermo, on the island of Sicily, as well as two theatres for a gala concert and dinner on Sunday for the four-day event
‘Mr Nakajima is a very generous boss and he has paid for more than 1,000 employees to come to Sicily to celebrate his 73rd birthday on Sunday.
‘I’ve never been here before and we hope to see lots of the city and surrounding area – we are so excited.’
Others gave thumbs up as they stood by stairs taking them to the plane and made video calls to pals back in Japan.
Mr Nakajima, made his fortune after selling his stake in multi-level marketing firm AmWay, and then starting up his own MLM companies.
AmWay (American Way) sells household and beauty products and convinces customers to become paid distributors of the products.
Mr Nakajima was one of the company’s best sellers when he worked for them and in the 1990s he made AmWay history by doubling the sales of his group of 750,000 distributors.
At one point he was reportedly brining in 40% of the firm’s business in Japan and 12% of the company’s global revenue.
The father of three has hired out Palermo’s oldest and most iconic landmarks including opera houses, theatres and hotels.
The Rocco Forte Villa Igiea and the Grand Hotel et des Palmes, both on the sea front have been booked out – with rooms costing from £600 up to £3,000 a night for a sea facing suite.
Among the venues he has fronted out are the Teatro Massimo, Italy’s largest opera house and the Politeama Theatre.
Both venues will hold events on Sunday and the culmination of the event is a concert by opera star Andrea Bocelli’s son, Matteo.
Mr Nakajima, made his fortune after selling his stake in multi-level marketing firm AmWay, and then starting up his own MLM companies
On Friday Mr Nakahimi, pictured, and his party took in a sight-seeing trip around Palermo and he stopped off for lunch at Osteria Ballaro
Many arrivals took selfies as soon as they touched down in Palermo before heading to the party
Mr Nakajima is said to have picked Palermo as the venue after being told about it by Andrea, who is a friend of his and also a firm favourite with the British royal family.
Hiring the Politeama is said to have set him back £32,000 and a similar amount is said to have been paid for the Teatro Massimo.
Delighted restaurant owners and other local businesses are rubbing their hands at the prospect of hundreds of visitors spending money in what is usually a dead time of year.
Celebrations kicked off on Thursday with a performance of Don Giovanni where Mr Nakajima sat in the royal box at the Teatro Massimo.
On Friday he and his party took in a sight-seeing trip around Palermo and he stopped off for lunch at Osteria Ballaro.
Mr Nakajima, accompanied by his assistant Maso Katano, and other members of his entourage, was dressed in an Italian football team tracksuit.
Mr Nakajima is said to have picked Palermo as the venue after being told about it by Andrea, who is a friend of his and also a firm favourite with the British royal family
On its Facebook page the restaurant Osteria Ballaro said: ’We had the great honour of hosting Kaoru Nakajima, who chose Palermo for an event that highlights our city’
On its Facebook page the restaurant said: ’We had the great honour of hosting Kaoru Nakajima, who chose Palermo for an event that highlights our city.
‘He complimented us on our cooking and service and we gifted him some local pastries and cakes from our chef.
‘A warm welcome to him and all his guests – Palermo is a hospitable city.’
So far there has been no sign of his wife opera singer Atsuko Kakioka – who is also fond of Italy and performed in theatres across the country.