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Friday, Sept. 19, 2008


Moon viewing, local delicacies and craft beers

The Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel in Shibuya, Tokyo, has put together a tsukimi (moon-viewing) accommodation package.

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Moon viewing is a traditional Japanese autumn event that is usually held on the full moon nights of Aug. 15 and Sept. 13 of the lunar calendar, which fall on Sept. 14 and Oct. 11 of the standard calendar this year. Japanese silver grass, dumpling cakes and sake are usually displayed as offerings at tsukimi.

The plan offers room service that includes a bottle of sake and Japanese autumn delicacies such as chestnuts, ginkgo nuts and sweet potatoes, so that guests can enjoy the moonlight from their rooms on the 25th to 32nd floors. The dishes are prepared by Kanetanaka, one of the top ryotei in Shimbashi, which has a branch in the hotel.Those who don't drink can instead choose Japanese tea and traditional Japanese sweets, such as ginkgo-nut rice dumplings, imo-kinton (pureed sweet potato) with red beans and more, also prepared by Kanetanaka.

The plan includes a twin or king (double bed) room (¥48,000 per room) and a buffet breakfast at the restaurant Carmera or a Japanese breakfast at Kanetanaka So. The deal is available through Nov. 14.

The hotel is a five-minute walk from the West Exit of JR Shibuya Station.

For more information or reservations, call (03) 3476-3000.

Local delicacies at Chinzan-so

Restaurants in the Chinzan-so garden and the Four Seasons Hotel at Chinzan-so in Mejiro, Tokyo, will offer menus featuring Mie Prefecture's Toba, Ise and Shima areas, from Sept. 20 through Nov. 9.

The region, once called the "country of food" because it supplied food to the Imperial court in ancient times, is blessed with delicacies from the sea, and is especially famous for Ise-ebi, lobsters. Ise-ebi, together with the region's other local delicacies, will be served in a variety of ways at eight restaurants, including Japanese, Italian and French ones.

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Mokushundo Stone barbecue restaurant will grill lobsters on a lava plate from Mount Fuji (lunch and dinner courses ¥17,500) and the French restaurant Camellia will feature lobster thermidor in two dinner courses (¥12,000 and ¥16,000). At the Four Seasons' Japanese restaurant Miyuki, all eight kaiseki course dishes, except dessert, will use the delicacy (¥17,600). There is also a dinner buffet with 50 kinds of Western and Japanese dishes, with a whole boiled lobster as its highlight (¥8,500 for adults).

Chinzan-so is a 10-minute walk from Edogawabashi Station on the Yurakucho Subway Line.

For more information, visit Chinzan-so's Japanese Web site at www.chinzanso.com or call (03) 3943-5489.

Craft beer festival in Hiroshima

On Sunday, Sept. 28, a Microbrewery Beer Festival will be held in Hiroshima City from noon to 5 p.m.

The ¥3,300 admission (¥2,800 in advance) gets you an unlimited number of sample pours of craft beers from 16 microbreweries — mostly from Western Japan — including Doppo, Hitachino Nest and Sankt Gallen.

The festival will be held at the Rijo Kaikan, which will offer discount room packages for festival-goers. The event will be held at 1-5-3, Otemachi, Hiroshima.

A map and full details can be found on the Japanese Web site at www.golden-garden.tv/beerfesta/2008.html

(Listing courtesy of Bento.com)

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