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Friday, June 12, 2009

HOTELS & RESTAURANTS

Four Seasons celebrates fireflies

The historic Chinzan-so garden in Mejiro, Tokyo, has celebrated fireflies as a gift of summer since 1954. To coincide with the firefly season, from late May to late July, The Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Chinzan-so is holding a variety of culinary fairs.

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Japanese restaurant Miyuki is offering a "Firefly Kaiseki" course through June 30 that uses ingredients in season at the same time as fireflies start to be seen in the garden — including sweet fish, Japan's premium summer delicacy, pike eel and summer vegetables. The kaiseki course is ¥16,000 per person and is served from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. (last orders).

A "Twilight Fantasy" set of champagne, chef's special plate, choice of dessert and tea can be enjoyed at the Le Jardin lobby lounge for ¥4,800 while twilight settles on the garden outside. The fantasy is available through July 20, from 5 p.m. to midnight.

The banquet room is serving a "Weekend Buffet" (Fri., Sat., Sun.) through July 19. The Japanese and Western buffet, with unlimited drinks, is ¥10,920 on Fridays, and ¥11,970 on Saturdays and Sundays for adults, ¥6,300 for elementary school children and ¥2,100 for children aged 2 and above. The buffet is available from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on June 13, 27 and July 11).

And the main bar, Le Marquis, will be shaking — or stirring — into life five refreshing champagne-based cocktails (created in the image of the fascinating light of fireflies) for ¥1,800 each, through July 20. The bar is open between 6 p.m. and midnight. The cocktails are also available at Le Jardin.

The Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Chinzan-so is a 10-minute walk from Edogawabashi Station on the Yurakucho Line. For more information or reservations, call (03) 3943-2222.

Tempura, bubbly at Royal Park

The Royal Park Hotel in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, is combining traditional Japanese tempura with champagne for a special dinner on June 26 and 27.

At the hotel's Japanese restaurant, Genjiko, a seven-dish traditional Japanese course dinner, with seasonal seafood tempura, will be paired with four different kinds of champagne. The hotel's sommelier, suitably attired in a kimono, will be on hand to explain the varieties.

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In addition, before the dinner, you can enjoy the Japanese art of kodo. Kodo, meaning the "way of incense," is a relatively little-known classical art compared to sado (tea ceremony) or kado (flower arranging). A kodo master will demonstrate how to enjoy the art form with a game of Genji-ko, which involves guessing the variety of incense by its fragrance.

The dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. on June 26 and 6 p.m. on June 27 and costs ¥20,000 per person.

The Royal Park Hotel is a five-minute walk from Ningyo-cho Station on the Asakusa Line; there is a direct link between the hotel and Suitengu-mae Station on the Hanzomon Line. For more information, call (03) 3667-1111.

Hyatt Kyoto Summer Special stays

The Hyatt Regency Kyoto is offering four nights' accommodation for the price of three from June 19 to Sept. 18. If you stay eight nights, two of the nights will be complimentary.

The Summer Special rate for a standard guest room starts at ¥19,000 per night, including consumption tax and service charge. There are some exceptions, such as arrivals on Wednesdays and during periods of high occupancy.

Some major events in Kyoto during the campaign period include: Gion Matsuri (July 1-31), a monthlong festival considered one of the three largest festivals in Japan, with the Yoiyama (July 16) and Yamaboko Junko (July 17) parades as highlights; Daimonji Gozan Okuribi (Aug. 16), a ceremony to send the souls of the deceased back to their world after they visit this world for the Bon Festival, by lighting fires on five mountains; and cormorant fishing (July 1-Sept. 15 in Arashiyama, June 14-Sept. 28 in Uji).

The Hyatt Regency Kyoto is a five-minute walk from Shichijo Station on the Keihan Line or a 15-minute walk from JR Kyoto Station. For more information or reservations, call (075) 541-3210.



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