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Friday, Nov. 13, 2009

HOTELS & RESTAURANTS

Start your day the traditional way

Japanese restaurant Genjikoh at the Royal Park Hotel recently added to its breakfast menus a special kayu (Japanese rice porridge) set, which makes the most of the character of the hotel's location in Nihonbashi, Tokyo.

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Nihonbashi is a mercantile center dating back to the Edo Period (1603-1867). The set lets guests savor a number of renowned Japanese ingredients provided by long-established shops in the area and experience a bit of the traditional food culture of Tokyo while enjoying views of a beautiful Japanese garden.

Kayu, slowly cooked in an earthen pot, will be served with vegetables traditionally grown in Tokyo since the Edo Period and which are recently attracting new interest. The items offered in the set include fish cakes from 321-year-old Kanmo, whose products were served at three emperors' coronation ceremonies; dried bonito from 310-year-old Ninben; and sweet, pickled radish from Tokyo Niitakaya, a purveyor to the Imperial household.

The kayu set is available from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and costs ¥5,775. Reservations are required two days in advance.

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

Beaujolais Nouveau-tasting fair

In celebration of this year's release of Beaujolais Nouveau on Nov. 19, the Beaujolais Bar 2009 wine-tasting event will be held at the Ebisu Garden Place complex in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, from Nov. 19 to 21.

Admission to the fair venue, Yebisu Oyster Bar, located in the Glass Square of the complex, is ¥1,000 and visitors will be welcomed with a glass of Jean-Marc Burgaud du Vin, a hard-to-find Beaujolais-Village Nouveau.

The bar will have two booths offering 10 kinds of Beaujolais Nouveau and five other new wines, including Laboure Roi Non Filter and Gamay sparkling wine, by the glass for ¥500. Sommeliers and wine advisers will be on hand to introduce the wines.

The neighboring tearoom and restaurant, Le Salon De Ninas Paris, will prepare special menus to complement the wines, such as beef cheek braised in Beaujolais Nouveau (¥1,000), chicken liver pate with baguette (¥800), as well as side menus like assorted natural cheeses and sausages.

The fair is open from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Ebisu Garden Place is a five-minute walk from Ebisu Station. For more information, call (03) 5423-7111 or visit gardenplace.jp

In this castle I thee wed

Fujita Hotel Management, which operates the Kyoto Kokusai Hotel and Hotel Fujita Kyoto, has signed a contract with Kyoto City to plan and hold wedding ceremonies at 400-year-old Nijo-jo (Nijo Castle), a UNESCO World Heritage site in the ancient capital.

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The "Nijo-jo Wedding" plan is filled with the city's unique culture and traditions and will help to pass down the charms and living history of Kyoto to future generations.

The wedding starts with a procession of the bride and groom in a hanaguruma traditional noble carriage, accompanied by family and guests, from the Kyoto Kokusai Hotel to the castle.

The ceremony, held in the castle's teahouse, includes a wedding tea ceremony and Kyoto's ancient wedding tradition, konka no gi, where the bride and groom serve Japanese sweets to guests with chopsticks made from green bamboo.

The rental costume options include junihitoe, the 12-layer ceremonial kimono for court ladies, and a sokutai formal kimono for court nobles. Prices for the ceremony start from ¥600,000 with 30 guests. Nijo-jo is next to Nijo-jo Mae Station. For more information, call the Kyoto Kokusai Hotel at (075) 222-1111 or visit www.nijojo-wedding.jp



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