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Friday, Jan. 22, 2010

HOTELS & RESTAURANTS

Royal Park stay with flavor of old Edo

The Royal Park Hotel in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, is offering a plan that combines a one-night stay in an executive floor room and dinner in one of the area's long-established Japanese restaurants, through March 31.

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The Nihonbashi area, which has been the mercantile center since the Edo Period, still retains the traditional atmosphere of Tokyo's old days, dotted with well-established shops and restaurants.

There are four classy, authentic Japanese restaurants collaborating with the hotel for this plan: the Michelin-starred Genyadana Hamadaya ( www.hamadaya.info ), Ningyocho Kikuya, Kappo Nihonbashi Toyoda ( gwill.co.jp/toyoda ) and Nihonbashi Yukari ( nihonbashi-yukari.com ). Each restaurant offers a traditional Japanese dinner course specially prepared for this plan.

To fully enjoy the area's historic atmosphere, a rickshaw service is available from the hotel to the restaurants for an additional ¥3,000.

In the morning, breakfast is prepared in the hotel's Genji-koh Japanese rrestaurant, which offers a view of a Japanese garden.

Plan prices vary from ¥42,000 to ¥63,500 per person (double or triple occupancy), depending on room type (standard or deluxe) and restaurant.

The Royal Park Hotel is adjacent to Suitengumae Station. For more information and reservations, call (03) 3667-1111.

Winemakers event at New Otani

Hotel New Otani Tokyo's fine French dining restaurant, La Tour d'Argent, will host a special winemakers dinner on Feb. 3, inviting owners of France's three makers of prestige champagne and wine — Anne Claude Leflaive from Domaine Leflaive, Didier Dupont from Champagne Salon and Erwan Faiveley from Domaine Faiveley.

The "Wine Legends" dinner event features six exclusively selected wines and champagnes accompanied by a special course dinner presented by Chef Alexandre Trancher and provides the opportunity to hear the stories behind the wines from the winemakers themselves. The dinner will be navigated by Nobuhide Tani and Satoru Mori, the hotel's highly skilled sommeliers, who have qualified for the 13th World's Best Sommelier Competition.

The dinner starts at 7:30 p.m. (reception from 7 p.m.) and costs ¥60,000 per person, including tax and service.

Hotel New Otani Tokyo is a 3-minute walk from Akasaka-Mitsuke Station. For more information, call (03) 3239-3111.

Tsukiji's exotic Sakana Takewaka

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There are many exotic, unique dishes in Japan, and ikedukuri, a sashimi dish arranged on a fish body that is still alive after being cut, is surely one of the most eccentric. It is considered a sumptuous dish suitable for celebration and entertainment.

Operating in Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market area for more than 20 years, Sakana Takewaka is a fine fish restaurant that serves such dishes as well as other staple Japanese dishes such as sushi and tempura.

At the center of the restaurant sits a huge, 20-ton ikesu fish tank, surrounded by counter seats, where a variety of sea life brought daily from around Japan is kept alive until just before serving.

The most popular menu is "dancing squid (ikedukuri of squid)," the restaurant's specialty since its opening. Popular among foreigners are ikedukuri of fish such as sea bream, arranged beautifully on a ship-shaped dish.

There are four regular dinner courses: a ¥5,800 course featuring the squid; ¥6,800 and ¥7,800 courses featuring fish ikedukuri; and a ¥12,000 course featuring both squid and fish ikedukuri (prices exclude 10 percent service charges). Reservations are recommended, especially for squid ikedukuri.

There are also two-hour all-you-can-drink party courses at ¥8,000, ¥10,000 and ¥12,000, including service charges. A la carte menus are also available.

In addition to 20 counter seats, there are table seats and private rooms, which accommodate four to 40 people.

Sakana Takewaka restaurant is on the B1 floor of Tsukiji KY Bldg., 4-7-5 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, a 3-minute walk from Exit 2 of Tsukiji Station on the Hibiya Line. It is closed Sundays. For more details, call (03) 5565-0888 or visit www.tsukiji-takewaka.com (Japanese only).



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