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Friday, March 12, 2010
HOTELS & RESTAURANTS
Walking tours of old, scenic Tokyo
Hotel New Otani will hold walking tours of historic and scenic areas of Tokyo, formerly known as Edo, with a lunch at the hotel after the tour.
Held during cherry blossom season, there are two tours — the Imperial Palace and former Edo castle course on March 28, and Asakusa and Bokutei course on April 4, both of which include some of Tokyo's best hanami (cherry blossom viewing) spots.
The tour guides, who have a top-grade qualification in the Edo culture and history test, will enrich the experience with stories of the areas, in Japanese.
After the tour, an Edo-themed Japanese lunch is served at the Kato's Dining & Bar at the hotel.
The tour is scheduled to depart the hotel at 9:30 a.m. and returns at 1 p.m., followed by lunch, ending at around 2:30 p.m. The tour costs ¥5,000 for staying guests and ¥7,500 for visitors.
Hotel New Otani Tokyo is a three-minute walk from Akasaka-Mitsuke Station. For reservations, call (0120) 112-211.
Young children eat for free
InterContinental Yokohama Grand's Ocean Terrace recently introduced a new price plan, allowing children up to age 5 to enjoy the lunch or dinner buffet for free.
Located on the first floor of the hotel, the Ocean Terrace buffet restaurant has views of Yokohama Bay from the floor-to-ceiling windows and regularly prepares over 50 kinds of buffet items, from appetizers through dessert.
The lunch and dinner buffets are offered at ¥1 per year of age for children between 6 and 12 years of age (for example, ¥6 for a 6-year-old child). Up to five children per one adult in groups of less than 10 people are accepted for this offer. For adults (those over age 12), the lunch buffet costs ¥2,940 on weekdays and ¥3,360 on weekends and holidays, and the dinner buffet costs ¥4,620, excluding a 10 percent service charge.
In addition to regular buffet items, a la carte food, drink and dessert menus especially for children are available from ¥200.
Lunch buffet is between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., and dinner buffet is between 5:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. The buffet includes coffee and tea. Soft drinks are included during lunchtime on weekends and holidays.
InterContinental Yokohama Grand is a three-minute walk from Minatomirai Station or a 10-minute walk from Sakuragicho Station. For further information, call (045) 223-2678.
Celebrate St. Patrick's in Osaka
In honor of St. Patrick's Day, March 17, Ramada Osaka will hold a special event on March 19.
On the biggest Irish holiday, the hotel's second-floor banquet room will be decorated to re-create the feel of an Irish pub and will serve unlimited drinks, including the country's proud Guinness beer, for ¥3,500, while live Irish music and dance performances enhance the atmosphere.
A variety of traditional Irish dishes are available at ¥500 each, including Guinness beer beef stew, fish and chips, Irish stew and spicy beef roll sandwiches. Unlimited drinks include Guinness beer, other draft beers, Irish whiskey, red and white wines and soft drinks.
Live music is offered by the band Fairy Dance!, led by Hatao, who plays the tin whistle and Irish flute, with guest vocals. The group J-Click performs its unique style of dance, which combines Irish and tap dance.
Participants are encouraged to wear something green.
The event is held between 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. (reception begins 6:30 p.m.) and costs ¥3,500 per person, including unlimited drinks, a chicken pot pie, tax and service charge.
Ramada Osaka is connected to Nakatsu Subway Station and a five-minute walk from Hankyu Railway's Umeda and Nakatsu stations. For details, call (06) 6375-4998.