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Friday, Oct. 22, 2010

HOTELS & RESTAURANTS

Wear a kimono at a special concert

As a sponsor of Tokyo Kimono Week 2010, the hotel Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo will jointly host a concert with the Tokyo Kimono Club on Oct. 31.

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The Tokyo Kimono Concert will be held in the hotel's third-floor grand ballroom. Those attending the concert can feast on a dessert buffet prepared by the hotel's world-champion pastry chef, Hiroshi Igarashi, from 5 p.m., before a marimba concert from 6 p.m. performed by Mutsumi Tsuzaki, herself a kimono designer and a collector of antique kimono. Her kimono collection will be exhibited at the event.

Admission is ¥8,000 per person, including tax and service charge.

In addition, those attending the concert wearing a kimono will be given a Kimono Passport entitling them to various benefits at Tokyo Kimono Week events. For example, at the hotel, the Mandarin Oriental's original manju (sweet buns) gift set will be given to those ordering a lunch or dinner course at one of hotel's five restaurants.

Tokyo Kimono Week 2010 — which lasts more than a week, running from Oct. 20 until Nov. 9 — is a yearly festival in the Nihonbashi area that introduces the charms and wonders of kimono. Nihonbashi, near Tokyo Station, has been a key area of the capital for 400 years, dating back to the Edo Period, and there used to be many kimono shops in the vicinity. During the festival, many events are planned, such as fashion shows, kimono parades, photo sessions, classes on how to wear a kimono and kimono fairs in Mitsukoshi and Takashimaya department stores. Visitors to Nihonbashi will likely be able to see many people wearing kimono.

The Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo can be accessed directly from Tokyo Metro Mitsukoshimae Station. For details or reservations, call the Tokyo Kimono Club (Shibaichaya Shinnichiya) on (03) 5652-5403 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekdays only).

Wine, dine like Austrian royalty

After a successful event last year, The Westin Tokyo will again hold its Esterhazy Celebration culinary fair at its top-floor restaurant Victor's from Oct. 26 to Nov. 28.

For the fair, chef Michal Rabina will be invited from Austria to showcase a legacy of the Esterhazy family, famed for its renowned gourmet cuisine and as winemakers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire era.

Chef Rabina's lunch courses (11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) are available from ¥4,800 and dinner courses (5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.) start from ¥9,000.

There is also a special Esterhazy Wine Degustation Course, pairing each course with award-winning wines from the Esterhazy estate. The special five-dish course costs ¥18,000 per person and features goose liver, with Estoras Gruener Veltliner 2009; beef bouillon with herb crepe strips, and Chardonnay Classic 2009; fish ragout with paprika and fresh cheese pasta, and Pinot Noir Classic 2009; venison Esterhazy with a creamy vegetable sauce and napkin dumplings, and Merlot Schneiderteil 2007 or Tesoro 2007; and Esterhazy pumpkin cake with pumpkin ice cream, and Beerenauslese Classic 2006.

The Westin Tokyo is in Yebisu Garden Place, a seven-minute walk from the East Exit of Ebisu Station. For reservations, call (03) 5423-7865 (10 a.m.-9:30 p.m.)

A new Tavola36 opens in Osaka

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Swissotel Nankai Osaka's signature Tavola36 Italian Restaurant & Sky Bar will reopen Nov. 6, following a million-dollar renovation.

Offering breathtaking top-floor views of Osaka, the renovation has created a restaurant experience under the concept of "dining in the clouds."

The dining area uses dark purple, unpolished gold and black as base colors. The bar area, designed to create distinct moods from the dining space, has a bottom-lit high table, creating a glamorous club atmosphere with sofas around the bar. Above those seats, a cluster of ceiling lamps, by award-winning Canadian designer Omer Arbel, shine like stars.

A private room, Milano, is another new addition. Head chef Massimo Curti is from the Italian city of Milan, and he has been assigned to provide all-new menus featuring authentic yet highly innovative Italian dishes.

A full range of drinks — including over 100 kinds of wines and original cocktails, such as Torre di Pisa — together with Italian snacks can also be enjoyed in the bar area.

The restaurant offers a buffet for lunch while dinner consists of sets and a la carte dishes.

Live jazz is provided nightly by international and local artists, with special appearances on Saturday nights.

Swissotel Nankai Osaka is directly above the Nankai Namba Station. For further information and reservations, call (06) 6646-1111.



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