Spring comes early to the 130-year-old Chinzan-so garden of the Four Seasons Hotel in Tokyo this year, with the expected blossoming around the end of the month of a special variety of cherry trees (kanhizakura and kawazuzakura) that the hotel planted in the venerable garden early in the new year.

To coincide with the blossoms’ arrival, from Friday, Jan. 25, the hotel will display cherry blossoms throughout the building, and each restaurant and bar will welcome guests with special menus with spring and cherry blossom motifs through April 13.

For example, Italian restaurant Il Teatro will serve an Il Ciliegio (cherry blossom) lunch course (¥7,000), which transforms Japanese spring specialties into unconventional Italian dishes, while the Seasons Bistro offers a Sakura Lunch (¥4,800) in a more casual setting. At the main bar, Le Marquis, there will be special cocktails reflecting the image of different types of cherry blossom, cherry blossom-flavored ice cream and sherbet, from ¥1,500.

The hotel is a 10-minute walk from Edogawa-bashi Station on the Yurakucho Subway Line.

For more information, call (03) 3943-2222.

Yuzu bathing at Spa Joule

Spa and Wellness Joule on the 28th floor of the Hyatt Regency Tokyo is offering a special seasonal spa package, featuring Japanese traditional yuzu bathing.

Yuzu is a citrus fruit popularly used in Japanese cuisine as a garnish and flavoring, but floating yuzu in the bath on the winter solstice is also a popular custom in Japan.

Inspired by this custom, the treatment package includes a private yuzu bath (30 minutes), body treatment (75 minutes) using yuzu essential oil and a yuzu footbath.

The package is available through Feb. 29 and costs ¥24,500.

Spa and Wellness Jule is a 10-minute walk from the West Exit of Shinjuku Station.

For more information, call (03) 3348-1234.

Feel Australia in Kobe

The Crowne Plaza Kobe is holding a Feel Australia fair at its five restaurants and bars through Feb. 3.

Lunch and dinner courses at the Level 36 restaurant and bar feature guest chef Matthew Dixon’s modern Australian cuisine — also known as “Australian Italian.” Dixon is the chef at the restaurant RPR’s, at the Crowne Plaza Royal Pines on Queensland’s Gold Coast. The restaurant was named the Best Prestige Dining Venue in 2006. The lunch course is ¥3,675 and dinner is ¥11,550. On Australia Day, Jan. 26, there will be a special Matt Night dinner party at which guests will dine with Dixon (¥17,000, including dinner and wine).

The casual dining The Terrace restaurant will provide lunch and dinner buffets with Dixon’s original menus and other dishes, using unique ingredients such as Aussie beef, kangaroo, ostrich, lobster and other seafood, vegetables and fruit, all from Australia. The lunch buffet is ¥2,800 and the dinner buffet is ¥4,000. And if that doesn’t feel enough like Australia for you, there will be didgeridoo performances during lunch and dinner on Jan. 26.

The hotel is adjacent to Shin-Kobe Station on the Sanyo Shinkansen Line and subway.

For more information or reservations, call (078) 291-1121.

Beacon’s new gourmet burgers

Starting Feb. 3, the popular Beacon “urban chophouse” in Aoyama, Tokyo, will introduce a new menu of gourmet burgers and zinfandel wines, served every Sunday and holiday evening.

Besides the classic Beacon Burger, there will be foie gras burgers, pizza burgers, Sliders (small square burgers) and wagyu (Japanese beef) burgers. And to drink — half a dozen good-value zinfandels, all priced at ¥4,000 a bottle.

The mood is casual, and kids and families are welcome. Call Beacon at (03) 6418-0077 for reservations and menu details.

The restaurant is located at 1-2-5 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, near Children’s Castle and the U.N. University.

(Listing courtesy of Bento.com)

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