'Kyoto Winter Special'

Following its great success last year, the “Kyoto Winter Special” promotional campaign returns with a “Four Nights for the Price of Three” accommodation package at the Hyatt Regency Kyoto from Dec. 7 to March 18.

Guests staying for three nights will get one night free (except for arrivals on Wednesdays and during periods of high occupancy). Rates start from ¥22,000 per room per night.

The Hyatt Regency Kyoto is located in the Higashiyama Shichijo district, the traditional and cultural heart of Kyoto. Just a stone’s throw away are places of interest such as Kyoto National Museum and the Chishakuin, Sanjusangendo and Yogenin temples.

One of the major events during the campaign period is Arashiyama Hanatouro (Dec. 12 to 21), when the historical Arashiyama district of the city sparkles with holiday illumination.

For more details about the “Kyoto Winter Special,” visit

The Hyatt Regency Kyoto is a five-minute walk from Shichijo Station on the Keihan Line or a 15-minute walk from JR Kyoto Station. For more information or reservations, call (075) 541-3210.

Five-star Christmas party

The five chefs of the Pan Pacific Yokohama Bay Hotel Tokyu will jointly host the “Five-Star Christmas Party 2008” on Dec. 24.

The hotel’s executive chef, Toshinori Sokabe, was previously the chef at the Coucagno French restaurant at the Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel in Shibuya, where he earned a Michelin star last year.

Sokabe, honorary chef Yutaka Ishinabe, executive chef of Chinese cuisine Yuji Wakiya, executive chef of Japanese cuisine Mamoru Sakamoto and pastry chef Kenjiro Kuroki will each present their specialties in a collaboration that will enable guests to enjoy the cuisine of so many chefs in one meal.

The dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. and costs ¥22,000 per person, including drinks. Women are asked to dress up and men should wear a jacket. Reservations are required.

The Pan Pacific Yokohama Bay Hotel Tokyu is a one-minute walk from Minato Mirai Station or a 10-minute walk from Sakuragicho Station. For more information or reservations, call (045) 682-2222.

Traditional New Year’s takeout

The Reikasai Chinese restaurant in Roppongi Hills, Tokyo, has created original osechi ryori (traditional Japanese New Year’s foods in special layered boxes).

Reikasai serves dishes prepared according to the recipes used in the Chinese Imperial Court for Qing Dynasty Empress Qixi, who was known as a gourmand and was said to employ 128 chefs just to cook her meals.

Besides the original in Beijing, the Reikasai is one of only two restaurants in the world (the other is in Australia) using the recipes, and in 2008 it became the world’s first Chinese restaurant to hold two Michelin stars.

The three-layer osechi box contains nine kinds of the restaurant’s signature appetizers, five main dishes and a dessert, including staple celebratory delicacies such as Peking duck and abalone.

The set is ¥50,000. Orders are accepted through Dec. 25 and pickup is Dec. 30 and 31.

The Reikasai restaurant is located on the third floor of Roppongi Keyakizaka-dori Residence B, Roppongi Hills, a three-minute walk from Roppongi Station. Call (03) 5413-9561 for orders.

In line with the nationwide state of emergency declared on April 16, the government is strongly requesting that residents stay at home whenever possible and refrain from visiting bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.
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