View Tokyo Skytree over a buffet

On May 22, in commemoration of the opening of Tokyo Skytree, the Asakusa View Hotel, the tower’s “official friendship hotel,” opened Musashi, a new buffet restaurant and bar on its 26th floor.

Tokyo’s new landmark is 634 meters tall, the digits of which when spoken in Japanese can sound like “mu-sa-shi.” The hotel is in the Asakusa area, across the Sumida River from where Tokyo Skytree stands in Sumida Ward, so the restaurant offers great views of the tower. Also, from the other side of the hotel, guests can enjoy splendid views of Mount Fuji.

Musashi offers more than 50 kinds of dishes, including Japanese, Western and Chinese cuisine.

The breakfast buffet is available 7-10 a.m. at ¥1,995 per person; the lunch buffet is available 11:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. at ¥2,940 per person on weekdays (until 3 p.m. weekends and holidays at ¥3,465 per person); and the dinner buffet is available 6-9:30 p.m. at ¥3,990 per person (¥4,515 per person on Saturdays and the day before holidays).

The prices include tax but are subject to a 10 percent service charge.

The Asakusa View Hotel is directly connected to Tsukuba Express Asakusa Station and a 10-minute walk from Asakusa Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza, Toei Asakusa and Tobu lines. For more information or reservations, call (03) 3842-3751 or visit

Casual Italian dining from New York

On May 17, the same day of the grand opening of the new Palace Hotel Tokyo in Marunouchi, New York’s popular casual Italian restaurant Serafina opened its first branch in Japan at the Palace Building adjacent to the hotel.

The restaurant offers about 20 kinds of authentic Italian pizzas made with finest quality Italian flour, Sicilian sea salt and extra virgin oil, baked in an original hearth. The pizzas are 32 cm in diameter and 6.4 mm thin.

Other than pizza, the restaurant offers a variety of dishes including pasta, meat, fish, salad and desserts.

Also, the restaurant is available for wedding after-parties.

Serafina New York is a 2-minute walk from Otemachi subway station, or an 8-minute walk from Tokyo Station. For more information or reservations, call (03) 5220-5522 or visit

The Ritz-Carlton to open in Okinawa

The first resort hotel of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co., The Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa, will open on May 28 in the city of Nago.

The hotel is designed in the motif of Shuri Castle, one of the landmarks of Okinawa, with its traditional and distinctive red clay tile roofs, white walls and holy water pond. In the local dialect, the word for castle is gusuku, which means “place that welcomes guests.”

The hotel offers 97 guest rooms — 78 deluxe rooms, nine premium deluxe rooms, eight cabana rooms, one presidential suite and one The Ritz-Carlton Suite — with spectacular views over a golf course, the East China Sea, the Motobu Peninsula and the island beyond.

The hotel’s annex building houses The Ritz-Carlton Spa by ESPA, bordered by the Yanbaru forest, where primitive trees have remained untouched and serve as the habitat of some of the rarest flora and fauna in the world. The spa is intended as a haven of relaxation in a natural paradise.

The Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa is 75 minutes by car from Naha Airport. For more information and reservations, call (0980) 43-5555 or visit

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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