Christmas drinks in Yokohama; 'One Piece' promotion at Le Daiba; Mandarin Oriental sake sommelier awarded

Holiday-theme drinks in Yokohama

The lobby lounge Seawind on the second floor of the Yokohama Bay Sheraton Hotel and Towers is celebrating the holiday season by offering special drinks through Dec. 31.

Boasting large windows and a high ceiling, Seawind offers a comfortable atmosphere and serves a variety of teas, coffees, sweets, light meals and original cocktails.

As for the Christmas drinks, the Passion Chocolate (foreground) is a white chocolate-based sweet and sour drink, accented by the taste of passion fruit; the Tiramisu Latte (background) is based on espresso but with the rich taste of mascarpone cheese and steamed milk. Both drinks are great winter warmers.

Guests can enjoy these special drinks with the hotel’s desserts.

The drinks are each available at ¥1,365, including tax but subject to a 10 percent service charge. The lounge opens daily from 9?a.m. to 9 p.m.; until 10 p.m. from Dec. 22 to 24.

The Yokohama Bay Sheraton Hotel & Towers is a 1-minute walk from Yokohama Station. For more information and reservations, call (045) 411-1111 or visit .

‘One Piece’ promotions at Le Daiba

As part of promotional events in Tokyo’s waterfront area of Daiba (commonly referred to as Odaiba) for “Z,” the latest anime movie based on Japan’s popular “One Piece” manga series, the Grand Pacific Le Daiba hotel is displaying a special Christmas tree in front of the hotel’s entrance and offering a parfait, both of which feature images from the series, through Jan. 31, 2013.

Promotional events are being held at several venues in Daiba such as DiverCity Tokyo Plaza, Aqua City and Tokyo Joypolis. At each of these, special illuminations and stamp-collection rallies are under way.

On the hotel’s Christmas tree, the iconic straw hat of the “One Piece” series’ main character, Monkey D. Luffy, is displayed and illuminated. At the hotel’s cafe-restaurant Herbette on the lobby floor, the special parfait also features the hero’s hat and contains ice cream, custard pudding and fresh fruits. It is available at ¥900, including tax and a service charge, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The Grand Pacific Le Daiba is adjacent to Daiba Station on the Yurikamome Line. For more information, call (03) 5500-6711 or visit .

Mandarin Oriental’s sake sommelier

The Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo, in the Nihonbashi district of the capital, announced this month that Kaoru Izuha, assistant manager of the hotel’s sushi restaurant, Sushi Sora, was the victor in this year’s prestigious Kikisake-shi (sake sommelier) category at the Third Kikisake-shi World Championship.

The Kikisake-shi World Championship, sponsored by the Sake Service Institute, selects the world’s best sake sommeliers. Contestants are evaluated on their ability to introduce the taste of sake in an easy-to-understand manner. Izuha claimed the honor out of 25,000 certified sake sommelier competitors.

At Sushi Sora, Izuha recommends customers select sake not by the brand but according to the sushi items they order, in the same way as people select wine to go with different dishes. That way, the sake’s flavors can be appreciated more fully with the sushi.

Sushi Sora is located on the 38th floor of the hotel, providing views of the world’s tallest broadcasting tower, Tokyo Skytree, and the Tokyo skyline.

The Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo, is adjacent to Mitsukoshimae and Shin-Nihonbashi stations, and a 7-minute walk from Nihonbashi and Kanda stations. For more information and reservations, call (0120) 806-862 or email .

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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