Enjoying a blend of luxury and culture

Arguably the most important holidays in Japan, the New Year’s holidays are an interesting time to visit, with plenty of unique and traditional customs and rituals taking place throughout the country. The Asakusa View Hotel, situated in the center of all the action, will provide guests a smooth sojourn with a one-night stay plan that is available through March 31.

Located within walking distance from major train stations and tourist attractions — the most notable being the ever-popular Sensoji Temple and the modern Tokyo Skytree — the convenient and affordable establishment is offering a one-night plan to welcome the new year.

Priced between ¥10,000 and ¥23,500 (tax and service charge included) per person, the plan includes a beautifully crafted traditional multicourse kaiseki traditional Japanese dinner at the hotel’s Karuta Japanese restaurant. Guests can choose from steak, soba, tempura donburi rice bowl, udon wheat noodles, or chirashizushi (sushi rice topped with raw fish and a variety of colorful ingredients) for the main dish. The menu is subject to change based on ingredient availability.

A buffet breakfast will be served the following morning at the 26th-floor Musashi restaurant, which offers Japanese and Western cuisine, as well as a magnificent view of the city.

The Asakusa View Hotel is directly connected to Tsukuba Express Asakusa Station and 10 minutes from Asakusa Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza, Toei Asakusa and Tobu lines. For more information and reservations, call 03-3842-4890, or visit www.viewhotels.co.jp/asakusa.

No loafing at create-a-sandwich buffet

With the wide range of all-you-can-eat buffets available in Japan, a humble sandwich buffet may seem bland in comparison. But the Imperial Hotel Tokyo’s revamped smorgasbord is certainly worth experiencing, as guests will get to eat, and also create, their own sandwiches.

The buffet costs ¥4,500 per person (tax included, service fee excluded) and will run from Jan. 4 through March 31 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (L.O.) at the Imperial Lounge Aqua.

On top of the six rolls and sliders (smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels, prosciutto and mozzarella baguettes, banana and mango fruit rolls, pork cutlet burgers, croque monsieur and mini hot-dogs) on offer, the hotel will be providing six types of buns ranging from baguettes, rye bread and Focaccia to pita bread, croissant and Kaiser rolls, 12 fillings — including potato salad, smoked salmon, tandoori chicken and cheddar cheese — and eight different sauces for guests to put together in their original combinations.

Soup and desserts will be changed daily, while coffee and tea are included with the buffet. The bread is cut into small portions so guests won’t have to worry about becoming full until they’ve gone back for seconds, thirds and even fourths.

The Imperial Hotel Tokyo is three minutes from Hibiya and Uchisaiwaicho stations, or five minutes from Ginza and Yurakucho stations. For more information, visit www.imperialhotel.co.jp.

Eating local produce from Kanagawa

How can one enjoy a delectable feast, which is not only tasty, but also healthy, eco-friendly and able to create a bond between the producers and consumers? The Jan. 11, “Local production for local consumption” dining event at The Yokohama Bay Hotel Tokyu’s international cuisine restaurant Café Tosca is the answer.

For one spectacular day, the restaurant will be hosting an “all-things Kanagawa” sustainable dinner buffet of locally sourced food, featuring beef from the prefecture, aged pork, as well as a wide range of seafood and vegetables from the area.

Guests can indulge in sumptuous meat served in shabu-shabu (boiled) style, grilled as burgers and in nabe (hot pot) dishes, dig into carpaccio, bouillabaisse and a variety of other seafood items, while munching mounds of fresh, locally harvested vegetables. During the dinner, guests can listen to the food producers and chefs speak about their passion for homegrown produce.

The buffet starts at 5:30 p.m., and costs ¥6,534 for adults, ¥2,970 for elementary school-aged children, and ¥1,188 for children over four (tax and service charge included).

The Yokohama Bay Hotel Tokyu is one minute from Minatomirai Station (Minatomirai Line) or 10 minutes from Sakuragicho Station (Keihin Tohoku, Negishi, Yokohama and Blue lines). For more information or reservations, call 045-682-2222, or visit ybht.co.jp.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

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