Travel | HOTELS & RESTAURANTS

Strawberries, crab unite in anniversary burger

Through April 30, the Dining Room at The Strings by Intercontinental Tokyo is serving up a strawberry red king crab burger.

Because both “15” and “strawberry” can be read as “ichigo” in Japanese, the burger celebrates the hotel’s 15th anniversary with an array of unique creations made with strawberries.

The burger is the latest addition to the extremely popular luxurious burger series under the theme ichigo (“ichi” means “one” and “go” means “five”) to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the hotel’s opening.

This unique burger consists of a red king crab cream croquette with semi-dried strawberries between strawberry buns and a choice of homemade strawberry ketchup or BBQ sauce. The buns are made of 100 percent high-quality Canadian flour, mixed with strawberry powder and juice to create a pink appearance that matches the strawberry flavor. Enormous red king crab tempura and fries are served on the side with strawberry salt. A red king crab salad with caviar and strawberries rounds out the variety of the restaurant’s spin on the seasonal fruit.

The strawberry red king crab burger is available for ¥10,000 (plus tax) from 5:30 to 10 p.m. (last order is at 9:30 p.m.).

The Strings by InterContinental Tokyo is one minute from Shinagawa Station (various lines). For more information and reservations, call 03-5783-1258, or visit www.intercontinental-strings.jp

Free phone rental pairs shopping with tradition

The Royal Park Hotel has started renting smartphones to its guests to offer a historic, traditional shopping experience in the nearby Nihonbashi-Ningyocho area. The Royal Park is the first hotel in Japan to begin this free service and the test period runs until Saturday, March 31, in partnership with three shops — Kyosendo, Soukaya and MUCCO. Upon its official release, the plan is scheduled to include 100 stores.

At Kyosendo, hotel guests who have their phones can qualify for a 10 percent discount off of their purchase. Kyosendo boasts a vast array of Japanese folding fans made from bamboo and paper incorporating artistic motifs.

Soukaya carefully bakes each Souka senbei (rice cracker) over bincho charcoal until they are crisp and crunchy. Flavors vary from sugary sweet to savory soy sauce, and guests can receive a free senbei by showing their phone to a clerk.

MUCCO is the place to go when seeking refined Japanese trinkets, such as a traditional tenugui hand cloths, fancy pochibukuro (gift money) envelopes, miniature sumo wrestler figurines and so on. By making a purchase of ¥1,000 or more and showing their phones, guests will be presented with an original ballpoint pen.

The Royal Park Hotel is connected to Suitengumae Station. For more information, visit www.rph.co.jp or call 03-3667-1111.

Restaurant renovations turn dinner into a show

Kinugawa Onsen Hotel has recently renovated its restaurant Rakuen to make each guest’s dining experience more exciting and entertaining. The hotel has also refurbished its fourth-floor Japanese guest rooms into Western-Japanese spaces to offer improved comfort and relaxation.

Rakuen’s open-style kitchen is designed to delight guests’ senses as the chefs create each dish right before their eyes. Get ready for mouth-watering pizza and piping-hot Dutch oven dishes straight out of the wood-burning stone oven while other chefs prepare delicious tuna creations and skillfully wield woks as they fry up Chinese fare. The lovely desserts are prepared with the choicest local ingredients that include fresh cream and seasonal fruits. In addition to this, the new self-service alcoholic drink counter allows each guest to select from a wide variety of beverages including draft beer, shōchū, or Japanese distilled spirits, whisky, wine and cocktails (¥1,800 for a 90-minute free-flowing drink service).

To celebrate the renovation, Rakuen is holding a campaign until March 31 (Sat.), offering a free gift of Tochigi sukiyaki beef to 30 lucky winners who have dined at the restaurant.

The Kinugawa Onsen Hotel is five minutes by bus (Nikko-kotsu Dial Bus) from Kinugawa Onsen Station. For more information or reservations, please visit www.kinugawaonsenhotel.com or call 0288-77-0025.