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World Gardening Fair celebrates final year

The Hotel Okura Tokyo’s final World Gardening Fair will be held from May 2 to 6 at Ascot Hall in the Hotel Okura. This beloved charity event that has been held for 18 years will offer not only the unique opportunity to see various botanical displays, but also experience the food, traditions and culture of the 10 participating countries. It’s a small romp around the world from the comfort of Tokyo that’s sure to impress.

Since 2000, Ascot Hall has showcased gardens every Golden Week holiday. Ambassadors and their spouses from 10 different countries participate, creating fascinating gardens that represent their respective cultures.

In addition to the 10 gardens in Ascot Hall, various events will be available at the same time, such as workshops, world dining buffet, a world market and a tea room. It’s a perfect outing for family and friends.

Participating countries are Australia, Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Mexico, Moldova, Panama, Tunisia and the U.S.

Admission is ¥1,500 for adults (advance purchase is ¥1,000). Junior high school students and younger are free. A package including admission and buffet-style lunch featuring the 10 countries’ dishes and Hotel Okura Tokyo’s original menus is ¥7,500 (advance purchase only).

Open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. On the final day from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (last admission is 30 minutes before closing).).

The Hotel Okura Tokyo is 10 minutes from Toranomon, Kamiyacho, Tameike-sanno and Roppongi-itchome stations. For more information visit www.hotelokura.co.jp/tokyo/events/gardening or call 03-3582-0111.

Dinner course offers fine French cuisine

French restaurant Queen Alice on the third floor of The Yokohama Bay Hotel Tokyu will be offering a two-day dinner event titled Alice’s Thanksgiving, presented by chef Hironori Tamoyama on March 8 and 9.

Tamoyama, who has been with the Queen Alice restaurant group for 23 years, will prepare exquisite delicacies inspired by his experiences in France. He completed a three-month course at Ferrandi, a culinary academy in Paris, after which he studied authentic French cooking at Le Petit Nice, a Michelin three-starred restaurant in Marseille last year.

The meal features roast lobster with salt, lemon and a bay leaf accompanied by flavorful artichoke. The elegant fragrance of the bay leaf is essential to bringing out the flavors of French cuisine, and the fresh lemon zest is reminiscent of the Mediterranean Sea. Authentic bouillabaisse and roasted young pigeon are also included in the course. The menu is subject to change depending on the availability of ingredients.

Reservations are required and the dinner course is served from 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. on both days. It is priced at ¥15,000 per person (tax and service charge included).

The Yokohama Bay Hotel Tokyu is one minute from Minatomirai Station. For more information or reservations, visit ybht.co.jp or call 045-682-2222.

Renovated restaurant serves breathtaking view

Hotel Century Southern Tower in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward, is renovating Tribeks, a restaurant that has been serving its guests for 20 years since the hotel opened in 1998.

After the renovation, the restaurant will reopen as Southern Tower Dining on March 19, presenting a pleasant atmosphere and panoramic landscapes from the 20th floor, as well as brand new menus and interior designs.

It is divided into two areas, a bar and restaurant that feature magnificent day and evening views of Tokyo from 100 meters up.

The bar can accommodate 67 people at a counter and tables, an ideal space for a quick drink or a casual dinner with friends. It offers a selection of tapas and pinchos (snacks often served at bars), as well as homemade pizza and pasta. The brochette and rotisserie-style dishes, along with other grilled fare pair perfectly with the bar’s recommended drinks.

The restaurant has 55 seats spaciously laid out with vast windows overlooking east, west and south Tokyo. The French-based prix fixe dinner courses are available from ¥7,000 and a la carte dishes from ¥550. The prices include tax and service fee.

The Hotel Century Southern Tower is three minutes from Shinjuku Station South Exit. For more information, visit www.southerntower.co.jp. or call 03-5354-0111.