Travel | HOTELS & RESTAURANTS

High-end nostalgia served up with local ingredients

To commemorate 150 years since the Meiji Restoration, The Yokohama Bay Hotel Tokyu is offering the 10th Night Kitchen Stadium: Yokohama Haikara Fair at the all-day dining Cafe Tosca until July 22.

The dinner buffet, offered from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (from 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays), boasts an intriguing cultural and historical background that will satisfy any guest’s appetite and intellectual curiosity.

As “haikara” can mean “modern nostalgia,” many dishes on the menu are Japanese interpretations of Western dishes that were seen as modern in past decades, and are still loved by Japanese for their nostalgia factor.

Popular dishes, such as spaghetti Napolitan or a riced-filled omelet, are said to have originated in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture. High-quality Kanagawa beef is used for gyunabe, another signature dish similar to sukiyaki that was created in the area. Alongside Misaki tuna or Shonan pork, guests can feast on fresh vegetables, tofu and seaweed from the Yokohama area, all carefully selected by Cafe Tosca’s chef Katsuya Ogawa.

Prices range from ¥5,800 on weekdays to ¥6,800 on weekends and holidays for adults; ¥1,200 for 4 to 6 year-olds and ¥2,950 for elementary school students throughout the week.

Local food producers and guests connected to the area will also give presentations on June 30 (two separate sessions at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.).

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.

The birth of an urban oasis in the heart of Tokyo

The Mitsui Garden Hotel is celebrating its June 17 grand opening in Otemachi, the heart of Tokyo, and is offering a Super Value Plan from June 17 to Aug. 31. Priced at ¥13,000 for a room for two, the plan does not include meals. Guests can check in after 6 p.m. and check out at 11 a.m. The plan is limited to one night and is available only through internet booking.

The hotel is located only three minutes from Otemachi Station and 10 minutes from Tokyo Station. It’s an especially convenient location thanks to the five subway lines running through Otemachi Station and Tokyo Station serving as a central hub with trains that connect to various parts of the country.

Otemachi is also one of the most active business districts in Tokyo, located right next to the Imperial Palace with major shopping areas, sightseeing spots and restaurants close by. Guests can enjoy a morning run around the area, a power breakfast at the stylish cafe, shopping, historical sights and a gorgeous dinner at Michelin-starred restaurants at their own pace.

Tokyo Baker’s Kitchen on the ground floor offers a buffet-style breakfast and a variety of meals throughout the day. The warm, woody interior and comfortable lobby are styled as an urban oasis, the hotel’s overall concept. Additionally, all rooms are non-smoking and offer internet access.

Mitsui Garden Hotel Otemachi is three minutes from Otemachi Station. For more information and reservations, access https://www.gardenhotels.co.jp/otemachi/ or call 03-3254-3131.

Explore the bittersweet delight of matcha desserts

The ANA InterContinental Tokyo is offering a Matcha Sweets Fair until July 31.

People are invited to embrace the summer sunshine and lush greenery with Japan’s most popular green ingredient — matcha. Choose from an array of green tea-flavored Japanese and Western desserts at the Champagne Bar’s Matcha Sweets Buffet (¥4,600 for adults). Guests can try specialities such as green tea creme brulee, matcha warabi mochi (a jellied confection made from bracken starch) and green tea panna cotta (a mold of sweetened cream thickened with gelatin), or make their own Japanese sundae with matcha ice cream. Buffet access is divided into three groups between 11:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays.

For something a little classier, the Atrium Lounge is offering a Matcha Afternoon Tea Set featuring Laduree macarons. The set serves sandwiches, scones and small desserts, all creatively incorporating green tea. Priced at ¥4,900 per person, the afternoon tea is available from noon to 6 p.m. on weekdays with three seatings between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekends and holidays.

On the second floor, Pierre Gagnaire Pains et Gateaux showcases breads, cakes and pastries for those on the go. Perfect for gifts, the various matcha-inspired cakes and pastries are available until June 30 for purchase.

The ANA InterContinental Tokyo is five minutes from Tameike-Sanno Station. For more information or reservations, visit anaintercontinental-tokyo.jp or call 03-3505-1111.