Next-level luxury in helicopter ride, spa package

Swissotel Nankai Osaka is pulling out all the stops to celebrate its 15th anniversary. In addition to hosting a variety of commemorative promotional events, the hotel has crafted two luxurious accommodation plans that will be available from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31.

The Luxe two-night stay for two in the Imperial Suite (¥1,500,000) lets guests experience the height of grandeur. The itinerary includes chauffeured tours on both days and a helicopter ride over the skies of Osaka. Guests will also receive spa treatments (one session per person), a decadent dinner for two and morning breakfast service. Other amenities include welcome drinks and rose petal decorations in the suite.

The Bijou plan (¥150,000) gives two guests a one-night stay in either the Deluxe Suite or the Prestige Suite. Guests will receive welcome drinks and ¥15,000 worth of restaurant vouchers.

Meanwhile, throughout the month of September, the hotel’s restaurants will be offering various commemorative delights. Among them are a deluxe pizza topped with Canadian lobster, caviar and truffles at Mediterranean restaurant & bar Tavola 36; celebratory cuisine from Japanese restaurant Hana-Goyomi’s chef Hiroyuki Hanada, who has worked for the hotel since its opening; and a course meal at Wine & Dine Sh’un serving vintage 15-year-old wine.

Swissotel Nankai Osaka is directly above Namba Station. For more information, visit www.swissotel-osaka.co.jp or call 06-6646-1111.

Sumptuous buffet at the origin of ‘viking’ dining

If there ever was a wonder as to why buffet-style dining is known as “viking” in Japan, the reason lies in the history of the prestigious Imperial Hotel Tokyo.

In 1957, hotel director Tetsuzo Inumaru visited Copenhagen and discovered the “eat however much of whatever you want” smorgasbord. The following year, he opened Japan’s first ever buffet-style restaurant in the hotel, dubbing it the Imperial Viking Sal.

The restaurant has since amassed nationwide fame, and for good reason: the sumptuous and seasonally prepared dishes, freshly baked pies and classic roast beef. The open kitchen lets chefs engage in light conversation with the guests and the restaurant includes a private space for parties of 10 to 20 people that commands a stunning view of Hibiya Park.

The Imperial Viking Sal celebrates Viking Day every year on Aug. 1 to commemorate their establishment, while preparing a wide array of flavorful dishes, complimentary prosciutto and live entertainment. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of viking dining.

Viking is served at The Imperial Viking Sal every day throughout the year for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with prices starting from ¥4,320 (prices vary depending on the day and the guest’s age).

The Imperial Hotel Tokyo is three minutes from Hibiya Station and six minutes from Yurakucho Station. For more information or reservations, call 03-3504-1111.

Renovation leads to four new restaurants

The Hilton Osaka is pleased to announce the opening of four new restaurants on its renovated second floor that is a creation of acclaimed designer Yukio Hashimoto.

As part of a wide range of renovations that started in 2013, the new floor was designed with the idea of creating a space where customers can gather and experience Osaka’s great culinary tradition.

The four new restaurants are KawaUme, a kaiseki (traditional multicourse) and sushi restaurant created under the supervision of Kazuo Takagi, the owner-chef of the famous Kyo Takagi restaurant; Tenka, a teppanyaki iron grill restaurant that offers world-renowned Kobe beef, premium Japanese seafood and first-class cuts of meat; Centrum Grill & Wine showcasing fine Western dining along with a wine cellar that has more than 200 labels from across the world; and Folk Kitchen, a diner with a breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet using fresh ingredients from across the Kansai region.

Of special note is Takagi’s involvement in KawaUme. Kyoto’s Kyo Takagi, which opened in 2005 received a two-star Michelin rating in 2010 and has maintained the rating for eight years in a row. Takagi is also actively involved in fairs around the world and recognized globally.

The Hilton Osaka is two minutes from Osaka Station. For more information or reservations, visit www.hilton.co.jp/osaka or call 06- 6347-7111.