Grabbing a bite of authentic Hawaiian loco moco doesn’t always mean shelling out for a plane ticket to the islands. This summer, The Imperial Hotel Tokyo is celebrating 10 straight years of partnership with Halekulani Hotel by hosting its annual Hawaii Halekulani Fair.

The fair runs from May 1 to June 30 and features a variety of culinary delights both sweet and savory. Participating establishments include the Parkside Diner, The Rendez-Vous Lounge and Bar and delicatessen Gargantua, all on the first floor; mezzanine-floor Old Imperial Bar; and the 17th-floor The Imperial Lounge Aqua.

This year, Halekulani’s Banquet sous chef Shaden Sato will be flying to Japan to participate. In addition to a carefully selected assortment of the fair’s most historically popular dishes, Sato will be adding his own fair-exclusive arrangements to spice up the menu.Hours and prices vary by establishment, but guests can tour the hotel sampling Halekulani-style Loco Moco served with mushroom rice (¥3,200), Halekulani’s original mai tai (¥2,160) and countless other tropical temptations.

Kansai residents rest assured — the Imperial Hotel Osaka is co-hosting the fair, so there’s plenty of Hawaiian spirit to go around.

The Imperial Hotel Tokyo is three minutes from Hibiya and Uchisaiwaicho subway stations. For more information on the fair, visit www.imperialhotel.co.jp/j/tokyo/special/halekulani_fair2019/index.html or call 03-3504-1111.

Overnight plan with extra perk awaits

Ten days of Golden Week calls for a little bit of luxury — and no small amount of in-house perks. Available through May 6, Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel is taking reservations for its Hotel Credit Stay Plan, an overnight package that provides guests with ¥8,000 in-hotel credit.

The plan starts at ¥38,016 — ¥8,000 credit included — and guests have the option of staying in a twin or double room on the standard floors. The hotel encourages guests to use the credit for any of the relaxing amenities available.

Guests may allot their credit to the Japanese, Chinese or Provencal cuisine served at the hotel’s restaurants, to the afternoon teas and evening cocktails provided in the lounges and bars, or even to the myriad of sweets and savory selections on offer at the lobby-floor pastry shop.

Breakfast room service and late-night snack deliveries can also be paid for with the credit, as can mini-bar refills. And for those who might want to burn off a few calories after all that extravagance, the hotel’s fitness club happily accepts the credit as well.

The Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel is five minutes from Shibuya Station West Exit. For more information or reservations, visit www.ceruleantower-hotel.com or call 03-3476-3000.

Experience classical Kyoto in elegance

Capturing the true breadth of Kyoto’s rich architectural history in a single building is no simple feat — so hotel owner Seiji Hatanaka decided two would do the trick. On March 25, Gion Hatanaka celebrated the grand opening of its two-building establishment, the luxury hotel Sowaka.

Prices start at ¥30,000 a night for standard rooms with superior, deluxe and suite rooms also available. Combined, both buildings offer just 23 rooms; no two are the same, though all are separated by more than a single wall to allow for a greater sense of intimacy and repose.

Design was overseen by Shigenori Uoya, head of an award-winning team recognized by the Kyoto Society of Architects and Building Engineers. The main building was renovated from a century-old inn, retaining the ovaline windows, elevated alcoves and tranquil inner gardens that represent traditional teahouse design. The new building features a communal hallway, mimicking the ubiquitous roji (alleyways) that line Kyoto’s Gion district, leading into the guest rooms.

Each room boasts unique traits such as views of Mount Higashi and partial open-air baths, so guests are invited to stay multiple times to get the full Sowaka experience.

Sowaka is 10 minutes by taxi from JR Kyoto Station. For more information, visit https://sowaka.com/ or call 075-541-5323.

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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