Fancy a Halloween sans store-bought candy? Rather enjoy a delicate yet full dining experience complete with appetizer and dessert buffets? The Strings by InterContinental Tokyo’s Autumn Gourmet Showcase — Pastel Halloween has all of that covered.

Chef Olivier Rodriguez has crafted a menu using the very best seasonal ingredients. Through Oct. 31, diners can choose one of six main courses, which include grilled Japanese beef and rockfish acqua pazza (poached fish). Before the main, diners can partake in the appetizer buffet featuring cheeses and foie gras mousse, and create their own salad from 10 types of fresh vegetables and condiments at the salad bar.

Guests can cap this feast with offerings from the dessert buffet, where the pastel pink theme comes alive. Pastry chef Takashi Suzuki’s pastel Halloween collection includes basque cheesecake, pink macarons and black witch-hat inspired desserts.

Lunch runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (¥4,500 on weekdays, ¥5,500 on weekends and holidays) and dinner from 6 to 9 p.m. (¥6,000 on weekdays and ¥7,000 on weekends and holidays). Lunch and dinner for children aged 6 to 12 is ¥2,500.

The Strings by InterContinental Tokyo is directly connected to Shinagawa Station. For more information and reservations, visit intercontinental-strings.jp/en/ or call 03-5783-1111.

A stay that embodies ‘the essence of Kyoto’

The ancient capital city of Kyoto is typically a must-see destination on Japan bucket lists; this “soul of Japan” is unrivalled for its traditional beauty, historic temples and superb cuisine. Set amid the Kiyomizu-Gojo district with the Kamogawa river, famed Gion precinct, Yasaka Shrine and Kiyomizu Temple all nearby, the newly opened Oriental Hotel Kyoto Gallery welcomes visitors to discover the best of the city.

Offering a detail-orientated hotel experience where traditional motifs such as tategōshi latticework, kigumi wooden framing, doma flooring, yukimi shoji screens and suibokuga ink paintings are incorporated into the building’s interior design, the luxurious and tastefully decorated 150-room Oriental Hotel Kyoto Gallery effortlessly conveys local charm.

True to its name and concept of embodying “the essence of Kyoto,” the hotel has planned a series of exhibits where tradition and the contemporary meet. From late September, see gold-embossed items such as smartphone cases for sale and on display; from late October, the Kyoto Photography Association collaborates with the hotel in a seasonal show; and from late November, an exhibition of ninja instruments and costumes will begin.

The Oriental Hotel Kyoto Gallery is one minute from Kiyomizu-Gojo Station. For more information or reservations, visit https://kyotogallery.oriental-hotels.com/en/ or call 075-541-8111.

Northern flavors, delicacies to greet fall

Autumn is arguably Japan’s finest dining season. A Hokkaido Fair event held at the Tokyo Dome Hotel’s Rilassa buffet restaurant until Dec. 19 allows diners to capture the best of seasonal and local produce from the Hokkaido region, all without leaving the metropolis. The fair is divided into three parts, with the second part running from Oct. 1 to Nov. 21.

Sponsored by the Hokkaido government, hotel chefs have visited to source choice ingredients such as Hokkaido red snow crab and briny ikura salmon roe, as well as juicy melons from the Kuriyama area.

Other delicacies include grilled scallops with soy sauce and butter served in the shell (limited to one per person, available at dinner only) and miso ramen with the added creaminess of local Tokachi milk.

The lunch buffet is available for 90 minutes between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. with prices ranging from ¥1,100 for young children up to ¥3,520 for adults. The dinner buffet runs for two hours between 5 and 9:30 p.m. Prices range from ¥1,100 to ¥4,950 for adults, or ¥4,290 for those 65 years old and over. An all-you-can (nonalcohol) drink bar and tax is included in all prices.

The Tokyo Dome Hotel is two minutes from Suidobashi Station, or five minutes from Korakuen and Kasuga stations. For more information or reservations, visit www.tokyodome-hotels.co.jp or call 03-5805-2111.

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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