Modern Japanese food in the heart of Japan’s most modern city. That’s what guests can expect when they walk through the doors of new Tokyo restaurant Hirakawacho Kanaya from Nov. 27.

Kanaya Hotel Kanko Group brings its century-long knowledge and history of running ryokan (Japanese inn) to this undertaking, staying true to its “East meets West” operating concept, while creating a restaurant for the times.

However, the atmosphere of the restaurant is warm and unpretentious, a suitable fit for the quiet Hirakawacho district. Using dark greens and woody textures, the calming yet stylish interior and layout with counter seats and private rooms are sure to please everyone from lone diners to large groups.

For those with a sweet tooth, John Kanaya chocolaterie, which has its main shop in Ebisu, will also have a store inside Hirakawacho Kanaya.

The restaurant will start serving lunch (11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., last order at 1:30 p.m.) from December, but will be open for dinner (5:30 to 11:00 p.m., last order at 9:30 p.m.) from Nov. 27.

Hirakawacho Kanaya is a project of Kanaya Resorts, which handles the expansion of the Kanaya Hotel Kanko Group. The restaurant is located two minutes from Tokyo Metro Kojimachi Station. For more information, visit hirakawachokanaya.com or call 03-5357-1831.

Cakes to deliver Christmas’ jovial spirit

When it comes to desserts, diners first “eat with their eyes.” People are invited to indulge in a visual — and delicious — finale at Christmas lunch this year with a Christmas cake created under the supervision of the Tokyo Dome Hotel’s award-winning Chef de Patissier, Michiharu Ito.

A bestseller since 2017, the Jewelry Box Noel (limited to 30, priced at ¥7,200) is a carefully created concoction. The latest edition of this sinful sweet sees a colorful design incorporating seven colors of light. The “illuminations” highlight orb-like fruits, while a chocolate lid is placed just so upon a sponge cake that features mouth-puckering chestnuts and amarena cherries.

The 2019 edition of the popular Christmas Dome cake (limited to 100, priced at ¥5,800) is inspired by a Tokyo Dome City snowscape. Sponge, a French Valrhona chocolate mousse, red fruits and accents of honey combine in a cake recommended for families.

Reservations for these showstopping cakes and others are available from Nov. 1 to Dec. 19, with cake delivery scheduled from Dec. 20 to 25.

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

Winter treats and a visit from St. Nick himself

Christmas is a time to be surrounded by the smiles of loved ones. Hotel Universal Port is embracing this idea with gusto, offering various events, celebratory meals and accommodation plans until Dec. 25.

Of special note is an accommodation plan for up to four people per room (¥15,400 per person, tax and surcharges included) on offer from Dec. 21 to 25, when Santa Claus visits guests’ rooms and hand delivers presents. Breakfast, Christmas cake and a meal comprised of festive fare including smoked turkey leg, ham, roast duck with marinated mushrooms and seafood all form part of the offer.

On the food front, meals range from a casual yet inspired dinner from Nov. 5 to Dec. 20 at Lounge R (¥3,200 per person, tax and surcharges included); a salutary seven-course feast at Port Dining Rico Rico on Dec. 24 and 25 highlighting Hokkaido sea urchin, Osaka beef and winter delicacy, snow crab (¥9,000 per person, tax and surcharges included), and a Roast Beef and Christmas Fair Buffet served at the same restaurant from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. from Nov. 5 to Dec. 25 (prices vary) where diners choose from around 70 seasonal items.

The Hotel Universal Port is three minutes from JR Universal-City Station. For more information or reservations, visit https://www.hoteluniversalport.jp/en/ or call 06-6463-5000.

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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