Palace Hotel Tokyo Debuts ‘Best of Japan’ Experiences

A hotel renowned for showcasing the best of Japanese hospitality is whetting appetites with the launch of its new gastronomic stay experience. 

The tailored glimpses of Tokyo’s multi-faceted dining scene include a scouring of the city for the best street-eats, ‘ramen hunting’ with an expert, bento-making with a popular television presenter, and an introduction to Japanese wines with one of the hotel’s seasoned sommeliers.

For ‘The Best of Japan: The Art of Gastronomy’, Palace Hotel Tokyo has curated a selection of eating and drinking experiences designed to peel back the layers of Japan’s vast culinary landscape. 

To start, ‘The Best of Japan: The Art of Gastronomy’ stay package includes:

•           Two nights of accommodation 

•           Daily breakfast in-room or moat-side at Grand Kitchen

•           Choice of a prix-fixe kaiseki lunch or dinner at the hotel’s signature Japanese restaurant, Wadakura, accompanied by a matcha tasting

Guests can then opt to enhance their stay with additional on-site or off-site experiences (at-charge):

A Hunt For Epic Ramen

The author of “Brian’s Guide to 50 Great Tokyo Ramen Shops”, Japan’s incomparable ‘ramen hunter’ Brian MacDuckston has been living and traveling throughout Japan for the last 15 years, sampling the popular dish and sharing his ramen journey with fellow enthusiasts. His two-hour, two-shop tour (or three, if ravenous) introduces guests to a variety of ramen shops known for their flavorful broths, seasonal menus or spicy specialties. Special requests (including vegan ramen) can be accommodated. 

Tokyo’s Ultimate Street Eats

Exclusively designed for guests of Palace Hotel Tokyo is MacDuckston’s ‘Insider’s B-kyū Gurume’ tour, which offers an introduction to the everyday comfort foods enjoyed by the masses. Customizable based on interests and preferences, guests can choose between a half-day or full-day outing to sample a variety of delectable ‘b-rank gourmet’ (casual) cuisine or to home in on a particular favorite, such as:

•           A Japanese curry tasting in Shimokitazawa ‘curry town’

•           An introduction to yakitori – from casual spots to higher-end eateries

•           All about noodles – a sampling of ramen, udon, soba and Japanese-style spaghetti

•           Japan’s best A5 wagyu sando at a tucked-away cigar bar

•           A gyoza extravaganza – with a tasting at 4-5 shops

•           Experiencing izakaya at a fish monger’s outpost in Yoyogi 

•           Discovering monjayaki – Tokyo’s version of okonomiyaki

•           A sake tasting accompanied by small bites

For a palate cleanser, guests can opt to conclude their jaunts at an artisanal Japanese coffee house, or with a tasting of Japanese craft beer at a local spot.

Building Bentos with a Bento Master 

For the first time ever, and available exclusively to Palace Hotel Tokyo guests, host of NHK’s popular cooking show ‘Bento Expo’ and author of “Ultimate Bento” Marc Matsumoto is offering a private bento-making class in his in-home kitchen studio.

The approximate 3½-hour experience begins with a visit to a local grocery store before returning to the studio for an immersion into the history of bento, the various styles of bento presentations and the blend of colors, flavors and textures that goes into making the delightfully portable meal. Available to children (ages 9 and up) and adults alike, the family-friendly activity includes hands-on preparation of several bento items and packing them into handcrafted bento boxes before sitting down together to savor the results of their efforts.

An Insider’s Glimpse Into Japanese Food Culture 

Also creator of the online cookbook, Matsumoto has cultivated a deep understanding of Japan’s multi-faceted food culture over the years. Through personalized tours and strong personal connections with those dedicated to the food scene, he presents experiences that elevate a key component of any traveler’s wanderings – the local cuisine.

Entirely customizable to guests’ interests, time spent with him can include experiences such as:

•           An ‘ingredients tour’ introducing regional delicacies from Hokkaido to Okinawa, with a visit to one of Japan’s famous, subterranean food halls to discover the treasure trove that awaits.

•           A step back in time to the bustling lanes of historic Tsukiji market for a flavorful exploration of the building blocks that make Tokyo one of the world’s greatest dining destinations.

•           A visit to Kappabashi, Tokyo’s ‘kitchen town’, to unearth the craftsmanship behind the Japanese knives, tableware and kitchen tools coveted by chefs and amateur cooks alike.

•           An introduction to the country’s culinary zeitgeist with an exploration of Japan’s famous convenience stores as well as grocery and specialty food stores to uncover emerging trends.

•           A private cooking lesson on how to prepare a multi-course Japanese meal. Tailored entirely to guests’ interests and dietary preferences – whether plant-based or seafood-centric – the experience concludes with a sit-down to enjoy the dishes together. Detailed recipes included.

A Sophisticated Tea Tasting

As an alternative to the traditional tea ceremony, guests can delve into Japan’s rich tea culture through conversation with an exclusive tea-tasting at Higashiya-man, a chic, contemporary tea salon in Marunouchi just a brief stroll from the hotel. Hosted by one of the salon’s tea sommeliers, the private, 60- to 90-minute session introduces guests to a variety of high-grade Japanese teas and tips on how best to enjoy different brews, complete with pairings of seasonal wagashi (traditional Japanese confectionery) specially handcrafted for Palace Hotel Tokyo to complement the rich umami of each tea.

An Introduction to Sake & Japanese Wines 

Hosted at Wadakura by one of Palace Hotel Tokyo’s award-winning sommeliers, guests can enjoy a private, 60-minute tasting of distinctly different sakes as well as wines from Yamanashi, Hokkaido and Nagano – Japan’s top three wine-producing regions. Guests can opt to do a beverage-only tasting or have it accompanied by food pairings (small bites) from Wadakura’s kitchen.

Click here for more information on the above on-site and off-site experiences, including pricing. All experiences require advance bookings and are subject to availability.

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