Savoring The Spring
We are pleased to present two original, special events wherein participants can take part in aspects of Japanese culture that they otherwise would not be able to experience.
The first is a premium cherry blossom viewing party, where participants can gain a better appreciation of 'Hanami', a typical spring custom in Japan, from the guesthouse of a luxury hotel. You can experience a day filled with cherry blossoms as you stroll through the hotel garden where they bloom; this garden also includes the light pink Somei Yoshino, a species of sakura said to be the most beautiful of all.
The second event takes place in Tokyo, the center of culture and commerce in Japan, at the chef's table of a starred tempura restaurant in popular Ginza. Participants in this event can enjoy exceptionally delicious tempura made with the freshest seasonal ingredients as they share conversations and marvel over the skill of the chefs at the counter seats.
If you would like to experience the essence of Japanese culture, then please take part in these events.
This photo has only an illustrative purpose.
More than 230 sakura trees blossom in this garden each year, making this one of the leading cherry blossom viewing areas in Tokyo. This is the ideal event in which to leisurely learn of the Japanese tradition of 'Hanami' and its culture. First, you will wander through the grounds of this cherry tree filled paradise under the guidance of professional nature tour guides, then enjoy Japanese spring and sakura themed cooking at the Kihinkan, a Japanese Western-style building built during the Meiji Era. That's not all - there will also be performances of sakura-themed Japanese traditional music, played on the koto, a pressed-flower artist will hold a demonstration on how to make cherry blossom bookmarks, a Japanese tea and spring sweet break will be taken, and many other uniquely Japanese events will be held - this is truly a premium event that fully encompasses the concept of the spring and cherry blossoms.
|Date and Time:||March 29th, 2017 11:00 AM - 2:30 PM (Japanese time)|
|Location:||Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa Kihinkan (Shinagawa, Tokyo)|
|Participation Fee:||20,000 yen (per person in Japanese yen)|
|Maximum Number of Participants:||the first 20 to register (for ages 6 and over)|
|Program:||1. Take seats at Hotel Kihinkan and appreciate the cherry blossoms.
2. Listen to the professional nature guides explanation and stroll through the hotel's cherry blossom garden.
3. Enjoy Japanese cuisine designed around the theme of cherry blossoms by the hotel chef (course meal).
4. See a koto performance centered on Japanese spring music (performed in kimono).
5. Experience making pressed flower bookmarks using cherry blossoms with pressed flower artists.
6. Enjoy spring and cherry blossomed themed sweets and tea.
|Language:||Interpretation services available|
During the spring in Japan when the cherry blossoms bloom, people hold an event known as an 'Hanami', or cherry blossom viewing party. This is a seasonal event wherein the beauty of the spring sakura is appreciated. The history of the cherry-blossom viewing is very old, and the beginnings go back to the Heian era (794- 1185). During this time, the nobility would gather under the blossoming trees and hold poetry recitals or competitions about the sakura. In fact, the world's oldest novel, The Tale of Genji, features such a scene, further establishing hanami as being a historically-based activity. Over time, it went from being a leisure active of the nobility to one that is enjoyed by those of all walks of life, and the most popular form of the hanami today is to have a picnic under the trees with friends.
The Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa is Japan's leading Grand Hotel, which has continued to be loved by both domestic and international guests since its opening in 1959.
Despite being closely located to the west entrance of Tokyo and Shinagawa station, it has a large garden measuring 20,000 m² and is surrounded by rich nature settings. Within this garden are 232 trees of 19 different varieties of cherry blossom, including the Somei Yoshino variety, which means that during the cherry blossom season, this garden becomes exceptionally popular with visitors. This hotel features a Western-style building, known as the Kihinkan, which was built over 100 years ago during the Meiji era by Katayama Tokuma, the famed architect that also built the former Imperial Palace (from this hotel you will be viewing the cherry blossoms).
Incorporating both a Neo-Baroque style and French-Renaissance style, the elegant atmosphere and luxurious decoration finished by solid Japanese craftsmanship have conveyed the gorgeous atmosphere of the time to the present.
This area is also quite popular with international visitors as it is possible to travel to other major stations such as Ginza, Shibuya, Shinjuku and Akihabara by train without having to transfer once.
This photo has only an illustrative purpose.
Tempura cuisine has been loved by the Japanese for over 300 years. Within this history, Tempura Kondo, a well-known store located in Tokyo's popular Ginza district, has stood at the forefront of gastronomy, and is where participants in this event will enjoy tempura made by the greatest authority on the dish. By reserving the usually difficult to secure counter space, it is possible to order and enjoy signature tempura dishes made by these master chefs. Through this event, participants can appreciate Japanese food culture with their five senses - by enjoying freshly cooked dishes in front of the counter, with commentary on the technique, history, and feelings on the ingredients by the master.
|Date and Time:||April 12th, 2017 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM (Japanese time)|
|Location:||Tempura Kondo (Ginza, Tokyo)|
|Participation Fee:||20,000 yen (per person, in Japanese yen)|
|Maximum Number of Participants:||the first 10 to register (for ages 12 and over)|
|Program:|| 1. Special tempura course meal, including event limited original tempura (counter reserved seats).
2. Commentary and discussion with the master chef (on technique, history, ingredients, thoughts on Japanese food, and so on).
Tempura is one of the representative foods of Japan and is a dish where different seasonal ingredients are coated in a light flour-based batter, then fried. It is said that around the 15th century, tempura, along with guns and Christianity, was brought to Japan from Portugal, and this is where the dish's history in Japan began.
At that time, cooking with oil was a dish reserved only for the wealthy, so it was considered a luxury food. However, in the Edo era, cooking oil production increased and tempura quickly became a popular food with all classes of people. In recent years, tempura has been recognized as being one of the Three Flavors of Edo, with sushi and soba, and is viewed as being of the representative dishes of this time period.
Depending on which region of Japan you visit, the ingredients, cooking technique, even the manner in which the tempura is eaten will differ. Not only that, but tempura has also become quite popular as a home-cooked dish, meaning that there are further, family specific recipes, ingredients and eating methods to be enjoyed.
Tempura Kondo is a tempura specialty shop of longstanding that is located in Ginza, the heart of Japanese-style gastronomy. By continuously using the recipes created by the shop's founder, Mr. Kondo, for over 50 years, Tempura Kondo is able to prepare, fry and serve still hot from the oil delicious tempura dishes right in front of their patron's eyes. It truly is an experience for all five senses (in this event, participants will be seated at the counter).
This technique is a fusion of tradition and innovation. Although once an Edo era fast food alongside sushi, tempura has evolved over these past 300 years to be a world-famous Japanese dish thanks in part to the skills and efforts of the shop owner, Mr. Kondo.
"We should discard the way of thinking that tempura should be in a certain way", says Mr. Kondo. The most common forms of tempura feature selected types of fish and seasonal vegetables, but it is important to think of it as being more than a fried dish; rather it should be considered similar to a steamed dish, wherein the heat and water are used to bring out and enhance the umami of the ingredients. This is a technique his chefs have mastered and a point that helps to explain why tempura as a whole has become elevated from a simple fast food. (For this event, Mr. Kondo will create original tempura for the participants and offer commentary and discussions on Japanese cuisine as well).
The flavors and techniques used to produce tempura has evolved to become a fine art, which is well-known in Japan to those in Japan, and these peerless dishes are now slowly drawing foodies from around the world to this amazing tempura specialty restaurant as well.
Contact Information “Japan Premium Event Desk”
** For a fee, the call can be accepted in English, Chinese, and Thai ** This is an international call and will be charged accordingly by your provider. Please be aware of this point.
Reception Hours: Weekedays 10:00 am - 5:30 pm (Japanese time) ** Calls on March 20th, Saturdays and Sundays not available.