News & Announcements
Expansion of International Flights at Haneda Airport with More Daytime Flights
The number of international flights from Haneda Airport will increase from March 30. The current flight schedule to Europe and Asia including London, Paris, Singapore and Bangkok, which is mainly based on nighttime flights, will be changed to have more daytime flights. It will make your access to central Tokyo more convenient and also make transferring to domestic flights easier.
Reference (International Flight Search)

Grand Opening of COREDO Muromachi 2 & 3 on March 20!
New commercial complexes COREDO Muromachi 2 and COREDO Muromachi 3 start their business in Nihombashi on March 20 and COREDO Muromachi and Nihombashi Mitsui Tower will also re-open on the same day, completing their renovations. Many traditional, well-established shops are opening their new-style shops in these buildings, such as a sukiyaki restaurant, a confectioner, and a tsukemono (traditional pickles) shop. COREDO Muromachi 2 houses a cinema complex and COREDO Muromachi 3 features popular "life-style shops" including MUJI and CLASKA gallery & shop "DO."
COREDO Muromachi

Courtyard by Marriott Tokyo Station will Open
Courtyard By Marriott Tokyo Station will open in Kyobashi Trust Tower on April 2. Being only a four minute-walk from Tokyo Station Yaesu South Exit and within walking distance to Ginza, this is one of the best locations in Tokyo.
Courtyard by Marriott Tokyo Station

Consumption Tax Raise from 5% to 8%
The consumption tax rate will be raised from the current 5% to 8% on April 1. Some prices of goods and services including transportation fares, accommodation and entrance fees, and ATM fees will be changed. Since price tags can be written as "including tax" or "not including tax," be careful to check the price.

Dine Out in Tokyo for Sophisticated Japanese Cuisine
With the world's most Michelin-three-starred restaurants, Tokyo is home to many high-end Japanese restaurants. But it also has a variety of other types restaurants including affordable, good value-for-your-money restaurants, and traditional confectioneries. Come and dine in Tokyo!

1. Savor Sophisticated Atmosphere
Tempura Master Tetsuya Soutome's Artistic Restaurant

Name Mikawa Zezankyo (tempura)

Mikawa Zezankyo (tempura)
Soutome enhances each ingredient's traits
Soutome has been making tempura for half a century, cooking more than 20 million items including 2.5 million prawns. Knowing the A to Z of ingredients, he skillfully adjusts everything, such as how to batter, how long to cook, and at what temperature to deep fry, depending on the ingredient. All of the restaurant from tableware to furniture to interior decor was created by artists, which makes the atmosphere of the restaurant somewhat like an art museum.
Restaurant's Comment We serve dishes at their best timing. The first rule of eating tempura is to get it while it’s hot.

For more details (early spring recommendation, reservation, etc.)

Traditional Gassho-zukuri Restaurant with Japanese Garden

Name Ukai Toriyama (charcoal-grilled dish)

Ukai Toriyama (charcoal-grilled dish)
Superb dishes are served in a Japanese room in the Japanese garden
Japanese buildings in gassho-zukuri style (houses with a thatched steep roof) stand in a huge Japanese garden. The building interiors also have a traditional feel. You can eat seasonal dishes while seeing fine scenery throughout the year–cherry blossoms and fresh green foliage in spring, fireflies in summer, red and yellow leaves in autumn, and snowy scenery in winter.
Restaurant’s Comment Chicken and beef charcoal grilled on an irori (open hearth) hearth is superb with a delicious aroma!

For more details (early spring recommendation, reservation, etc.)

2. Great Value for Your Money
Japanese Restaurant of "Ore-no" Chain That Has Made a Revolution in the Food Industry

Name "Ore-no" Kappo Ginza Honten (Japanese dish)

"Ore no" Kappo Ginza Honten (Japanese dish)
Serves authentic kappo dishes in a standing eating way
"Ore-no" is a Japanese expression mostly used by males, meaning "my" or "mine." As this term suggests, "Ore-no" restaurant chain offers fine dining by big-name chefs for surprisingly affordable prices in a casual and cozy manner. Among their menu lineups, Ore-no Kappo Ginza Honten serves kappo dishes using seasonal ingredients. People enjoy standing and dining on delicious kappo dishes and this is a previously unimaginable style, considering kappo are traditional dishes that are usually served in sophisticated Japanese restaurants. The first floor has a chic atmosphere and the second floor provides live jazz performance in a friendly atmosphere.
Restaurant’s Comment You might think the cheap food is poor in taste, but we really use fine ingredients and serve delicious dishes for overwhelmingly low prices!

For more details (early spring recommendation, reservation, etc.)

3. Novel and Amusing "Theme" Restaurant
Tokyo's First Bar Where Penguins Welcome You

Name Penguin Bar Ikebukuro (all kinds of foods)

(Japanese version only)
Penguin Bar Ikebukuro (all kinds of foods)
Lovely penguin's actions are therapeutic
This is a new type of bar just opened in September 2013. You can eat and drink while seeing penguins in a huge tank. Their cute and comical actions are sure to entertain and lift your spirits. Of course, the penguins are in the large tank and can take enough rest in a hiding space in order not to have stress themselves.
Restaurant’s Comment Lovely penguin’s actions are therapeutic. Since penguin couples raise their child together for a long time, perhaps inspired by them your love will continue for life if you and your partner make a vow here, Penguin BAR.

For more details (early spring recommendation, reservation, etc.)

4. Confections Suitable for Souvenirs from Tokyo
Founded 500 Years Ago, Venerable Confectionery Catered to Imperial Court

Name Toraya (yokan and Japanese sweets)

Map (Tokyo Midtown branch)

Map (Toraya Tokyo)
Toraya (yokan and Japanese sweets)
"Shobu-awase" is a lovely yokan recommended in early spring
Toraya was founded in the 16th century in Kyoto and came to Tokyo in 1869 in the wake of the capital's relocation from Kyoto to Tokyo. It is famous for yokan, which is a bar of sweet jellied adzuki-bean paste. Tokyo Midtown branch has a gallery and tearoom as well as a shop. TORAYA TOKYO at Tokyo Station opened in 2012.
Shop’s Comment Yokan usually keeps good for, astonishingly, a year if unopened. That's because it contains much sugar and we make it through a special heating process and strict hygienic control. It is free from preservatives.

For more details (early spring recommendation, reservation, etc.)

Crunchy and Versatile Sweets Good Souvenir from Tokyo

Name Azabu Karinto Azabu-juban Shop (karinto, stick-style Japanese sweets)

(Japanese version only)
Sweet karinto goes well with green tea.
Karinto is basically stick-shaped sweets of dough fried and coated with molasses. This confection has been loved by many people since old times, originally as a quick snack for commoners.
The shop produces as many as 50 items with a variety of shapes and tastes. They include not only traditional sweet ones, but also newer ones, such as one coated with chocolate, and miso taste, yuzu citrus taste, chili pepper miso taste, fried-burdock-root taste, and other vegetable-flavored ones. Comparing tastes is sure to be enjoyable.
Shop’s Comment Each of our karinto is packaged in lovely bags with colorful stripes, checks and other patterns and designs. Choosing by your favorite packaging as well as tastes is sure to be fun!

For more details (early spring recommendation, reservation, etc.)

Some restaurants serve "omakase" (leave it to us) courses in which the restaurant-selected dishes are served in its own order and style. If you have an allergy or some other food-related anxiety, letting the restaurant know in advance is recommended. Asking your hotel concierge for booking is a convenient way to make a reservation. Make sure to inform the restaurant when you will be late for the booking time.

Did you Know? Fun Facts About Tokyo: Local sake in Tokyo
Ishikawa Brewery

This issue features Japanese cuisine and sweets in Tokyo and fine sake usually goes well with delicious food. So, speaking of sake, do you know good sake is produced in Tokyo? To make nice sake, fine water and rice are one of the most important ingredients. Tokyo is a metropolis with hi-tech things but also still retains an abundance of nature, and this includes clear water from the Tama River and other rivers.
Now there are ten sake breweries in Tokyo and most of them are in the outskirts in mountainous areas. Why not visit them and enjoy nice sake with delicious cuisine surrounded by beautiful nature?

Event Information
Appreciate Flowers in Tokyo
Tokyo is covered with colorful flowers in spring. Regarding them, we feature several events and places to enjoy flowers from April to June. But never forget! There are more attractive flowers and places in Tokyo than we can possibly mention here.

Places Where You Can Appreciate Cherry Blossoms During an Extended Period
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
©Yasufumi Nishi/©JNTO

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden has 1,300 cherry trees of about 65 kinds. You can see kan-zakura in February to kasumi-zakura in late April. About 1,500 cherry trees from all over Japan are planted in Tama Forest Science Garden. Each kind is at its best at different times and you can enjoy viewing them from late February to early May.

Venue: Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden (Map), Tama Forest Science Garden (Map)

Bunkyo Tsutsuji Matsuri (Azalea Festival)
Bunkyo Tsutsuji Matsuri (Azalea Festival)
Bunkyo Tsutsuji Matsuri
Nedu-jinja Shrine, which was built some 1,900 years ago, has been renowned for its gorgeous azaleas for more than 300 years. A total of 3,000 azaleas of about 50 kinds including rare varieties are planted in a huge azalea garden and are at their best in spring. During the period of the event, a plant fair and an antique fair take place and stalls are lined up in the premises.

Venue: Nedu-jinja Shrine (Japanese version only) (Map)
Schedule: April 5 (Sat)-May 6 (Tue, holiday)

Katsushika Shobu Matsuri (Iris Festival)
Katsushika Shobu Matsuri (Iris Festival)
Horikiri Shobuen
Irises in Horikiri Shobuen have been famous as one of the sightseeing places in Edo (current Tokyo) since ancient times. Now, 6,000 irises of 200 kinds bloom. Mizumoto Park also has as many as 140,000 irises of 100 kinds. The Iris Festival takes place in these two places every year. During the period of the event, parades, singing performances and other events are held.

Venue: Horikiri Shobuen (Map) and Mizumoto Park (Map), Katsushika-ku
Schedule: Early June-mid June

Culinary Perspectives of Tokyo from a Canadian Foodie
Culinary Bliss in Tokyo
Katsushika Shobu Matsuri (Iris Festival)
Mr. Steve Gillick President,
Talking Travel
A culinary explorer seeks to satisfy all of the 5 senses: tasting the food (or sipping the drink); smelling the bouquet of spices or the 'nose' of the sake or beer or shochu; seeing the preparation and plating of the food as well as appreciating the atmosphere in which the food is served; listening to the sizzle or the bubbles or the conversation; feeling the texture on the tongue and palate. And all of these things add up to one word: "Umami", meaning "delicious taste" but also conveying the idea of holistic satisfaction with the entire dining experience.
The beauty of eating in Tokyo is the sheer variety of places and styles a traveller can try, including stand up sake bars, food stalls, formal and informal restaurants, Izakayas, fast food, do-it-yourself, convenience stores, department stores, travelling bento boxes, festive and specialty foods and food markets.
But I do have my favourites based on my 12 visits to Tokyo over the past 9 years. For these I add one more 'sense' to the list: the sense of humour–which goes along with conversation, conviviality and generally turning a culinary event into a memorable experience.

Read more (PDF)

No Negative Impact on Our Health: Updated Radiation-related Information in Tokyo
Radiation dose after touring Tokyo for one day (July 9, 2012) Report on field measurements (Japan Tourism Agency)
According to the survey on radioactivity in Tokyo conducted by the Japanese Tourism Agency, the measured air dose was below the global average.
Radiation dose after touring Tokyo for one day (July 9, 2012) Report on field measurements

Radiation Level in the Air, Tap Water, and fallout (Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Public Health)
Environmental radiation levels in Tokyo

Detailed Information on the Great East Japan Earthquake (Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare)
Food products are monitored every day for radioactive materials. The Japanese government restricts distribution and consumption of food products containing any level of radiation that exceeds the regulatory standards.
Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare: Information on the Great East Japan Earthquake

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