There are only two things you need for an authentically Japanese hanami flower viewing experience: sakura cherry trees in bloom and good food, both of which you will find at the Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa during their Sakura Matsuri 2020.
Located just a short walk from Shinagawa Station, the hotel offers access to a sprawling and secluded Japanese garden with around 210 cherry trees that will provide an exquisite background for the hotel restaurants’ seasonal hanami-themed cuisine. Here’s what’s going to be on the menu from March 15 to April 5.
Located within the garden itself, Katsura offers spectacular courses of Kobe beef, seafood and seasonal dishes served right underneath the cherry trees, almost close enough to reach out and touch them. The restaurant’s Sakura Matsuri course is the Yae (double-petaled) set (¥39,500), which includes such delicacies as stewed Kobe beef shoulder, chirashizushi with Yamagata beef, and Kobe beef hoba-yaki. The last one is a method of grilling on the dried leaf of the honoki, the Japanese bigleaf magnolia, which adds a lot of smokey flavor to the meat. Yae also includes a glass of rosé champagne or a soft drink.
[Update: Please note that due to coronavirus concerns, Steak-House Katsura cannot offer outdoor seating beneath the cherry trees, however you can still enjoy the same menu inside.]
After enjoying an evening stroll through the hotel’s illuminated garden, there is no better way to conclude your day than the Sakura Roman (cherry romance) dinner (¥12,500) at the Tempura Wakatake restaurant. Gaze at the blossoms outside the window as you feast on such tempura delicacies as prawn, glass shrimp wrapped in shiso leaves, scallops, conger eel, bamboo shoots, shiitake mushrooms and many more. To make the experience even more perfect, book the Daigo private room and experience the true meaning of elegance and luxury.
The combination of good drinks such as wine or sake and the beautiful spring views outside the window is one of the secrets for the Komyo Lounge’s success. But for Sakura Matsuri, they’ve actually upped their game even more. Called the Hannari Kobako Sakura (the elegant little box), the lounge’s offering is a popular boxed course of Western hors d’oeuvres, Western-style chirashizushi, and a Japanese-style dessert (¥8,000). Also available at the lounge are three seasonal sakura desserts: Sakura Mont Blanc, Sakura Fromage, and Sakura Panna Cotta (¥850 each).
Asama Main Bar
Under the high ceiling of the Asama main bar, you or your group of friends can sit back and sip delicious, hanami-themed drinks, such as:
Yodate (¥1,800): a matcha green tea cocktail inspired by the idea of evening tea parties.
Hanaikada (¥1,800): served in a cocktail glass, this drink evokes the sights of cherry petals falling on calm waters, creating floating islands of pink.
Maizakura (¥2,200): when enjoying this cocktail, guests are meant to turn their minds to thoughts of the wind blowing cherry petals away, almost as if it was making them dance in the sky.
Chocolate Salon Takanawa
This gift shop located on the first floor lobby sells original chocolates that can be enjoyed on the premises or bought as gifts. The seasonal Sakura Box (¥4,000) is an assortment of chocolates with an all-spring motif, ranging in shape from sakura flowers to petals and fans that always make an appearance during those hot Japanese spring days. Whether you’re buying the set for yourself or that special someone, the Sakura Box is sure to put anyone in the hanami mood.
For more information, go to www.princehotels.com/takanawa