In Tokyo and nearby Yokohama, two new F&B experiences celebrate local culture in two entirely different ways.
Atsushi Sato, one of the few working Kikisake-shi sake sommeliers in Japan, oversees the sake cellar at Shunbou restaurant inside the 387-room Grand Hyatt Tokyo. With hundreds of sakes from boutique distilleries at his disposal, Sato’s sommelier services are much sought after, especially by foreign groups generally unfamiliar with the spirit.
“I hope people will enjoy sake more,” explains Sato. “Not only paired with Japanese cuisine, but also with cuisines from around the world. We get groups here a lot and they are always very surprised by how well sake goes with everything.”
The 95-pax Shunbou features market fresh ingredients served in the main dining room outlined in Japanese granite, and five private rooms with sunken seating. Try such delicacies as Aori squid, cockle clam sashimi and seasonal Kaiseki, a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner.
Last fall, the CUPNOODLES Museum opened in Yokohama, located 18 miles southwest of Tokyo. Dedicated to everyone’s favorite ramen noodle snack, it’s a unique and fun option for small to medium size groups. The museum offers private group factory tours, intriguing exhibits and the ‘Make Your Own Cup Noodle’ factory program for up to 50 attendees.
Groups can also walk inside of the replica of the original shed where the first instant ramen was created back in 1958, or stroll through the “Instant Ramen History Cube” to discover the evolution of flavors and packaging. Hungry groups head to Noodles Bazaar, a 150-pax food court designed to look like an Asian night market complete with the sounds of hawkers and traffic. Sample the interpretive noodle dishes from eight countries: Kazakhstan, Italy, Malaysia, Vietnam, China, Korea, Thailand and Indonesia.