With Japan’s Heisei era coming to an end in the New Year, Palace Hotel Tokyo presents a suite of activities to mark the New Year over its traditional three days of celebrations known as oshogatsu.
From local culinary customs to musical performances, the hotel is setting the stage for a memorable start to the year.
PARTAKING CULINARY CUSTOMS
At the iconic, moat-side property, the hotel’s esteemed Japanese chefs will present culinary customs and traditional dishes. This includes the toshikoshi soba — eating “year-crossing” soba noodles on New Year’s Eve; and osechi-ryori, which is feasting on a tiered lacquered box.
On the first two days of January, guests may witness the first hatsugama (Japanese tea ceremony) of the year. Live demonstrations and hands-on workshops will bring the tradition of mochitsuki (mochi-making) to guests’ fingertips.
THE SOUND OF MUSIC
The distinct sounds of koto (a traditional Japanese instrument) music will fill the hotel’s airy main lobby on January 1 – 2, 2019 while two special performances by the acclaimed Gayo Nakagaki on the 20-string koto will take place on January 2, 2019. To further enliven the holiday season, shishi-mai lion dancers will shimmy on the second day of the New Year.
Enjoy free-flowing drinks and live jazz performance at the countdown cocktail party on New Year’s Eve. This is followed by a New Year’s Day dinner concert by the Palace Hotel Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra.
The eclectic array of music planned for the dinner concert includes all-time favorites from “Star Wars” to Broadway scores. Enjoy the accompanied prix-fixe feast of French cuisine, complemented by views of the Imperial Palace gardens.
The planned abdication of the monarch in April 2019 makes this New Year the last with the current head of state. January 2 is one of two days in the Japanese calendar where parts of the Imperial Palace’s grounds are open to the public. This will be the last chance to see the monarch and the Imperial family as they appear on a palace balcony.
PALACE HOTEL TOKYO PACKAGES
Guests can choose their level of participation in the festivities from three packages. The first, “Shinshun” (new spring), encompasses a stay of two to four nights beginning on December 31, 2018. In addition to daily breakfast and prix-fixe dinners, participation in all of the New Year’s events are included.
The hotel is also offering a bed-and-breakfast-only option beginning on December 31, 2018. Guests can then choose to book any of the scheduled festivities as add-ons.
And finally, for those preferring to kick-off 2019 after the festivities, Palace Hotel Tokyo is offering a “Hatsuyume” (first dream) package featuring one- to three-night stays beginning on January 2, 2019 and inclusive of daily breakfast and prix-fixe dinner.
Well-known for its array of cultural and celebratory festivities to mark the new year, Palace Hotel Tokyo typically sells out in advance so make sure to book as early as possible.