Each spring in Japan, the arrival of sakura (cherry blossoms) is celebrated like no other natural phenomenon in the country. The short-lived beauty of the sakura flower captures the nation’s heart and spirit as early as February, when weather forecasters begin reporting on the northward progress of the blossom front. Picnic plans are hatched as the best blossom-viewing hanami (flower viewing) spots are reviewed and special foods, sweets and drinks featuring the delicate flower and its fruit appear on menus nationwide.
From March 22 to April 1, 2018, the first phase of magnificent décor will adorn The Peninsula Tokyo. Hundreds of three-meter high cherry tree boughs will transform the lobby into the city’s earliest hanami destination, enabling springtime revelers to have a head start on the festivities.
During the second phase, which takes place from April 2 to April 14, the spectacular blooms will be displayed at the hotel main entrance, where guests will be greeted by our iconic pages.
One of hotel’s most popular offerings is the colorful Sakura Afternoon Tea, priced at JPY 5,000 per person. Available daily at The Lobby between March 1 and April 15 from 2:30 pm to 9:00 pm, with a glass of Deutz Sakura Rosé Champagne, the afternoon tea is presented on a charming silver tree stand and features savory seasonal finger foods and sakura-inspired sweets, including Sakura strawberry lamington, Cherry biscuit choux, Lemon blueberry tartlet, Sakura jelly panna cotta, Savory croque-madame and Smoked salmon sandwich. Homemade Sakura scones are accented with salted cherry petals, adding a subtle tang to the scones. Diners may pair their afternoon tea with a selection of 20 teas, all the while taking in the magical floral arrangements and listening to live music from the balcony.
The Lobby also offers a limited Sakura prix fixe menu for lunch and dinner from March 19 to April 15, featuring Sakura seabream and snow crab carpaccio, Roasted Canadian duck breast or
Basil-seafood tagliatelle as the main dishes and an Australian dessert of Lamington with strawberry and sakura jam to complete the meal.
On weekdays between March 18 and April 15 from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm, The Peninsula Boutique & Café will offer the Hanami Picnic Set (JPY 7,000 for two) complete with cold cuts, a colorful shrimp salad with red wine dressing, sandwiches, a dessert, fresh fruit and a bottle of sparkling rosé wine, making it the ideal take-away for an hanami picnic at key cherry blossom viewing spots such as Hibiya Park, Chidorigafuchi, the Imperial Palace East Gardens, Ueno Park, Shinjuku Gyoenmae Park and more. Reservations for the Hanami Picnic Set are required and are accepted up to three days in advance.
Additionally, The Boutique will be filled with sakura sweets during this period, with sakura chocolates featuring griottine Illanka bonbons, a decadent truffle box, and an elegant chocolate bar crafted with marshmallow and topped with pink crystallized macadamia and sakura flowers. To further satisfy sweet-toothed guests, the skilled pastry team led by Chef Pascal Cialdella will craft fresh desserts including a Sakura strawberry lamington and panna cotta with berries. Freshly baked treats are also available, including Japanese favorite anpan (red bean paste bread), scones, and a Danish with sakura bean paste. An Ohanami Campagne bread with dried cherry and sakura is also available, perfect to bring along and share at a fun gathering under the glorious cherry blossom trees.
The hotel’s signature Cantonese restaurant Hei Fung Terrace provides a Chinese take on the seasonal flower with the Sakura Lunch Menu, which offers a charming trio of dim sum: Sakura dim-sum filled with cuttlefish, Shrimp and Bamboo fungus dumpling, in addition to a tender Chicken dish with a savory chili sauce, Minced beef pie, Wok-fried sakura shrimp noodles and a refreshing dessert of Almond tofu with strawberry soup and tapioca priced at JPY 4,980. Guests may also enjoy a complimentary glass of Deutz Sakura Rosé Champagne.
For a unique twist at Peter, the hotel’s grill restaurant, an Hanami Afternoon Set will be available between March 19 and April 15. Priced at JPY 5,000, the colorful set with a glass of Japanese sake is filled with hot and cold tantalizing flavors including Trout salad, Fresh asparagus and prosciutto, Crab cake, and Mini Peter burgers. Delight in a Lemon and blueberry tart, Sakura strawberry lamington and divine Chocolate hazelnut cake to complete the meal. For guests looking for a more enhanced menu, Peter’s Sakura Dinner is the perfect choice. The JPY 15,000 four-course menu opens with a Goto Island turbot with sakura jelly, a Shrimp ragout risotto with saffron cheese, premium Nagaski Iki beef, and an artful Meringue tart for a fine finish.
In the evening, Peter: The Bar offers two original cocktails (JPY 1,800 per cocktail) inspired by this iconic season. The gin-based Anniversary Bouquet mixes chamomile, elderflower and sakura liqueur while The New Journey is concocted with Champagne to celebrate the arrival of a new season. The New Journey is mixed with herbs of dry bergamot and a choice of three kinds of flowers to determine the color of the cocktail.
Guests and day visitors alike may pamper themselves at the award-winning Peninsula Spa with the The Peninsula Cherry Blossom Ceremony (JPY 41,000), a 110-minute treatment starting with cherry-blossom tea and a pink macaron followed by a gentle foot scrub, exfoliating body scrub and wrap, a cleansing facial, a refreshing scalp massage and an aromatic body massage.
Resident guests may enjoy a breathtaking two-hour Sakura Viewing Tour, from March 24 to April 1, in one of The Peninsula Tokyo’s custom fleet. Enjoy the magical Chidorigafuchi and Meguro River cherry blossom trees during the day, and in the evening, illuminated blossoms of Ark Hills and Tokyo Midtown. Day tours begin from JPY 14,000 per person while the evening tour rate starts from JPY 10,500, based on the vehicle selected. Tour dates are subject to change, based on the blooming of cherry blossoms.
For a souvenir gift or keepsake of this special time in Japan, guests may purchase an original Sakura Pen (JPY 800) at The Peninsula Boutique and Front Desk reception from March 1 to April 15.
The sakura flower fades and falls all too soon, but in the short time of its life, it brings together friends and families under its petals for a memorable experience. In the Japanese capital, The Peninsula Tokyo is the premier luxury address at which to enjoy these iconic blossoms.
Prices for all food and beverage items from The Peninsula Boutique are subject to 8% tax, and offerings from the Café and restaurants are subject to 8% tax and a 15% service charge. Price for spa treatment includes 15% service charge and is subject to 8% tax. All offers are subject to availability and may change without prior notice.
Courtesy Luxury Travel Magazine