a hunt for epic ramen

The author of “Brian’s Guide to 50 Great Tokyo Ramen Shops”, Japan’s incomparable ‘ramen hunter’ Brian MacDuckston has been living and traveling throughout Japan for the last 15 years, sampling the popular dish.

His two-hour, two-shop tour (or three, if ravenous) exclusively designed for guests of Palace Hotel Tokyo introduces guests to a variety of ramen shops known for their flavorful broths, seasonal menus or spicy specialties.

Duration: 2 hours for a 2-shop tour / 3 hours for a 3-shop tour
*Guide will be able to arrange smaller portions for each venue
Where: Varies depending on guests’ interests / schedule / dietary restriction
Price: USD 150 for 2-hour 2-shop tour / USD 170 for a 3-hour 3-shop tour
*Prices are for one person and inclusive of ramen, additional charges apply for additional participants
Reservations: Please inquire upon booking accommodation

Guide | Brian MacDuckston

tokyo's ultimate street eats

Also exclusive for the hotel is MacDuckston’s ‘Insider’s B-kyū Gurume’ tour, which offers an introduction to the comfort foods enjoyed by the masses.

Entirely customizable based on interests and preferences, guests can choose between a half- or full-day outing to sample a variety of delectable ‘b-rank gourmet’ (casual) cuisine or home in on a particular favorite, such as:

• A Japanese curry tasting in Shimokitazawa ‘curry town’
• An introduction to yakitori – from casual spots to higher-end eateries
• All about noodles – a sampling of ramen, udon, soba and Japanese-style spaghetti
• Japan’s best A5 Wagyu sando at a tucked-away cigar bar
• A gyoza extravaganza – with a tasting at 4-5 shops
• Experiencing izakaya at a fishmonger in Yoyogi
• Discovering monjayaki – Tokyo’s version of okonomiyaki
A sake tasting accompanied by small bites

For a palate cleanser, guests can opt to conclude their jaunts at an artisanal Japanese coffee house, or with a tasting of Japanese craft beers at a local spot.

Duration: Varies depending on guests’ choice of the above
*Customizable from 2-hour introductory experiences to full-day tours of multiple venues
Where: Varies depending on guests’ interests in cuisine and/or areas
Price: USD 300 for half-day tour (approximately 4 hours / 2-3 shops) / USD 500 for full-day tour (approximately 8 hours / 4-5 shops)
Reservations: Please inquire upon booking accommodation

Guide Profile | Brian MacDuckston

building bentos with a bento master

For the first time ever, and availabe exclusively to Palace Hotel Tokyo guests, host of NHK’s popular cooking show ‘Bento Expo’ and author of “Ultimate Bento” Marc Matsumoto is offering a private bento-making class in his in-home kitchen studio.

The approximate 3.5-hour experience begins with a visit to a local grocery store before returning to the studio for an immersion into the history and the various styles and presentations of bento.

Available to children (ages 9 and up) and adults alike, the family-friendly activity includes hands-on preparation of several items and packing them into handcrafted bento boxes before sitting down together to savor the results.

Duration: 3.5 hours
Where: The guide’s private kitchen studio
Price: From USD 1,675 (for one adult) to USD 2,360 (for two adults & two children)
Reservations: Recommended one month in advance, please inquire upon booking accommodation

Guide Profile | Marc Matsumoto | Bento Making

insider's glimpse into japanese food culture

Also creator of the online cookbook NoRecipes.com, Matsumoto has cultivated a deep understanding of Japan’s multi-faceted food culture over the years. He elevates a key component of any traveler’s wanderings – the local cuisine – through tours entirely customizable to guests’ interests including experiences such as:

• An ‘ingredients tour’ introducing regional delicacies of Japan, with a visit to one of Japan’s famous, subterranean food halls.
• A step back in time to the historic Tsukiji market for a flavorful exploration.
• A visit to Kappabashi, Tokyo’s ‘kitchen town’, to unearth the craftsmanship behind the Japanese kitchenware coveted by chefs and amateur cooks alike.
• An exploration of Japan’s famous convenience stores as well as grocery and specialty food stores to uncover emerging trends.
• A private cooking lesson on how to prepare a multi-course Japanese meal. Tailored entirely to guests’ interests and preferences with detailed recipes included.

Duration & Where: Varies depending on guests’ choice of the above
Price: From USD 1,200, varies depending on guests’ choice of the above
Reservations:Recommended one month in advance, please inquire upon booking accommodation

Guide Profile | Marc Matsumoto | Japanese Food Culture
Guide | Marc Matsumoto
Palace Hotel Tokyo Programs Activities HIGASHIYA man II H2
Hiyashiya man Marunouchi

a sophisticated tea tasting

As an alternative to the traditional tea ceremony, guests can delve into Japan’s rich tea culture through conversation with an exclusive tea-tasting at HIGASHIYA man, a chic, contemporary tea salon in Marunouchi just a brief stroll from the hotel.

Hosted by one of the salon’s tea sommeliers, the private session introduces guests to a variety of high-grade Japanese teas and how best to enjoy different brews, including with pairings of seasonal wagashi (traditional Japanese confectionery) specially handcrafted for Palace Hotel Tokyo to complement the rich umami of each tea.

When: Monday through Saturday at 11:00 am – 3:30 pm Last entry
Duration: 60 – 90 minutes
Where: HIGASHIYA man Marunouchi
Capacity: Maximum of 4 participants (ages 13 and older)
Price: JPY 8,000 per person (inclusive of tax)
Reservations: Required at least 3 days in advance, please inquire upon booking accommodation

an introduction to sake & japanese wines

Hosted at the hotel’s Japanese Restaurant Wadakura by one of our award-winning sommeliers, guests can enjoy a private, 60-minute tasting of distinctly different sakes as well as wines from Yamanashi, Hokkaido and Nagano – Japan’s top three wine-producing regions.

Guests can opt for a beverage-only tasting or have an accompaniment of food pairing with small bites from Wadakura’s kitchen.

When: 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm (subject to availability)
Duration: 60 minutes
Where: Japanese Restaurant Wadakura | 6th Floor
Price: JPY 16,500 per person for sake & wine tasting / additional JPY 5,500 for food pairing
*Subject to an additional 15% service charge
Reservations: Required at least 3 days in advance, please inquire upon booking accommodation