10 June 2015

Press Releases

palace hotel tokyo unveils insider's introduction to sumo & kabuki

Palace Hotel Tokyo is rolling out the mat and pulling back the curtain on up close and personal experiences with sumo wrestlers and Kabuki performance artists this summer.

With Grappling Tokyo and Unmasking Tokyo, which have been created in exclusive partnership with TOKI, the hotel is deepening its already considerable Palatial Pursuits portfolio of bespoke guest experiences.

In the wrestling package, the hotel’s handpicked docent leads guests on a behind-the-scenes look at Japan’s beloved national sport. During three annual tournaments held in Tokyo (January, May and September), a one-time sports broadcaster and current sumo sports writer and announcer accompanies guests to the all-day spectacle at the hallowed Kokugikan arena and complements the event itself with a visit to the arena’s museum.

Rates start at JPY 585,000 for a two-night stay.

In the two weeks leading up to each sumo season, hotel guests can plunge even more deeply into the sport’s culture with an expert-accompanied private tour of a sumo wrestling training stable and the chance to chat over a lunch of traditional chanko nabe, a hearty stew eaten by wrestlers to add to their bulk, prepared by the wrestlers themselves.

Rates start at JPY 720,000 for a two-night stay.

In the Kabuki package, the well-known, but not always well-understood ancient stage tradition is demystified. The package includes tickets to a performance at the Kabuki-za theater, a mecca for the art form, which recently reopened after a major restoration.

Moreover, ‘Unmasking’ guests will sit down to a pre-performance lunch with a local Kabuki journalist and commentator who will introduce the stage art before the curtain is raised. Post-show, a backstage meet and greet or even a dinner with members of the cast and crew can potentially be arranged, along with the chance to be dressed in a Kabuki costume.

The package is available year-round, with rates starting at JPY 553,000 for a two-night stay.

The latest Palatial Pursuits join four bespoke experiences that highlight the best in Japanese arts and culture. Highlights from the hotel’s current collection include:

  • Customized gastronomic tours, ranging from a sampling of Tokyo’s popular b-kyu gurume (literally “B-grade gourmet”) casual eats with a local food writer to touring the world’s largest fish market and one of the city’s famous depachika (department store food hall) with a multifaceted guide who is a chef, sommelier and book author.
  • Full- and half-day art excursions led by one of the city’s leading art connoisseurs.
  • A romantic getaway that features an akoya pearl, the most coveted of cultured pearls, as a keepsake.
  • A two- or four-hour private session with a Japanese etiquette expert, providing a window on the subtle nuances of the country’s customs and manners.

Each Pursuit can be requested individually or booked as part of a stay package. Guests also have the option to request general tour guides in lieu of the expert guides for the sumo and Kabuki experiences. The general sumo and Kabuki packages are available year-round. Prices and experiences vary accordingly and all are based on availability. Rates quoted are based on double occupancy and exclude taxes and service charge.