Most hotel promotions are designed to entice guests onto the premises. The latest offer from Park Hyatt Tokyo will do just the opposite: Instead of ushering you to lavish rooms, hotel staff will whisk you about 300 miles away to the tea fields of Japan’s former capital city, Nara.
Pick leaves in the lush fields of Inokura and take part in a tea ceremony on the estate. This tea producer has sectioned off some of its fields exclusively to grow leaves for use at the Tokyo hotel. It won the Minister’s Prize from Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries for its method of cultivating tea by using organic fertilizers and for its sustainable production process, from picking to packaging.
The overnight sortie includes a dusk visit to Todaiji, one of Japan’s greatest temples. The balcony of the temple’s Nigatsudo Hall offers a great view of the city. You will also take a spin through the highlights of Nara’s cuisine at a couple of local restaurants, like Kiyotomi or Gen, before settling in for an overnight stay in Kidera no Ie, a traditional Japanese townhouse that was given a luxury makeover two years ago.
Six weeks later, you will be invited back to Park Hyatt Tokyo for a private afternoon tea with Mitsuhiro Inokura, the11th-generation owner of the tea estate. Drink black, green and oolong tea made from the leaves you plucked, coupled with Japanese and Western sweets created by the chef de cuisine of the hotel’s Japanese restaurant, Kozue, and executive pastry chef Anthony Stettler.
The 68,000 yen (approximately USD$687) price tag includes all meals, transportation and accommodation.
The trip is a part of the hotel’s Masters of Food and Wine series, which the property is staging to underscore its reputation as a dining and drinking destination. “[The Masters of Food and Wine series] is about having guests experience the food and beverage culture of the hotel and its team of chefs firsthand,” says Douglas Foote, the hotel’s international public relations manager. Previous promotions included a tour of Tsukiji fish market followed by a cooking demonstration, a whisky-pairing dinner with a Suntory blender, and a chef hotline for Christmas dinner cooking tips.
Meanwhile, if you just want to try the handcrafted Inokura tea without the task of picking it yourself, head to Park Hyatt’s Peak Lounge for a cup.
Photos Courtesy of Hyatt Corporation