Kyoto’s premium spot for sakura viewing is open once again, with a line-up of signature springtime experiences
With the arrival of spring, Kyoto is transformed into a sakura-blooming wonderland. Pink petals dance lightly in Maruyama Park and blossoming branches form a canopy over The Philosopher’s Path, inviting moments of quiet reflection and pure sensory joy.
This year, Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto celebrates Japan’s favourite season once again with sakura specials through Sunday, April 11, 2021 – this brief period of time when the blooms are at their most beautiful. Paying homage to the fleeting floral magic, the imaginative culinary team presents sakura-inspired afternoon tea, takeaway sweets, set lunch and cocktails.
“The dining experiences at our Hotel reflect the authentic spirit of cherry blossom season,” says General Manager Takuya Kishi, noting the timeless setting, immersive menus and always-gracious Four Seasons service. “Together, these elements create the ideal state of being for hanami, the traditional Japanese custom of viewing and appreciating sakura.”
Mingle and dine at The Brasserie, where nine-metre (30 foot) windows bring in views of delicate cherry blossoms that cascade overhead and below. The Hotel’s 800-year-old pond garden, Shakusui-en, is home to 22 sakura trees, offering tranquil hanami experiences that are far removed from the city’s crowded temples and shrines. This hidden spot comes with an aristocratic past: it once belonged to a noble Samurai, Taira no Shigemori. With signature events such as afternoon tea with a glass of Champagne in a private dome, Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto is the perfect venue to enjoy the abundant gifts of springtime with family and friends.
Sakura Afternoon Tea
Discover a sublime seasonal afternoon tea, beloved by local residents and travellers alike. This hallmark Kyoto event brims with the enchantment of cherry blossoms in deliciously edible form – from sakura pain de gênes, to sakura shrimp jelly and spring vegetables.
Five signature sweets showcase a skilful blend of Western confectionary and Japanese tradition, devised by the Four Seasons pastry team. Chef Ryuji Koga of The Brasserie crafts a selection of savouries with the finest spring flavours and ingredients. This year’s beverage menu is better than ever: choose from 19 varieties of premium Ronnefeldt tea, including a newly-minted original blend created especially for Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto. Fresh-brewed artisanal coffees and indulgent Valrhona hot chocolates are also on the menu.
Add an extra sparkle to the celebration with the Premium Afternoon Tea, hosted in a gleaming glass dome that gazes out at blushing sakura trees. As guests sip a glass of Champagne with loved ones in a private yet picturesque bubble, raise a toast to the unmatched pleasures of hanami.
Takeaway Sweets and Gift Boxes
Elevate celebrations at home with seasonally-inspired cakes and desserts, curated by Four Seasons. These limited-edition items are available only during spring, including sakura raspberry verrine as well as pound cakes, meringues and croissants infused with the essence of cherry blossoms. For presents or souvenirs, look no further: the Hotel’s gorgeous gift boxes feature a handpicked assortment of delectable sweets.
Famed for its artful culinary presentation, The Brasserie offers an inspiring new menu with every changing season. Designed for gourmands, Chef Takashi Koga’s five-course Sakura Lunch shines with the budding glories of springtime. Savour a line-up of edible artworks crafted with seasonal Japanese ingredients – from firefly squid risotto, to sakura shrimp quenelle with spring cabbage.
The masterpiece of this epicurean art gallery is the "Sakura Terrarium’," a dish that engages and delights all five senses. Inspired by Kyoto’s natural beauty and the Hotel’s very own Shakusui-en, Chef Koga composes a miniature garden in a glass, delicately combining different colours, textures, aromas and tastes. Featuring elements such as lightly-smoked cherry salmon tartare, spring vegetable jelly, smooth mousse and cherry crumble, this luxuriant edible landscape perfectly captures the fairy-tale feeling of springtime.
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