Take a trip to Japan, no passport required

Omotenashi, loosely translated as Japanese hospitality, is one of the impressions that always captures the hearts of visitors to Japan.

Olympus Digital Camera.

The deep-rooted tradition of receiving guests is performed wholeheartedly without an expectation of anything in return. That makes the experience truly exceptional and priceless.

Unfortunately, due to the current overseas travel restrictions, it could be quite a while before Japanophiles in Thailand can fly and have such an indulgence first hand.

Thus the Okura Prestige hotel is bringing to Bangkok a special event that celebrates Japan's heartfelt service, during the Songkran holiday, from Saturday to Wednesday.

Dubbed "The Okura Prestige Bangkok Japanese Fair Series 2021: The Passionate Curators", the five-day event will showcase the omotenashi philosophy through cuisine, aesthetic crafts and musical performances.

The fair will kick off on Saturday with a Yatai & Izakaya Night at Up & Above restaurant where Japanese delicacies such as barachirachi (rice bowl topped with diced sashimi assortment), yakitori (flame-grilled chicken), tori tsukane (chicken meatballs), takoyaki (octopus balls), okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake), udon noodles, oden soup and a cooking station serving a la minute tonkatsu (deep-fried breadcrusted pork loin) are featured.

Sakura Afternoon Tea. Arunothai Puttaruksa

On April 11, there will be a wakashi class where a Japanese wakashi master and pastry chef Yuta Takaya will conduct an exclusive hand-on workshop on how to make the whimsical-looking, plant-based confections.

Gracing the weekend is also a Sunday brunch buffet with a special addition of Japanese menu items.

On Monday, there will be a sakura-theme afternoon tea hosted by a Japanese tea master. The session is highlighted with organically grown teas -- from ceremonial-grade matcha, gyokuro and sencha to bancha green tea.

For sake aficionados, a seven-course kaiseki huate cuisine dinner created by master chef Shigeru Hagiwarais paired with Shichiken sake, one of Japan's best rice wine producers, will be held on Monday evening at the Michelin Plate restaurant Yamazato.

An ikebana (Japanese art of flower arrangement) workshop will be offered on Wednesday, by the Okura Prestige Bangkok's resident florist and certified ikebana expert. The workshop ends with a bento lunch at the Yamazato restaurant.

Featured on Tuesday and Wednesday are exclusive sushi omakase lunch and dinner by sushi master chef Haruaki Matsuoka, who was an assistance professor in Japanese cuisine at Japan's Tsuji Culinary Institute.

There are classes for origami (paper folding) and furoshiki (cloth wrapping).

Some workshops are free for all visitors. Others cost from 1,400 baht per person. All-inclusive staycation packages are also available.

For more information and reservations, contact the Okura Prestige Bangkok at 02-687-9000 or email FB.concierge@okurabangkok.com.

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