星のや東京
Photo: Hoshinoya Tokyo

Hoshinoya Tokyo provides social distancing ‘human lanterns’ for a worry-free dinner

Why be surrounded by lanterns when you can become one yourself

Emma Steen
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Emma Steen
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For people who truly value their personal bubbles, the upscale Hoshinoya Tokyo has launched a lantern meal plan, where you’ll be protected in a transparent vinyl headpiece as you eat in a private dining room. The peculiar dining style was set up earlier this month as a way to curb the spread of Covid-19 infections and make diners feel safer when gathering with friends. 

星のや東京
Photo: Hoshinoya Tokyo

These are no ordinary lanterns. Measuring at 102cm-tall and 75 cm in diameter, the lanterns were specially crafted for Hoshinoya by a long-standing lantern artisan in Kyoto called Kojima Shouten – what else would you expect from a five-star hotel? They’re made to surround each diner with a soft warm glow while the splash-resistant vinyl can protect them as they eat and chat without worrying about wearing face masks.  

星のや東京
Photo: Hoshinoya Tokyo

While the lantern dinner is only intended for one group of people per night with reservations only available to hotel guests, those staying at Hoshinoya Tokyo have the option of inviting two friends who aren’t staying overnight to join them for the lantern dinner course. And, to provide guests with a full experience, Hoshinoya has created a special dinner menu featuring fermented food, which combines Japanese ingredients with French cooking techniques. 

星のや東京
Photo: Hoshinoya Tokyo

The dinner does come with a hefty price tag, with each course set at ¥21,780 per head. Oh, there’s also an extra table charge of ¥30,000 per booking just for the private dining room. 

It’s a bit of a weird sight, but at this point, we’ve seen so many strange contraptions as a result of Covid-19 safety efforts that these human lanterns are only marginally unusual in comparison. 

For more information, visit the hotel website

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