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Held at Showa Kinen Park, this massive food festival really piles it on. There are 10 different areas, including a dedicated meat section to seafood ones, with anything from juicy steaks and fresh-out-of-the-water seafood donburi to healthy salads on offer. Side events include a tuna cutting show and street performers. It's a gourmet's fantasy, and with last year's edition buzzing from morning to evening, we expect this year to be another belly-filling grand affair.
The Laos Festival used to be one of the less popular of Yoyogi Park's many colourful celebrations taking place during spring and summer, but it's certainly grown in popularity in recent years. Still, the relative lack of crowds (especially compared to the Thai festival), the relaxed atmosphere and an attractive array of food stands and handicraft stalls make it one of the more pleasant ones. Visitors can also expect a variety of stage appearances by both Laotian and Japanese performers – from traditional dancers to rock stars.
Hot new openings
Tim Ho Wan Hibiya
Billed as 'the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant', Hong Kong favourite Tim Ho Wan is opening its first restaurant in Japan inside the Hibiya Chanter Bekkan building. Dim sum chef Mak Kwai Pui, who worked at Lung King Heen, a Cantonese-style restaurant at the Four Seasons Hong Kong which was awarded three Michelin stars in four consecutive years, teamed up with partner Leung Fai Keung to bring authentic Hong Kong flavours in a casual setting, and the rest is history. True to its original Hong Kong brother, Tokyo's Tim Ho Wan offers hand-made dim sum, based on original recipes and at reasonable prices. Menu standouts include the baked char siu bao, prawn and garlic chives cheong fun (rice vermicelli rolls; always popular in Hong Kong), their steamed egg cake, and more. Considering the queues at other Tim Ho Wans across the world, we expect this one to be a hot ticket. Open April 8, 2018
Patisserie & Café Del’Immo Tokyo Midtown Hibiya Branch
Del’Immo Hibiya takes pride in their decadent French style cakes and chocolate confectioneries for which they are best known for. The menu changes with the seasons, so you can try out all sorts of tempting parfaits and sweets all year round. Try out the highly recommended Hibiya store speciality, the Melange Fruits parfait. Watch out, even a spoonful of this luxurious treat might shoot you straight up into chocolate heaven.
Dig into simple but supremely aromatic and flavourful Thai street food at this no-frills joint. It used to be located in one of Asakusa's more obscure indoor alleyways, but relocated to this new outpost in March 2018. Don't let the plastic stools and gaudy colour scheme put you off – the grub is as authentic as it gets.
Lemonade by Lemonica Shimokitazawa
Opened in early March 2018, this happy spot will get you refreshed no matter what time of year. They specialise in natural lemonades, which are crafted with their original syrups. Those who really like their lemons can rejoice at the rather extensive menu, with anything from Original Lemonade, Soda Lemonade, Strawberry Soda Lemonade to a Master Cleanse Lemonade on offer. It's a perfect treat to cool you down in summer – and remember, when life gives you lemons...