Tokyo strenghtens its 'Star' position.
Monday, 24th November 2008
Source : MICHELIN guides
Michelin today released its selection of recommended hotels and restaurants in the MICHELIN guide Tokyo 2009; the new edition features 203 establishments in all, a number that includes 173 restaurants and 30 hotels.

The guide is available in English and Japanese version.

In the 2009 selection:
  • Ishikawa joins the three star selections.
  • 14 restaurants join the selection of two-star and 35 restaurants join the one-star.
  • With 227 stars in all, Tokyo strengthens the position of world leader in gourmet dining with more "stars" than any other city.
Michelin updates MICHELIN guides every single year in order to provide readers most reliable information possible. All the restaurants and hotels selected in 2008 edition are reexamined, and establishments which are not selected and which could be interesting for our readers are also inspected. Just after the launch of 2008 edition, specially assigned inspectors, both Japanese and European, full-time employees of Michelin, have been anonymously evaluating restaurants and hotels.

The 2009 selection covers 13 "Ku" (wards), wider area of Tokyo than the previous year by adding 5 "Ku". And to honor its outstanding cuisine, the unrivaled quality of the products used, the cooking techniques employed, its rich heritage and its culinary traditions, which are passed on from one generation to the next, the selection in the MICHELIN guide Tokyo 2009 continues to comprise exclusively of "starred" restaurants, like the 2008 selection. Japanese cuisine continues to represent more than 60% of the selected restaurants.

Stars judge only "what's in the plate," meaning the quality of the cooking. To ensure a consistent selection, the same five criteria are used for awarding stars in all countries: product quality, preparation and flavors, levels of creativity, value for money and consistency.

One star (m) means a very good restaurant in its category.
Two stars (n) mean excellent cooking, worth a detour.
Three stars (o) mean exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.

Michelin guide is well known by its pictograms, fork-and-spoon symbols (ò to ö) meaning the comfort for restaurants and pavilions (j to l) meaning the comfort for hotels. MICHELIN guide Tokyo 2009 has new features, by creating two pictograms, in order to adapt Japanese customs. One is "take-off the shoes (0)" and the other is "good selection of Sake (1)".

The first MICHELIN guide France was published in August 1900. Distributed free of charge (until 1920) and originally intended for chauffeurs, the guide contained a wealth of practical information, including tips on using and repairing tires, city street maps, and lists of gasoline outlets, hotels and mechanics. For the Michelin brothers, the objective was to speed the development of the automobile, and consequently the tire market. They wanted to promote and improve travel by making it safer and more enjoyable—in other words, by enhancing mobility, which is still today the common goal of Michelin's maps, guides, atlases and other publications. The practice of awarding stars to the best restaurants was introduced in 1926 and expanded to include two- and three-star ratings in the early 1930s. Since then, Michelin has become the undisputed benchmark for gourmet dining around the world.

In 2008 edition, 25 titles of the MICHELIN guide covering 22 countries are published, including 20 guides in Europe, 4 guides in the USA and the first Asian guide MICHELIN Guide Tokyo. In 2009, the second MICHELIN guide will be born in Asia; Hong Kong & Macao will be published on December 5.

Every year, in more than 90 countries around the world, Michelin publishes some 18 million maps, atlases, tourist guides, and restaurant and hotel guides—always with the same focus on quality. Last year, more than 1,2 million copies of the MICHELIN guide were sold worldwide.

Michelin is dedicated to sustainably improving the mobility of goods and people by manufacturing and marketing tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles/motorcycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, trucks and space shuttle. It also offers electronic mobility support services, on ViaMichelin.com, and publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases. Headquartered in Clermont-Ferrand, France, Michelin is present in 170 countries, has more than 121,000 employees and operates 69 production plants in 19 different countries.

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