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Michelin Announces 2012 Stars For Tokyo

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Time for more Michelin announcements: now it's Tokyo's turn, and, for the first time, the neighboring Shonan region. Three restaurants — Sushi Yoshitake and Ryugin in Tokyo, as well as Koan in Shonan — earned their third star, which brings the region's total three-star restaurants to 17 and Japan's total to 32. (For comparison, Michelin's home country of France has 25 three-star restaurants, although their 2012 stars have yet to be announced.)

Nine restaurants in Tokyo proper and three restaurants in the surrounding area — including the first Korean restaurant in the world to receive the honor — achieved two-star status for the first time. Go down a level and things get a little star crazy: 179 restaurants in Tokyo and 30 in the surrounding area got their first star. That is many, many stars; the lights, they are blinding. Below, the press release:

MICHELIN Guide Tokyo Yokohama Shonan 2012

17 restaurants with three stars, 57 with two stars (including 1 ryokan), and 219 with one star

PRESS RELEASE

Boulogne, France – November 29, 2011

Michelin is pleased to announce the publication of the MICHELIN guide Tokyo Yokohama Shonan 2012, which offers a selection of the best hotels, ryokans and restaurants in these three regions. The guide includes a total of 356 establishments, of which 292 are restaurants, 54 hotels and 10 ryokans. The MICHELIN guide Tokyo Yokohama Shonan 2012 is available in both Japanese and English and goes on sale in Japan on December 2nd 2011.

In the MICHELIN guide Tokyo Yokohama Shonan 2012, we have enriched the selection by expanding the area of Kamakura to include Shonan. The new areas covered are Yokosuka, Hayama, Zushi, Fujisawa, Chigasaki, Hiratsuka, Oiso, Odawara, and Yugawara; these are shown on the map attached to this press release.

In the MICHELIN guide Tokyo Yokohama Shonan 2012 selection:

- 17 restaurants earned three stars (o): 16 in Tokyo, 1 in Shonan
- Sushi Yoshitake in Tokyo joins the selection with three stars - Ryugin in Tokyo is promoted from two stars to three stars - Koan in Shonan (Fujisawa) joins the selection with three stars
- 57 restaurants earned two stars (n): 52 in Tokyo, 3 in Yokohama, 2 in Shonan
(including 1 ryokan)
- 5 restaurants in Tokyo join the selection with two stars and 4 restaurants are promoted from one star to two stars - 1 restaurant in Yokohama is promoted from one star to two stars - 1 restaurant in Shonan (Kamakura) is promoted from one star to two stars
- 1 ryokan in Shonan joins the selection with two stars - 1 Korean restaurant in Tokyo joins the selection with two stars (and becomes the first Korean restaurant in the world to achieve this award)
- 219 restaurants earned one star (m): 179 in Tokyo, 14 in Yokohama, 26 in Shonan - 54 restaurants join the selection with one star (34 in Tokyo, 2 in Yokohama, 18 in Shonan)

We are pleased to continue pointing out restaurants with the symbol | which we introduced last year. This indicates a starred restaurant offering a menu under 5,000 yen for lunch and/or dinner. In last year’s edition, 30% of the restaurants qualified for this symbol and in this latest edition that percentage has risen to more than 40% (97 in Tokyo, 7 in Yokohama and 22 in Shonan).

In the MICHELIN guide Tokyo Yokohama Shonan 2012, three Korean restaurants join the selection, one of which is the first in the world to earn two stars. Also, 70% of the selection is made up of Japanese restaurants and this includes traditional Japanese, contemporary Japanese, beef specialities, fugu, izakaya, kushiage, oden, shojin, soba, sukiyaki, sushi, tempura, teppanyaki, tonkatsu, unagi, and yakitori.

The remainder is comprised of Chinese, European, French, French contemporary, Fusion, Italian, Italian contemporary, Korean, Spanish contemporary, and Steakhouses.

Michelin updates its guides every year in order to provide the most reliable information possible for its readers.

All the restaurants and hotels selected in the previous edition have been re-examined; other establishments have also been inspected but were not necessarily selected. Just after the launch of 2012 edition, Michelin inspectors - employees of Michelin who have professional knowledge of the hospitality industry and pay all their bills in full - will again be anonymously evaluating restaurants and hotels for next year’s selection.

In Tokyo Yokohama Shonan, as in the 22 other countries covered by the MICHELIN guide, a consistent selection is ensured by awarding stars based on the same criteria. Stars in the MICHELIN guides have the same value all over the world, so that a one star restaurant in Shonan offers the same quality as a one star establishment in New York or Paris. The same five criteria are used for awarding stars whatever the country or city: product quality, preparation and flavours, the chef’s personality as revealed through his or her cuisine, value for money, and consistency over time and across the entire menu. The criteria are adapted to each type of cuisine, notably Japanese cooking styles.

Stars apply only to “what’s on the plate”, meaning the quality of the cooking.

• • •

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

A restaurant that receives one or more stars is not only one of the best in its country but also one of the best in the world.

Restaurants are classified by fork-and-spoon symbols (o? to o?), according to their levels of comfort - taking into consideration elements such as the restaurant’s appearance and the hospitality offered. Pavilions (h to l) denote the comfort of hotels and (9 to Y?) the comfort of ryokans.

Bernard Delmas, President of Nihon Michelin Tire announced, “Thanks to our readers, we have reached the 5th anniversary of the MICHELIN guide in Japan. Since the first publication of the guide in 2007, we have enriched the selection by expanding the area. Starting from Tokyo in 2007, we now cover 7 areas in our two guides: Tokyo, Yokohama, Shonan, and Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Nara.

We are also very pleased to have found new shining stars in Japan to introduce to our readers each year; today, 62 new stars join the MICHELIN guide Tokyo Yokohama Shonan 2012 . As a tire manufacture, we have been offering mobility with the MICHELIN guide for more than 100 years. This is why the definition of three stars is expressed as “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey”.

Last year, we introduced the coin symbol (|: lunch and/or dinner for \5,000 and less) so that our readers could enjoy and use this guide for a variety of occasions. Seeing as more than 40% of this year’s establishments qualify for this symbol, I am sure even more readers will appreciate this year’s selection. We hope that readers from all over Japan and also from overseas will visit the shining stars in Tokyo Yokohama and Shonan and have a wonderful time. And we sincerely hope that we can contribute to Japan’s restaurant and tourism industry by publishing this guide.”

· All Tokyo Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Michelin Guide Coverage on Eater [-E-]

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