Michelin has announced they're expanding their Tokyo guide to cover the Shonan region, which means there will soon be a whole new group of starred restaurants out there. The expanded guide, which will be published in both Japanese and English, doesn't come out until December 2012, but inspectors have been on the ground since Autumn 2010.
There are already four more three-starred restaurants in Tokyo than there are in Paris, and this expansion could possibly widen that gap. Here's the press release:
MICHELIN guide Tokyo Yokohama Shonan 2012 to be published in the beginning of December By expanding selection in Shonan area
Michelin announced today that it will publish in the beginning of December the MICHELIN guide Tokyo Yokohama Shonan 2012, which offers a selection of the best hotels and restaurants, by expanding selection in Shonan area. The new edition will be available in two languages: Japanese and English.
The first edition of MICHELIN guide of the Kanto region, MICHELIN guide Tokyo 2008, has been published in November 2007. Current edition, MICHELIN guide Tokyo Yokohama Kamakura 2011, features 266 restaurants, including 14 three stars, 54 two stars and 198 one star, and 46 hotels.
Bernard Delmas, President of Nihon Michelin Tire expressed, “MICHEHLIN guide updates each year by offering new selection of restaurants and hotels, by gradually expanding the covering area. In the 5th anniversary of MICHELIN guide in Japan, I am pleased to offer our selection of wider area by expanding from Kamakura city to Shonan area. I hope the new guide will be served for a drive and small trip in week-end”.
Since the autumn 2010, a team of an experienced editor in chief and several Japanese inspectors have been on the ground in Shonan. Employees of Michelin, who are experienced hospitality industry professionals, the inspectors conduct visits anonymously restaurants and hotels, listed up as pre-selection established by referring various information resources. In order to judge the quality and consistency of meals and services, the inspectors dine in restaurants and sleep in hotels as any other customer and pay all their bills in full. Also, in Tokyo and Yokohama, all the restaurants and hotels selected in 2011 edition are reexamined, and establishments which are not selected and which could be interesting for our readers are also inspected.
Stars judge only “what’s in the plate,” meaning the quality of the cooking. The criteria of the stars in Nara are the same with Paris, Tokyo, whatever the country, whatever the city. In this way, the level of the selection and the value of stars are consistent in all the MICHELIN guides.
The stars have the same meaning: o: “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey” n: “excellent cooking, worth a detour” m: “a very good restaurant in its category”