Japan dominates 2019's Asia's 50 Best Restaurants awards
Japan Times -- Apr 07
Japanese chefs and their restaurants continued to dominate at the seventh Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards. But once again they fell short when it came to the ultimate prize, the number one position on the list.

The annual awards ceremony returned to Macao’s glitzy Cotai casino district on March 26 for a second year, hosted again by the plush Wynn Palace hotel complex. With its red carpet entrance, gaggles of photographers and lavish warmup and afterparties, the event continues to live up to its own billing as the “Oscars of the regional food world.”

With 12 restaurants on the 2019 list — all but two of them in Tokyo — Japan maintains its customary strength in numbers, ahead of Hong Kong (with nine), Thailand (eight) and Singapore (seven). In the 50 Best voting groups, Hong Kong and Macao are considered separately from mainland China.

After its second-place ranking in 2018, there were high hopes that Den, chef Zaiyu Hasegawa’s innovative Japanese restaurant, might go one better this year after losing out to Bangkok’s four-time winner, Gaggan. However, both were leapfrogged by Odette, the modern French establishment helmed by Julien Royer, who became the first ever winner from Singapore.

Den was pushed down a peg to the No.3 place, with chef Hiroyasu Kawate’s Florilege also dropping back from No. 3 to No. 5. Narisawa (No. 8) and Nihonryori RyuGin (No. 9) have been perennial incumbents of the top 10 since the very first edition of the Asia’s Best awards. But to date, Narisawa, in 2013, remains the only Japanese restaurant to have topped the list.

News source: Japan Times
May 25
U.S. President Donald Trump is set to start a four-day state visit to Japan on Saturday, a historic event that will make him the first foreign leader to meet with new Emperor Naruhito. (Kyodo)
May 25
All Nippon Airways debuted flights of a double-decker Airbus A380 from Narita Airport north of Tokyo, bound for Hawaii on Friday. (NHK)
May 25
A woman was killed and 16 other people injured Friday after a bus carrying Chinese tourists collided with multiple vehicles on an expressway in Shiga Prefecture, western Japan, local police said. (Japan Today)
May 25
A male Canadian national employed at a day care facility in Kitakyushu City who was caught abusing a child on video has had his contract canceled by the facility, reports Fuji News Network (May 21). (tokyoreporter.com)
May 24
The government will no longer use the term "lifelong singles" as a label for people who have not married by age 50, deeming the term inaccurate as Japanese are increasingly tying the knot later in life, officials said Thursday. (Japan Today)
May 24
Many parts of Japan saw the mercury top 30 degrees Celsius on Thursday. Weather officials are warning of unseasonal high temperatures over the weekend. (NHK)
May 24
Police in Japan are stepping up security for an upcoming visit by US President Donald Trump. (NHK)
May 24
Japan's new supercomputer Fugaku is set to begin operations around 2021 with the country aiming to regain the title of building the world's fastest computer, replacing its current supercomputer K, government-backed research institute Riken said Thursday. (Japan Times)
May 23
Kyoto Prefectural Police have arrested a 23-year-old male Australian national who is suspected of scrawling graffiti in dozens of locations in Kyoto City, reports Fuji News Network (May 22). (tokyoreporter.com)
May 23
Carriers in Japan and Taiwan have become the first in Asia to say they will not sell Huawei Technologies' new smartphones in the wake of U.S. restrictions, with a South Korean peer saying it may follow suit. (Nikkei)