News Releases


04 July, 2013

Hakuhodo DY Media Partners

The DINING OUT Regional Development Project Presents
Showcasing the distinctive charms of Japan’s local communities
through food, nature, and traditional culture
in Sado (Niigata Prefecture) and Iya (Tokushima Prefecture)
Reserve your tour now—space limited to just 80 guests!

DINING OUT is a regional economic revitalization and development project brought to you by Hakuhodo DY Media Partners (HDYMP), headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo and headed by Hisao Omori. The third phase of the project, DINING OUT SADO with LEXUS, will be held on a three-day weekend (Saturday–Monday), September 14–16, 2013 in Sado, Niigata Prefecture. The fourth phase, DINING OUT IYA with LEXUS, will also be held Saturday through Monday, October 19–21, 2013 in Iya, Tokushima Prefecture.


Hakuhodo DY Media Partners designed the DINING OUT project as a way to bring economic revitalization to Japanese communities. By tapping into creator talent and using food as a way to reinterpret the lingering beauty of local traditions, culture, history, and products, HDYMP hopes to uncover the fresh, hidden value they have to offer. Each tour takes participants to one of Japan’s rural communities, where they are able to spend a few days in premium outdoor restaurants set up especially for the event. HDYMP brings in world-renowned chefs and leading modern-day creators, who put together locally grown ingredients in innovative ways to present a fresh twist on the area’s unique natural and cultural features. Participants indulge all five senses in the abundance the community has to offer, allowing them to experience Japan in new and delightful ways.


The recent DINING OUT SADO with LEXUS and DINING OUT IYA with LEXUS experiences are a continuation of a DINING OUT SADO held last October, and are both hosted by renowned Japanologist Alex Kerr. According to Kerr, Sado has brought its long history and culture into the present day, and is treasure trove of untold charms—particularly its Noh theater, Shinto shrines, and Buddhist temples. Iya is a special place for Kerr, who first visited forty years ago while hitchhiking as a college student. He stayed in the village, purchasing and restoring an abandoned and crumbling old Japanese house. His dreams for the house came to fruition last year with the completion of his massive reconstruction project. Kerr also serves as a consultant for local tourism promotion efforts.


In charge of DINING OUT SADO with LEXUS cuisine is Yoshiaki Takazawa, owner and chef at TAKAZAWA restaurant in the Akasaka district of Tokyo. Chef Takazawa is known for his original cooking style, which takes the best that Japan’s climate, people, ingredients, and traditions have to offer and reimagines them in a modern way. His TAKAZAWA restaurant has received acclaim both in Japan and abroad, selected as one of the World’s Top Ten Life-changing Restaurants by Food & Wine magazine.


Cuisine on the DINING OUT IYA with LEXUS tour is headed by Hajime Yoneda, owner and chef at HAJIME restaurant in Higobashi, Osaka. Chef Yoneda is renowned for his culinary perfection, driven by his fanatical approach to detail. This approach allows him to express the unique beauty inherent in nature, showcasing his deep respect for the earth and expertly capturing the fragility of human life. Hajime’s restaurant received three Michelin stars in 2009, a record seventeen months after it opened. Both Takazawa and Yoneda are recognized as up-and-coming chefs in the global food scene, and both of their restaurants were featured among Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2013.


Lexus took the stage as Japan’s first luxury automobile brand and has maintained its commitment to exceeding expectations ever since. Proud official sponsor of DINING OUT, the company shares the project’s drive to create a thoroughly innovative and dazzling experience for its guests.


In addition to these core project members, the Sado and Iya DINING OUT events are supported by extensive cooperation from a diverse team of sei-katsu-sha, restaurants, and other community partners who help bring the local culture and cuisine to life.


Tickets to the DINING OUT SADO with LEXUS and DINING OUT IYA with LEXUS tours are available for general purchase at JTB Royal Road Ginza and other locations, and may be obtained online (the DINING OUT official website has a link where you can reserve your spot). Tickets for the Sado tour go on sale Friday, July 5, while Iya tour tickets are scheduled for release in early August (details TBA).


We are also planning on offering the exclusive LEXUS AMAZING EXPERIENCE package for guests who wish to add the thrill of driving to their DINING OUT event.

For more details, please refer to the following PDF file.

News details(PDF)

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