Centuries-old Kyoto craft workshop teams up with Tokyo luxury hotel for an unprecedented portioning system.

The pandemic has caused difficulties for a lot of different types of businesses, but it’s been especially challenging for eat-in restaurants. Many have responded by adding partitions between diners, but the downside is that they can result in an isolated atmosphere and cramped table.

One Tokyo restaurant wondered if there wasn’t a more aesthetically pleasing way to do things, and the idea they’ve come up with is this.

It’s called the lantern partition, and when you sit down at the table, you slide underneath it. While the top section is a traditionally styled chochin (Japanese paper lantern), part-way down it transitions to clear plastic, allowing you and your dining companions to remove your masks while you eat but still have a protective barrier that allows you to see one another, all without taking up any extra space on the table.

The partitions have recently been installed in the restaurant of Hoshinoya Tokyo, a luxury hotel in Tokyo’s Otemachi neighborhood that’s part of the Hoshino Resorts group. They’re not just called lantern partitions because of how they look, either, as the Hoshino group produced them in cooperation with Kojima Shoten, a Kyoto lantern craftsmen’s workshop that’s been in business since the Kansei years (1789-1801) of Japan’s Edo period.

Each lantern partition is 102 centimeters (40.2 inches) tall and 75 centimeters in diameter, with its own light source to keep your face and food illuminated.

▼ The restaurant’s Japanese-French fusion fare is pretty avant-garde too.

The partitions were added to Hoshinoya’s private banquet room on Wednesday, along with a Tokyo Lantern Banquet multi-course meal. Ordinarily, the restaurant is only open to people staying at the hotel, but for the Lantern Banquet they may invite outside guests to join them in this unique dining experience.

Related: Hoshinoya Tokyo
Source: Hoshino Resorts via Hachima Kiko
Images: Hoshino Resorts
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