Tokyo Michelin guide sells out in two days

27th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

27 November 2007, TOKYO - The first Tokyo edition of France's Michelin guide, which gave the city an unprecedented number of stars, has broken another record by selling out in 48 hours, the publisher said Tuesday.

27 November 2007

TOKYO - The first Tokyo edition of France's Michelin guide, which gave the city an unprecedented number of stars, has broken another record by selling out in 48 hours, the publisher said Tuesday.

Nearly all 90,000 copies of the influential red book's first version outside the Western world were sold out two days after the release Thursday morning, Michelin said.

"The big bookstores have been emptied out and there are now only a few small places that still stock the guide," a Michelin spokeswoman said. "Forty-eight hours is a sales record."

A second print will hit stores on December 13, she said.

But some Tokyo residents, curious to discover the best restaurants in the capital, apparently cannot wait. Internet auction sites sell the guide for on average twice the 2,200-yen (20-dollar) cover price.

The book awarded 191 stars to Tokyo restaurants, more than twice as many as in Paris and triple the number in New York.

However, Jean-Luc Naret, director of the Michelin guides, noted that Tokyo has more than 160,000 restaurants compared with 20,000 in Paris.

The Michelin guide had been awaited with some trepidation in Tokyo, where critics have questioned whether a Western guide can assess Japanese cuisine in which presentation is as important as the food itself.

Japanese cuisine accounts for some 60 percent of the restaurants in the guide.

"I think there are still plenty of restaurants the Michelin inspectors haven't tried, plenty of three-stars to be discovered," said Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara, an outspoken critic of Western culture.

The Michelin guides' overall sales record is for last year's book covering all of France, which sold 380,000 copies, the Michelin spokeswoman said.

AFP

Subject: French news

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