Sophisticated yet trendy, simplistic yet vibrant... no matter how you describe it, Tokyo chic is so cool its appeal is spreading to the west
Simplicity and Sophistication
Japan Takes the Best of the World and Makes it Her Own
The 1992 movie “Mr. Baseball” starring Tom Selleck didn’t earn any Oscars, but a quote from the movie says a lot about Japan and especially it’s style. In the movie, Hiroko, the love interest of Tom Selleck’s character, tells him, “Japan takes the best of the world and makes it her own.” This can be seen in the sophisticated and chic interior designs of bars, cafes, and restaurants throughout the gargantuan metropolis of Tokyo. There is something very Japan-esque about the designs and yet very European at the same time, just like Hiroko says. Japanese modern interiors are designed with a perfect chemistry for Italian and European modern furniture, combining utility with beauty while maximizing the usage of space. Simple. Clean. Elegant.
Let’s take a look at Monocle Cafe in the Hankyu Men’s Tokyo department store in the business district of Yurakucho. The cafe is owned by British global affairs magazine Monocle, and the understated interior design is very Japanese chic while retaining the company’s modern image and branding. The interior design uses Vitsoe shelving, Bolichwerke lampshades by Germany’s Manufactum and natural wood materials featuring furniture from the Maruni Collection created in collaboration with Japanese product designer Naoto Fukasawa. According to Fukasawa, the furniture collection seeks to convey a highly detailed and clean image while retaining a sense of human warmth.
There’s Nothing like Tokyo Chic
“There’s nothing like Tokyo Chic,” says one Tokyo resident of two decades. “The simple and sophisticated style and attention to fine detail... It’s always interesting to see the east-meets-west fusion with that Japanese minimalist look. I’ve been seeing Tokyo Chic in my trips to other countries, but nobody does it quite like the Japanese. It’s that attention to detail.” tj
– Photos courtesy of Monocle Cafe / Transit General Office
This story appeared in Issue 270 of the Tokyo Journal.
To order Issue 270, click here.