Situated on the ground floor, next to the Japanese bakery and directly above the Japanese supermarket, Yokocho restaurant concludes UK’s first fully immersive Japanese food experience in the heart of London.
Our design challenge was to create the sense of walking through a maze of Japanese narrow alleys whilst inside a Grade II listed building.
We envisaged the Yokocho interior as a Japanese sanctuary, free from the care of everyday life which will take visitors on a nostalgic tour of downtown Tokyo.
Our designers drew inspiration from a recent trip to Tokyo where we stumbled across Omoide Yokocho in Shinjuku district. At the time we weren’t aware how an accidental find would turn into an indispensable source of information. We wanted to capture that essence of walking through aromatic, noisy, visually loud food alleys, where every sense is engaged in a warm hearted way.
The interior was carefully shaped into a grid of three alleys featuring izakaya portico’s, shop fronts and kiosks with overhanging roofs.
The combination of Yamato-hari textured plaster, strips of upcycled cedar wood tied with salvaged oak and pine were utilised to create raw material façades. The natural materials were chosen to act as an authentic background to the vivid colours of paper lanterns, posters and signs.
Strategically positioned shop openings were created to deliver views into neighbouring alleys whilst also performing as food counters and seating areas. These façades were layered with carefully chosen upcycled props to create an authentic visual punch.
Multiple textures, tones, shapes and materials were used to bring surprise, intrigue, delight and playfulness to the concept. Original phone booths, vending machines, bicycles, power lines, beer crates and authentic signs were employed to capture the essence of Tokyo’s alleyways.