The Conran Shop opens new ‘locally edited’ Tokyo concept store

New Conran Shop Tokyo concept store opens in Daikanyama as the retailer's first ‘locally edited’ store, sourcing and curating a unique range of design objects crafted across Asia

Conran Shop tokyo interior
(Image credit: Courtesy Conran Shop)

The curved lines of a ceramic spoon from Japan. A copper teapot from China. Smoothly packaged toothpaste from Taiwan. A rattan and birch cabinet from Thailand. These are among an array of quality Asian design products showcased in The Conran Shop Daikanyama in Tokyo – the British design company’s first locally and independently edited store.

The Conran Shop Tokyo presents 60 makers from across Asia 

Conran Shop tokyo interior

(Image credit: Courtesy Conran Shop)

The new space is home to a shop, a gallery and a tea bar, all filled with a careful curation of design products by around 60 Asian makers, from locations spanning Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea, China, as well as across Japan. The project marks a new creative chapter for The Conran Shop, which has been synonymous with high-quality design across the spectrum of daily living since launching in London 50 years ago, followed by its Japan debut in 1994.

Conran Shop tokyo mezzanine level

(Image credit: Courtesy Conran Shop)

The new store, with interiors by Keiji Ashizawa Design, spans two adjacent spaces in Daikanyama Hillside Terrace, a celebrated complex developed by architect Fumihiko Maki in phases since 1969.

Underpinning The Conran Shop Daikanyama is its debut concept of a locally edited space – as reflected in products handpicked from across Asia, focusing on emerging talents, quality craftsmanship and modern innovation rooted in local culture. Added to the mix is the ‘plain, simple, useful’ philosophy with which the company’s late founder Sir Terence Conran was long synonymous – as reflected in its medley of daily products, from hand soap and pencils to furniture and kitchen tools.

Conran Shop tokyo: dining table and chairs

(Image credit: Courtesy Conran Shop)

‘The theme is quality Asian design and furnishing,’ explains Shinichiro Nakahara, president of The Conran Shop Japan. ‘The high quality of design in Asia in recent years, and encounters with new talent form the core of this store. We will carefully select items while respecting the culture of each country’s design and craft.’

The new Daikanyama store, accessed via a lower-level glass door with oak wood handles, is an airy, light-filled space with a serene colour palette, complemented by music selected by Shingo Aoyagi from Art into Life record shop in Mashiko, Tochigi Prefecture.

Airy interior and staircase within Conran Shop tokyo

(Image credit: Courtesy Conran Shop)

A soft, contemporary residential atmosphere is mirrored in the curated displays – including the circular ‘Lunar’ chair by Thailand-based Moonler; the firefly-inspired ‘Edohotaru’ paper lantern by Barber Osgerby; and the minimalist blue lines of a painting by Sunho Choi.

Shelves showcase a raft of products, from beauty products by Seoul brand Nonfiction to clothing by 5W, a label based in Akita, northern Japan. A lightweight staircase, with geometric paper cord, flows to an upper-level loft area, home to larger furniture pieces, including Japanese company Soma’s cabinet crafted from wood and washi paper.

Sofas and dining tables on display at Conran Shop tokyo

(Image credit: Courtesy Conran Shop)

The atmosphere shifts in the adjacent basement. Here, a noren curtain, crafted from naturally dyed linen, flows into a space with sliding paper screens, stone pathways, paper walls and a still, calm atmosphere – home to a gallery and the intimate tea bar Chokeikyo.

Supervised by contemporary Tokyo tea master Shinya Sakurai, the tea space has an eight-seat L-shaped counter where an innovative selection of quality organic teas are served, alongside wagashi sweets and tea-inspired cocktails.

Conran Shop tokyo

(Image credit: Courtesy Conran Shop)

The gallery launched with an exhibition by ceramic artist Kan Ito, whose organic creations range from abstract pots and bowls to a serene contemporary take on the traditional stone washbasin known as a tsukubai.

‘We made it possible to walk around the store in a loop to create a joyful sense of visiting someone’s home,’ says Ashizawa. ‘We differentiated the atmosphere of each space in a subtle way. At the same time, we tried to create a connection. So visitors can enjoy each space with its different functions while still feeling a sense of unity.’

The store is also the first to roll out The Conran Shop’s new corporate identity, executed by Sascha Lobe (Pentagram) and Kimberly Lloyd.

Hillside Terrace Building F, 1F-B1F
Sarugakucho, 18−8
Shibuya City
150-0033 Tokyo

Danielle Demetriou is a British writer and editor who moved from London to Japan in 2007. She writes about design, architecture and culture (for newspapers, magazines and books) and lives in an old machiya townhouse in Kyoto. 

Instagram - @danielleinjapan