Sakurai Japanese Tea Experience, Tokyo, Japan
While tea rooms in Tokyo are a dime a dozen, few have mastered the contemporary style that owner Shinya Sakurai delivers at his new Minami-Aoyama location.
Inside, the intimate space has been conceptualised and produced by Simplicity founder Shinichiro Ogata to comprise a compact shop selling innovative seasonal teas, a roasting room for homemade hojicha, and a Sabo teahouse that seats eight.
Here, a subtle material palette of dark timbers, copper and stone creates a sublime stage for white laboratory-coated tea masters serving an array of brews, sake and wagashi (sweets). ‘The experience is designed to expand and evolve the sense of value that surrounds Japanese tea culture, offering a place where guests can taste and enjoy undiscovered delights through all five senses,’ Ogata explains.
Tasked with creating a holistic environment to modernise and update the culture of tea, the designer was also responsible for designing the tea utensils and numbered silver tea leaf packaging.