Fusing Japanese and Nordic Sensibilities



Photo by Aoki Michinori and OEO Studio


Photo by Aoki Michinori and OEO Studio


Photo by Aoki Michinori and OEO Studio


Photo by Aoki Michinori and OEO Studio


In the heart of Tokyo, just a few minutes north of the imperial palace, in the neighbourhood of Iidabashi, you’ll find something rather special. Something that fuses Japanese and Nordic sensibilities into an experience beyond anything else.

If you ever find yourself in Tokyo, don’t miss out on this Japanese–Nordic experience. Take in the impressive skyline of Tokyo from the 9th floor while tasting Japanese seasonal ingredients with a Scandinavian touch led by a former Noma chef.


Photo by Aoki Michinori and OEO Studio

The restaurant itself was three years in the making, and behind the exquisite interiors is OEO Studio, a Danish interiors architecture, product design and brand innovation company.

“INUA is a partnership between Noma and the Kadokawa Corporation. The design brief was to fuse Japanese and Scandinavian design and add an urban feel to create a welcoming place in the heart of Tokyo with a warm and unpretentious atmosphere. Head-chef Thomas Frebel and team spent a year gathering knowledge about the culinary produce of Japan, so a clear link to Japan was to be apparent in the interiors as well as a reference to Noma’s Nordic heritage,” says Thomas Lykke, founder and head of design of OEO Studio.


Photo by Aoki Michinori and OEO Studio

He continues:

“The result is a Japanese–Nordic design utopia in terms of interiors and atmosphere. We have devised a design concept that fuses Japanese and Nordic sensibilities, to bring about a refined blend of craftsmanship, materiality and architecture. We have worked with local materials as well as Japanese-inspired details and applied them in a more Nordic way as well as in novel and unexpected ways.”

Bespoke craftsmanship
OEO Studio shares a passion for craftmanship, tactile natural materials and bespoke solutions that contain the right sense of quality and sensibilities.

In collaboration with Japanese artisans, OEO Studio has created a Japanese environment combined with inspiration from the Danish Modern era – all blended from scratch in a challenging corporate surrounding.

“INUA is located in an office building, a challenge from both a design perspective as well as in terms of guest experience, including the long journey from street level through the 2nd floor and to the restaurant on the 9th floor. Given the original use of the building, we did not gain anything from the architecture except the mesmerising views from the 9th floor. It was a big task to transform the space, turning it into a beautiful, embracing universe where you feel the INUA spirit,” says Thomas Lykke.


Photo by Aoki Michinori and OEO Studio

INUA opened to the public in June 2018. You can learn more about OEO Studio through their company profile.

Companies mentioned in this article

The goal of DANISH™ is to promote Danish architecture and design in a broad perspective, and demonstrate all the potentials in these fields.

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