Hanashobu is a high-end Japanese restaurant in the center of Shenzhen, China. We were tasked with designing it authentically, so that users could feel as if they were in Japan, not as something stereotypical that might be easier for non-Japanese to grasp. To achieve this, we started the project with a lecture to the local craftsmen about Japanese architecture.
We chose to use tatami mats for the floors, a la the traditional Japanese hotel “ryokan,” so that customers could feel Japan with their five senses. A “sake cellar” mimicking a wine cellar welcomes customers in the approach. We also designed the space so that customers can enjoy the presentation of dishes as they approach the private rooms. A sushi counter and a robata grill counter are placed in the entrance area, while a tea counter serving fresh maccha tea is located in the center of the hallway. The four private rooms are themed on each of the four seasons. Customers in each of the two large VIP rooms, can enjoy a view of Japanese gardens of different design. These aspects give the spaces the privacy of a special room separated from the main facilities, such as those at ryokan.
The VIP-only sushi counter feels like a chef’s table as professionals prepare sushi right in front of you. With our client, we carefully selected the materials, including 200-year-old Kiso hinoki wood counter, Ryukyu Tatami, and handmade Japanese paper, in addition to the decorations and dishware so that they are all authentic and imported them from Japan. We also spread furniture and fixtures with graphics inspired by the petals and leaves of hana shoubu (Japanese iris) through out the area, giving it a sense of flower-like elegance.
The space will hold events that share Japanese culture, such as tea ceremony, flower arranging, traditional handicrafts, and traditional arts. We hope that Hana Shoubu will provide a space for visitors experience Japan’s traditional culture themselves, and interest them in visiting the country.