Issue 01 - The Opening Issue
Building an Authentic Japanese Food Town, Brick by Brick
To squeeze a comprehensive breakdown of Japan’s culinary landscape in a 20,075 square-foot area is no mean feat. With a look conceptualised by Aoyama Nomura Design Company, Japan Food Town’s layout and interior design provides the perfect authentic backdrop to a rich selection of Japanese cuisine.
Aoyama Nomura Design Company’s philosophy is to create permanence through design that deepens the relationship between people, and creating a space through emotion. Just like Japanese culture isn’t merely a passing fad, Japan Food Town has been designed to stay, continually impacting Singaporeans culturally. Architect (name needed) of Aoyama Nomura Design was briefed to create a communal space that brings people together for the appreciation of culture and cuisine, and the first order of the day was to serve up a slice of authenticity.
Meet Mr Umeoka (far right) and his team of Sakan, Japanese artisans renowned for decorative imitation stone and woodwork.
Traditional Japanese implements like rice bowls, bento boxes and serving spoons have been pieced together painstakingly by hand to create a design centrepiece.
Workers installing Washi paper ceiling hangings designed by Mr. Takashi Miyazato.
“Sakan”1 Craftsmen were flown into Singapore to transform the concrete walls and floors of the space into an authentic food town. Forget for a moment that you’re in a food hall, or that you’re even in a modern building like Wisma Atria at all — “clay” walls, a gate that is reminiscent of a cooking stove and washi paper wall hangings that evoke images of steam rising from the stove all — transport visitors to old Japan.
Before you even sample the flavours available, feast your eyes on the unique architectural and design features of Japan Food Town, Singapore’s first truly authentic immersive Japanese dining experience.
Ms Tomoko Ueda reproduces many traditional Japanese facades and decorative woodworks found at Japan Food Town.
Mr Umeoka applying his finishing touches on unbelievably realistic imitation stone walls in Japan Food Town.
Our youngest Sakan craftsman, Mr Katsuhiko Omi, crafting the ceiling feature to mimic a traditional copper Japanese roof.
Japanese bamboo handing pendants designed by Mr. Takashi Miyazato.
What is Sakan?
1Sakan is the Japanese craft of visually transforming plain concrete into vivid recreations of wood, natural rock and metal. Sakan craftsmen employ special spray-painting and craft techniques, applying textures and colours to bring life to dull features, bringing some of the great outdoors indoors.
What is Washi Paper?
The origin of Washi paper is Chinese, but after 1,400 years of unique evolution in Japan, it has become the now distinctly Japanese paper used for books, painting and more commonly as an interior design material.