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This light-filled Tokyo restaurant raises the bar for museum dining

The Metropolitan Teien Art Museum restaurant is a rare patch of peace in the ever-busy Tokyo, surrounded by glass walls that let diners gaze over the nearby greenery.

Recently reopened as part of a 5-year-long restoration of the museum – which included updating the site’s gardens, as well as its historic teahouse – the Tokyo restaurant is designed by Kume Sekkei Co. The practice makes the most of its lush, garden location, putting the focus on the trees and plants that surround the simple glass and steel structure.

Photography: Naomichi Sode

Low eaves keep the sun out of diners’ eyes, while a glass gable on the east makes sure the restaurant is always filled with natural light. The shape of the roof also helps autumn leaves wash away, rather than continue to collect, meaning minimal maintenance through the seasons.

Interiors typify Japanese minimalism, balancing natural materials such as timber and stone with light and glass, and elevating the museum dining experience. The raw wooden surfaces and lack of adornments on the cafe walls add to the simplicity and peaceful nature of the public space.

5 Chome-21-9 Shirokanedai, Minato City, Tokyo 108-0071, Japan

Photography: Naomichi Sode
Photography: Naomichi Sode

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