Architect, Mr. Hiroshi Ebisawa designed three characteristic restaurants for Unyu Tenzan in 1991, as I mentioned last time. It is quite interesting to see these restaurants in detail.
1st Floor “NANASE” Barbecue House
“NANASE” Barbecue Restaurant was laid out in the first floor. Architect, Mr. Ebisawa tried to design that all guests have view of the outdoor greenery and the Sukumogawa River. So, its interior was made something like a large one square box in shape without any walls or partitions but just numerous structural wooden pillars. Spaces of open wooden barbecue pits were cleverly arranged around the pillars. An Iron plate for barbecue and a hearth for charcoal cooking were set on the tables. Guests sit around the traditional Japanese style hearth in a box seat that creates something intimate atmosphere.
1st Floor “SUISEN” Tea and Sweet Shop
At the next door to “NANASE” Barbecue Restaurant on the first floor, “SUISEN” was laid out where tea and sweets are served. Contrary to vivid atmosphere in the barbecue kitchen, here is rather quiet and just can hear sound of stream while observing a view of outdoor greenery beside the Sukumogawa River. You can enjoy slightly bitter taste of “matcha” or powdered green tea in sunbeams streaming through the leaves of trees. It was designed as a space for stillness. Besides tables, there are no additional interior objects on the wooden floor. Your tone of talking will be lowered in this simple room. It is something like a space for meditation. Even the designer, himself wasn’t sure about this style of Tea and Sweet Shop really fits for resting people after Onsen bathing.
2ndFloor, Shabu-shabu Restaurant “RAKUTEN”
The design of “RAKUTEN” also based on cubic style similar to that of the Barbecue Restaurant “NANASE” in the first floor. Seating area was laid out between structural wooden pillars. Wooden floor was covered with rattan mat, however. Translucent bamboo blinds were hung separating the box-seats something like a private room. Main dish served in the restaurant is “Shabu-shabu” or thinly sliced beef and vegetables cooked in a hot-pot on the table. It is totally depending on freshness of ingredients and cooking at the right heat. Generous manner of guests is considered to be important factor for interior design. The tables are glass coated with Japanese paper inlay manufactured in old capital, Kyoto. Electromagnetic cookers are set in the tables to heat the Shabu-shabu, to the liking of the guests. It is perfect for the particular Japanese taste.
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