The Nikunotoriko restaurant designed by Tokyo-based architect Ryoji Iedokoro might seem a strange context to enjoy a meal but there is perfectly sound logic behind the whole cave and forest aesthetic. Iedokoro referenced the primal hunter humans who gathered inside a cave or outside in a forest to sit around a fire to cook and share their catch.
His attempt was to create an environment that evokes caves, forests and creeks where the patrons gather together to forget the urban bustle of the city and share a meaty dinner.
Each floor is about 65 square metres and seats about 20 guests. The lower level gets its cavelike appearance courtesy of walls and ceilings moulded by hand with mortar while a large mirror extends the effect.
Under the 6.5metres long smoked-glass table is a riverbed made of recycled-glass gravel.
On the floor above, a forest is created of 126 steel pipes that also function as coat racks. Guests sit on the floor on cushions around a low table, just like around a campfire. Well sort of.
Located just three minutes on foot from Roppongi Station on the Toei Oedo Line, Nikunotoriko is open every day for lunch and dinner and serves yakiniku, a Japanese speciality that sees small pieces of meat and vegetables being cooked by customers on tabletop grills