Utsuwa is a craft experiential restaurant in Tokyo. This restaurant aims to decolonise the stereotype towards craft to re-incorporate handmade Japanese crafts into their lifestyle.


In Japan, post COVID-19, craftsperson’s culture is in danger of disappearing. What can a designer do? Through discussion, I noticed a gap between the craftsperson and the user. Users think the crafts are something too precious to be used. On the other hand, craftsperson wishes their crafts to be used and they believe this is the way to be succeeded.


To approach this, the craft experiential restaurant Utsuwa was born. At Utsuwa the users could experience eating food using the crafts, which helps imagine how their dining experience looks and feels when crafts are part of their lifestyle. As well as decolonising the stereotype towards crafts, it could suggest having one lifelong lasting product, rather than owning many products. This project focus is on Japan, but this project has the potential of being a tool that could be adapted to other countries.


Showcasing before, during and after the restaurant experience.

Video contents collected from the users and craftsperson interview to communicate the impact of the designed experience.

Exterior and the Interior of Utsuwa

Interviewing Craftsperson for insights

During the project, I have been engaging various craftsperson to gain their perception of craft. This video introduces the 2 craftsperson,Tomoaki Nakano (@nakanotomoaki85) and Keiji Matsuda (@toubouyuu_work).

A process of Brainstorming Scenarios

Mapping out present and aimed scenario of how people perceive crafts. Experimenting how to play around with materials even in a remote working environment.

Comments from craftsperson and the users

Some of the feedbacks and voices received from the people who were engaged into this project.