TREE by NAKED: An Interactive Dining Experience in Yoyogi Park with Projection Mapping, Lighting & Music
NAKED Inc. is a company that creates interactive and immersive art events. They have dazzled many at their showcases including with their projection mapping at Tokyo Station and their interactive art exhibition FLOWERS by NAKED which brought the cherry blossom season to people early. They have even taken their work overseas in Taiwan and Beijing.
Did you know the company also has their very own restaurant in Yoyogi Park called TREE by NAKED?
You must book seats to dine there which offers a very special 2-hour course. It’s a fantastical marriage of art and dining woven through projection mapping, virtual reality, lighting, aromas, music and of course, delicious food made using seasonal ingredients.
If you’re looking to see some art while in Japan and enjoy great food then you can kill two birds with one stone at TREE by NAKED in Yoyogi Park. We visited the restaurant to witness and report back this new kind of interactive dining experience.
The restaurant is just a 2-minute walk from Yoyogi Station. When you arrive, you wait at the entrance to be seated. Once 8 people had gathered for the evening dinner we were led by the guide to dim private rooms in a Japanese rock garden with tables.
The course consists of six meals which each represent different stages in the life of a tree. We begin in the first room which uses projection mapping on the table and walls and are given an explanation of the courses.
A table made in the form of a Japanese rock garden
The table and room look like you’ve walked into an art exhibition. The guide who brought us to the other room took on the role of storyteller and led explained the story which would be linked by the sights and smells. They also this explanation in English.
An entire room uses project mapping to look otherworldly
After becoming completely immersed in the story we moved into the main room. This room uses virtual reality, project mapping and a dining experience to portray the story, exploring themes like the life of a tree, Japan’s four seasons and the blessing of life.
(There were many other fun and interesting elements too but writing everything would spoil the experience for anyone thinking of going so we’re only showing a snippet.)
The story begins by planting a seed in the soil. The soil is delicious! (Don’t worry, it’s not real soil)
The fish swim away when you touch this projection mapping. There’s much fun to be had while waiting for food.
The plates change colours to showcase Japan’s vivid seasons
But it’s not just the technological performances that are striking – the food and drinks are also out of this world. The food on the menu was created by executive chef Nagatomo of restaurant and café Hoff which is located in Hatsudai, Tokyo. He designed 8 Japanese-style dishes inspired by the seasons that are made using seasonal ingredients. Drinks come with meals and you can choose from alcohol or tea. You often see alcohol paired with meals so it’s interesting to see tea paired too. You can even drink tea made by a tea expert.
The restaurant at lunchtime. In the evening, the lights come on and the tables use project mapping.
After eating the main dish we moved to the second floor. This was home to the dessert room, the final part of the story, which represented a paradise on top of the tree where you can eat the forbidden fruit.
With our bellies, heads and hearts full, our first ever ‘art gastronomy’ came to a close. We got a fill of both art and food.
It’s a little expensive to go, coming in at ¥23,000 (tax and service charge included) which includes the full course and drinks, but there is no other place like it where you can be immersed in such an experience that combines performance and cuisine.
If you want to go eat somewhere for a special day or would like to try something you then this is somewhere you’re sure to enjoy. It’s something you have to experience at least once.
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