Tokyo Tokyo Trinoma

When tasked to re-envision, Tokyo Tokyo, a Filipino-Japanese fast casual restaurant chain with a strong Three-decades long history, the first questions our designers considered was how to make a Fast Casual restaurant more humanistic in its approach to making a customer feel better about themselves before and especially after a meal, and then how could our designers make design moves that are considerate of culture, not just Filipino culture, but also Japanese culture, without having to offend, "Disney-fy" or simplify either culture to find a complete design.

Part of our process was to look into interior formal references of "Pop-Japan" whether it be having to review Mid-Century and International style projects with that Japanese twist, like the famous Hotel Okura, or take cues from non-Japanese films like the 1982 epic, "Blade Runner", or perhaps even review the Japanese detailing of Fusama Screens, or Fusama painting cultures, as well as the planning of Minka Homes. The idea was not to copy any of these references, but find the ways in which a customer or guest may appreciate their forms, their planning methods, lighting methods, or formal styles and see what a combination of these ideas can make a restaurant work the way it needs to work, while creating a space with touches of Japanese-ness but through a Filipino cultural lens.

Bespoke elements in the store are varied to make the effect. Lighting recalls Hotel Okura, while mirroring the concept of street skewers. Tables make use of geometric patterns found in Japanese fabric. Hardwood chairs are formed to reflect Japanese architectures and uniforms. And Handmade murals were designed by a celebrated artist, to use brand colours, be playful, and be dream-like without it being a copy of anything "Japanese".

Because the store is so spacious, about 375 square meters, our designers had rooms to play. There is an elevated Garden Room, a Chef's Room where the kitchen dispatches cooked food, a Street Stall located in the Mall Corridor, and a Tatami Room complete with a grid-like architecture and a bright acrylic sign reminiscent of drums. All these rooms give users and guests the ability to come back more than twice a week - and have a very different room and sitting style to sit in and experience each time.

At the restaurant's first week of operation, it earned a 20% or more surplus of sales compared to the same date the year before. This was the first fast-food project for JJ Acuna / Bespoke Studio, and a first time the brand has collaborated with an outside-design team. It's good to know that when both parties see an opportunity to place the right effort and investment, the outcome is truly unexpected and positive.

Tokyo Tokyo Trinoma Flagship
Architecture, Interior, & Branding
James JJ Acuna, Daryl Cabudlay, Eric Marasigan, Abigail Downey, and Kamille Crizhia Ramirez
Artist Collaboration
Michell Lie (Murals) and Rastullo Design (Garden Room Chairs)
Date of Completion
August 2018
Approx. 3,750 sq. ft. (inclusive of front and back of house)
Hansbury Incorporated
Site Photography
Jar Concengco