Shinichiro Ogata, famed Tokyo-based architect, designer, restauranteur, chef, has opened his latest outpost Ogata Paris as the new all-encompassing Japanese destination. The immediate Marais hotspot is a multistory complex housed in a quincaillerie (hardware store) featuring a tea shop, tea salon, restaurant, pastry shop, bar, art gallery, and a crafts and hardware store. And just like that, Japan in Paris is a one-stop destination.
At the entrance, Ogata Paris a hushed space lit by a central skylight ceiling. The interiors are all finished in a traditional Japanese manner: Shikkui plaster on the walls, shakkei indoor gardening principles, and all the crannies and nooks meticulously attended to. Ogata, however, did retain the bones of the building, with the slab of limestone lining the stairwell leading to the basement tearoom.
It was essential to the multi-disciplinary artist to evoke his Japanese identity. He told the New York Times, “I’m not very inspired by Paris in the present. But I have a great respect for France because it’s a country that preserved its culture and exports its value to the world.” Perhaps its the lack of present inspiration that fueled him to bring a taste of Japan to Paris.
But whether stopping by for tea or dinner, Ogata is the kind of destination where one can also just peruse a while longer. Stop by for delicate little Japanese candies and stay for the tea from imported leaves. The pastry store serves all the proper pastries including hojicha, gyokuro, matcha, and sencha.
The establishment’s restaurant is helmed by chef Kazuki Watanabe. As a longtime collaborator of Ogata, Watanabe’s kitchen is open-style with a minimalist dining room. The space features a mix of wenge, hiba, and teak is all done in monochrome tones and warm browns accentuated by oak chairs. Watanabe serves regional Japanese specialties in his kitchen.
Ogata is showing his respect for the country and culture he has entered by introducing what he knows best: Japanese tradition. Sure to become a destination for Parisian minimalist-aficionados and culture hounds, Ogata is a symbol of the new, changing Paris. Boasting restaurants like Michelin-starred yam’Tcha, Paris isn’t only serving French food anymore. Paris is reinventing.
Ogata, 16 rue Debelleyme 75003 Paris, open 11 a.m. to midnight, closed Monday and Tuesday. Website here.