We had a great time interviewing Canvas Tokyo in Hiroo Shopping Street the other day. Canvas Tokyo is a cafe/pop-up store well-known throughout social media for its aesthetics -- especially the fresh appearance of the shop, and the colorful food and drinks guaranteed to get you those likes on Instagram.
However, we learned that there is so much more to Canvas Tokyo -- underneath these aesthetics lay a much deeper beauty that represents the spirit of Hiroo Shopping Street.
What does ‘CANVAS TOKYO’ mean?
Basically, the concept of CANVAS TOKYO is that they don’t have a concept. Let me explain.
It’s a metaphorical “canvas” onto where people can portray their vibrant ideas.
They believe in a borderless world and hope to grow with change -- hence the fresh and blank imagery of the “canvas”. This also represents the owner’s hopes of the store and the town of Hiroo becoming more internationalized.
For this reason, Canvas Tokyo is not only a cafe but an “open concept store” that allows exhibitions, collaborations, and rental space for anyone who wants to share their projects to the world.
What’s special about CANVAS TOKYO?
A crucial factor about Canvas Tokyo that a majority of the articles that introduce them miss out is that: there is so much effort put into choosing the best out of the best ingredients for their products. Most of their ingredients are domestically produced.
For example, the matcha drink that we tried uses a very specific type of matcha. It is produced and distributed by the team Magouemon (孫右エ門) in Kyoto, and they have been making tea for the past 222 years. There are thousands of industries in Japan that make tea, but only 15 of them handpick the tea leaves. Magouemon is one of them.
Each and every product on the menu has its own backstory and own beauty.
But, why Hiroo?
The owner of Canvas Tokyo lives in Hiroo and has always loved the unique atmosphere that can only be experienced in Hiroo. It’s one of the few places in Tokyo that has a fine mix of Japanese culture and International culture, represented by the many temples and embassies around the town of Hiroo. The area of the shopping street has a very calm and relaxing vibe to it. If you haven’t noticed, there are no power lines in the shopping street, which enhances the view of the sky from the street and also contributes to the relaxing vibes in Hiroo.
He hopes that Canvas Tokyo will grow to be a place where people from all over the world with various backgrounds can wander in, communicate with each other, and experience the warm atmosphere of Hiroo to their fullest through his store.
Canvas Tokyo is truly a place that might be small in size, but definitely with big aspirations.
They’re English friendly, and if you’re looking for a space for exhibitions or cute parties, or a quick lunch while experiencing the vibes of Hiroo, now you know -- Canvas Tokyo is the place.
Check out their website for more!