FUKUJUEN Kyoto flagship store “the garden in the sky”
Fukujuen started its business in 1790. In order to create and had down the Uji tea cultur, the company has the “Ujicha-kobo”, a facility dedicated to experiencing the Uji tea culture and “CHA-yugaku-park,” which includes a research institute. So it is not only a tea dealer but also a general trading company of tea, so to speak. The flagship store in Kyoto was established to create products with true Kyoto taste, and to offer customers an admirably rich and noble world.
The concept of the flagship store serves to revitalize the essence of the Uji tea culture, which has been colored by imperial culture and fostered deep in our hearts through a modern framework of timeless and creative “landscape architecture.” This concept was named “the garden in the sky,” based on the idea of “Shichu-no-sankyo” (a mountain hut in a city) in tea ceremony. By expressing this concept in its landscape design, visitors can enjoy a cup of tea while feeling close to nature in this flagship store, even if it is located in the city. Professor Hiromasa Amasaki at Kyoto University of Arts & Design, who is the leading expert of the Japanese garden study, supervised and directed the whole process of planning, designing and construction of this concept.
In traditional Japanese landscape design, a technique called “Mitate” has been adopted. In this technique, a stone, an artificial mountain, or trees are compared to a famous place or a mountain. Here in Fukujuen’s Kyoto flagship store, we also use this “Mitate” technique to provide the image of a traditional garden.
In the building with nine floors and one basement*, a tea room in Ritsurei style (using tables and chairs in the tea ceremony), as well as a traditional tea room, have been built, with different floor patterns for each floor, like checks or a pattern of clouds. Restrooms are also decorated with various designs, such as one imitating an outdoor washbasin. Thus, visitors can enjoy just watching the inside of each room. Further, in courtyards built on each floor, various designs related to tea were adopted in a rich but simple way. Each courtyard has its own theme, which is the image of silence, the image of “wabi,” or the image of an original landscape of a tea plantation, and so on.
The nature and historical culture of Kyoto, which have nurtured the world famous Uji tea culture in areas ranging from Toganoo to Yamashiro, not to speak of Rakuchu, are condensed in the “Landscape Architecture” of the Fukujuen Kyoto flagship store.