A small business is a labor of love. And for shopkeepers, that often means that the line between work and home life is blurred. So why fight it? That was the thinking of a shop owner in Tokyo and his architects (Osamu Nishida, Hirotaka Isshiki and Rei Yanai of ON Design); together, they created the ultimate live/work space.
Fika, located in Nagasaki, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, is a weekend shop that functions as the owner’s residence during the week. Fika’s owner has a strong connection to Scandinavian sundries and was looking to display his goods in a commercial space that felt more like a rotating private collection; a place where customers could connect with the items. Loosely translating to “coffee break” in Swedish, Fika has an upstairs and downstairs kitchen, so customers can see the kitchen products in use.
Photography by Koichi Torimura via This Is Paper.
Above: ON Design maximized the 355-square-foot plot of land with a tall and thin building.
Above: A private entrance is located around the back of the shop.
Above: The two-story building features a high-rise shelf that, on the lower level, functions as display and on the second floor, as shelving for the private residence.
Above: Woven birch baskets, clothespins, antique silver, and the classic dala horse are some of the many accessories on the shop shelves.
Above: An upstairs loft and compact outdoor deck for the shopkeeper.
Above: Upstairs furniture and tableware are used by the owner and later displayed on shelves downstairs (marked as second \-hand pieces).
Above: The long commute: a lofted attic bed is just upstairs from the shop.
Above: A view from the exterior through a window as tall as the shop’s main shelving.
Frequently asked questions
What is the concept behind Scandinavian Sundries in Tokyo?
Scandinavian Sundries in Tokyo is a shop located in Nishiogikubo, a residential neighborhood in western Tokyo, Japan. It is designed to replicate the cozy atmosphere and style of a Scandinavian home, offering a wide range of carefully curated products, from stationery to clothing to home decor.
Are the products at Scandinavian Sundries all Scandinavian?
While the shop has a strong Scandinavian influence, not all of the products are from Scandinavia. The goal is to offer unique and high-quality products from around the world that fit with the shop's overall aesthetic. Many of the products are handmade by artisans and independent designers, adding to their uniqueness and quality.
Can you live above the shop in Nishiogikubo?
Yes, it is possible to live above the shop in Nishiogikubo. The owner, Yuki Matsuda, lives in the apartment above the shop with her family. The apartment was designed to be a comfortable and functional living space that also complements the style and atmosphere of the shop below.
What are some popular products at Scandinavian Sundries?
Some popular products at Scandinavian Sundries include handmade pottery, organic cotton clothing, Scandinavian-designed stationery, and unique home decor items. The shop also offers a selection of vintage items that fit with the overall aesthetic of the space, such as mid-century furniture and accessories.
Is the shop easy to find?
Scandinavian Sundries is located in a residential neighborhood, so it may not be immediately obvious to find. However, it is only a short walk from Nishiogikubo Station, which is easily accessible from central Tokyo. The shop is located on a quiet street and has a distinctive red facade that makes it easy to spot.