Efforts for the New Normal in Tokyo



A boundless diversity of ingredients, techniques and cultures makes Tokyo the food capital of the world. With two Michelin stars, INUA in Tokyo offers an astounding, international look at local ingredients, and you can even enjoy a tour of the kitchen.

For many people visiting Japan, the highlight of their trip is Japanese food. However, there is now a unique food genre in Tokyo that we highly recommend trying; a completely new food genre created by a foreign chef using Japanese ingredients.

Thomas Frebel of INUA talking with customers
One of Frebel’s many unique dishes at INUA

German-born chef, Thomas Frebel, spent ten years training at the famed restaurant Noma in Denmark. In 2018 he came to Tokyo and opened INUA. In less than two years he was awarded two Michelin stars. “Japan has a surprising variety of ingredients and methods for cooking them. I moved to Tokyo, the capital of food, because there is still so much to discover.” There is a parade of flavors in his approximately 18 course dinners. Although his dishes look very different from Japanese food, Mr. Frebel uses many Japanese techniques so the food does have a Japanese flavor. “99.9% of the ingredients are sourced from Japan, but we have a different perspective from the common Japanese way of choosing ingredients. Our produce is harvested earlier than usual and we also use parts of the produce that are not usually used which has often surprised the farmers.”

Frebel presenting his kitchen to touring guests.

Guests can take a tour of the kitchen following their meal. In addition to the two kitchens on the main floor, there is also a test kitchen downstairs where Mr. Frebel spends one third of his time with his team. Here they make such Japanese staples as fermented foods and store seaweed, fruits, and nuts from around Japan. “I think the diversity of our teams contributes to the creativity of INUA.” Currently, there are 50 staff members from 15 different nationalities working at INUA who continuously use INUA’s ingredients to develop new menus every day.




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