Harajuku Design Festa Art Village: Where art meets food meets friends

By Jes Kalled

The Tokyo sky is a bright blue today, and there are no clouds. We’re standing outside in Design Festa Art Village’s cafe bar, sipping a cool drink, beads of water on the sides of our cups. “How would you describe this place?” I ask my two hosts, Allison Cottrell of the Design Festa Gallery and Mengchun Chou of its attached restaurant, Sakura Tei.

“A place where people can come together. Eat together. Make art together,” replies Chou.

There are trees and murals surrounding us. The branches bend to give us shade, the leaves are silhouetted shadows on the ground or on the sides of buildings.

“It’s a space for everyone. All genders, nationalities and kinds of artists,” says Cottrell. “Look there, that’s a new mural.” She points to a wolf surrounded by rainbow colors painted on the white wall behind me.


I work here and I hadn’t seen it until now,” she explains. “This place is always evolving. There’s always something new going on.”

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© GaijinPot

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

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