A newly opened cafe in Kanazawa is buzzing on social media in Japan. All children in Japan know about manga. The stories, often in black and white, transport the reader to another world. This feeling arises even upon entering the cafe, as the black and white interior looks straight out of a manga.
Mono Kro Tea is just 500 meters from Kanazawa Station and merges with the view of the old town from outside. The interior does not take its guests into the past, but almost into a fantasy world that everyone in Japan knows. The walls, floor and ceiling have all been painted white. Black accents can only be found along the grain of the wood.
Works welcome guests in black and white
The walls are decorated with various black and white paintings. These include the raging waves from the “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji” collection of prints by internationally acclaimed artist Katsuhiko Hokusai. Ukiyo-e woodblock printing is one of the most famous works of art in Japan today, although it dates back to the late Edo period (1603-1867).
Additionally, a snowy view can be seen from Kenroku-en Garden. It complements the extravagant ambience of the cafe in a very appropriate way. The owner brought in local students and portraits to design his cafe, and he rendered the landscapes beautifully on the walls. At present, the depiction of Fusuma sliding doors on the walls can also be admired.
Cafe manager Mono Crow Chhaya explained that the owners’ concept is about expanding and designing the cafe in collaboration with guests. The idea of a monochrome cafe was born about two years ago. Next, the current owner painted the white seams of his sneakers black so they would show up on a black and white portrait or manga panel.
Four years on the path to true manga experience
Then he thought it would be fun to design an entire cafe like this. The owner, who previously worked as a lead architect for the housing association, used his knowledge to create exclusive designs and designs for the interior of his café. For four months he worked on the interior design with the help of four local students.
They decided to serve ice cream in a cafe because, according to a survey in Kanazawa, people spent the most money on ice cream products. The 2020 survey compared households across several major cities.