enjoy a facemask-free dinner under transparent lanterns in tokyo

Oct 14, 2021

as we move closer to the third year of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s safe to say that most of us have become accustomed to wearing facemasks on a daily basis. we’ve also gotten used to seeing the many weird and wonderful design responses to social distancing. enter hoshinoya tokyo, a restaurant in the japanese capital that’s proposed a novel way of dining safely in the pandemic era. from october 13th, the restaurant begins ‘tokyo lantern dinner’, a dining experience with transparent lantern-type partitions between each guest.

the custom-made lanterns are suspended over each person’s head, meaning they can take off their facemask during dinner. the main purpose of the project is to let people enjoy table conversation without worrying that you either can’t hear what’s being said or can’t read the other person’s facial expressions.

hoshinoya tokyo chose lanterns as they are an object attributed to traditional japanese customs and culture. the lanterns are made by the long-established lantern store kojima shoten in kyoto, which was founded during the edo period. they measure 75 cm in diameter and 102 cm in height and feature a large transparent section made from 0.15 mm vinyl. designed to be both functional and beautiful, the lanterns also feature an integrated light that illuminates the face with soft light.

the tokyo lantern dinner takes place in a private space of 40 sqm. the room is ventilated about 5.5 times per hour, which is about 11 times more compared to japanese building standards law that stipulates a ventilation rate of 0.5 times per hour.

to experience the tokyo lantern dinner will set you back 30,000 yen ($264.50) per group and 21,780 yen ($192) per person for a set menu called ‘nippon cuisine ~ fermentation ~’. you can find out more information on the hoshinoya tokyo website here.

project info:

name: tokyo lantern dinner

restaurant: hoshinoya tokyo

location: otemachi, tokyo, japan