Last month a popular noodle restaurant, Hoto Fudo, opened its 4th store to what I can only imagine must have been a delightful surprise. Delightful because of its beautiful, organic form that sits near the foot of Mt. Fuji. Surprising because it bears no similarity to its 3 predecessors. Hoto is the name of their main dish, a characteristically flat noodle that is served with vegetables in a miso broth.
The structure, designed by Takeshi Hosaka Architects, is an organic, bulbous form that, in winter, could easily be mistaken for a large igloo. In the spirit of the igloo the restaurant also has no air-conditioning. And, except during the coldest times of the year, the entrances remain open to the outdoors allowing natural elements like wind, fog and sometimes rain, to enter the interior.