Thomas Frebel, former chef at noma will open INUA in the Iidabashi area of Tokyo. Frebel’s dream of creating and running his own restaurant is being supported by a partnership between René Redzepi, the co-owner and head chef of the award-winning restaurant noma in Denmark, and KADOKAWA CORPORATION in Japan.

The restaurant will open on 29 June and start taking online reservations from 26 April.

Since spending significant time in Japan as part of Noma at Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo in 2015, Frebel has had a strong desire to return. In the past few years, he and his team have been travelling across Japan in search of new ingredients, developing their understanding of Japanese culture and building personal connections with the producers and suppliers. To discover and celebrate the distinct indigenous flavors and ingredients from every corner of Japan, they have travelled extensively, from the cooler climate of Hokkaido to the subtropical climate of Okinawa. INUA’s guests will have a dining experience inspired by Frebel’s discoveries through these journeys as well as his 10 years in Denmark.

“When I was here with noma, I felt this strong connection with Japan. I was drawn to the landscape, the culture and the ingredients. When we left, I felt a sense of not being finished with my time in Japan. Fulfilling my dream, I’m excited to be back in Tokyo, one of the world’s greatest food cities, to open and share INUA,” said Frebel.

The name INUA originates from the Inuit mythology, meaning “the spirit that exists in all living things”. The name reflects the belief that we are part of the greater natural landscape, and the delicate balance of the earth, the people, the plants and animals.


Frebel says, “During my trips exploring the rich greenery of the Scandinavian countries and in the deep forests of Japan, I realized the strong connections and similarities that are shared between the west and the east. We wanted to combine those distinct flavours and cultures in different ways, using Japanese ingredients and a Nordic sensibility.”

At INUA, the ever-changing menu will reflect Japan’s seasons, rich culture and diversity of landscapes. It will celebrate local and wild Japanese ingredients in a way that is respectful to their origin, but shaped by techniques and influences from around the world. Frebel’s menu will be innovative, accessible and ultimately, delicious.

The restaurant will combine Danish designs and Japanese craftsmanship to create an atmosphere that has warmth and soul. The 60-seat restaurant has been designed by Danish design company OEO Studio. “Our vision was to create a Japanese-Nordic design utopia in terms of interiors and atmosphere. We have worked with local materials as well as Japanese inspired details and applied tchem in a more Nordic way as well as in novel and unexpected ways,” says Head of Design & Founding Partner Thomas Lykke from OEO Studio. “There has always been a close bond between Japanese and Danish aesthetics, including a shared appreciation of detail and quality craftsmanship. And this is definitely the case with INUA.”

Redzepi says: “I’ve worked closely with Thomas for nearly ten years. I can directly relate so much of noma’s success to his work ethic and spirit. He’s the most talented and hardworking chef I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. With INUA, Thomas has the opportunity to find his voice as a chef and make an imprint in one of the greatest food cultures on earth. This wasn’t so much a goodbye as a continuation of our shared creativity.”


Head Chef: Thomas Frebel

Location: 9F Fujimi Bldg. 2-13-12 Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 102-0071 Japan


Reservations: via INUA website from 11am JST on 26 April 2018