May 22, 2024

Top 13 Japanese Themed Kitchen Design Ideas For 2024

Do you love Japanese styles and dream of a Japanese themed kitchen?

Then today's blog post is for you. 

We will explore Japanese interior designers elements that give your kitchen Japan vibes. ๐ŸŒธ ๐ŸŒธ ๐ŸŒธ

Think about modern Japanese kitchens that embody tranquility, simplicity, and elegance. 

This post will summarize the top 13 Japanese-inspired traditional Japanese kitchen design ideas for 2024 specially tailored for kitchen lovers and Japan fans. 

Think about

  • shoji screens (ใ—ใ‚‡ใ†ใ˜ใ‹ใฟ)
  • bamboo accents
  • tatami flooring
  • minimal color palettes 

A combination of these obvious Japanese elements together with the more subtle influences will lend themselves to a unique modern Japanese interior design.

Letโ€™s begin this design adventure and make your kitchen a harmony of utility and beauty.

Why a Japanese Themed Kitchen Feels Good

Have you asked yourself why the Japanese minimalism expert Mari Kondo with her KonMari method (ใ“ใ‚“ใพใ‚Š) is so popular?

And why Japanese architecture is one of the most sought-after interior trends? 

This is more than the look; this is everything that goes into Japanese culture including zen philisohopy, high quality, calm and tranquility. 

Dish towel
Japanese Traditional Towel Tenugui B
$24.98

Beautiful Japanese dish towels made of great quality and feel good in the hand.

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05/26/2024 02:55 am GMT

The following Japanese design principles make the kitchen a sanctuary:

  • It is rooted in principles of โ€˜wabi-sabiโ€™(ใ‚ใณใ•ใณโ€“ art of seeing beauty in ugliness and ephemerality. This doctrine prefers the acceptance of the natural, even the weird and the imperfectness of the natural materials. 
  • Ma (ใพ) is an extra prime principle, an appellation given to space but meant to guarantee physical dimension as well as the space between objects that provides liberty and peace. 
  • The Kanso principle(ใ‹ใ‚“ใ) demands an orderly simplicity โ€“ all is should have a place and purpose in the kitchen space without unnecessary mess. 
  • The merging of these two philosophies converts the kitchen to a relaxing environment where cooking is done with consciousness and tasting the small things of life takes place. 
Our Favorite
Stanley Quencher H2.0 FlowState Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Tumbler with Lid and Straw for Water, Iced Tea or Coffee
$45.00

This matcha-colored Stanley combines the Japan aesthetic with functionality of the Stanley cup.

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05/26/2024 03:01 am GMT

How this Zen philosophy becomes a perfect match for compact kitchens in the western world:

  • The Japanese kitchen design is based on minimalist design styles using lots of natural materials like wood and stone. 
  • Japanese design is customized and highly technological with small appliances to save space and avoid clutter.
  • The clean lines and absence of clutter are essential, with all being tucked away or placed with purpose. 
  • Personal style colors are generally subdued, instead centering on the shades of nature, and creating a calm and restful ambiance. 
  • This neutral color palette and natural materials (with a flower or plant here and there), it gives us space to breath and feel calm and relaxed. ๐ŸŒฌ๏ธ
  • Open shelving is a tradition that allows beautiful different sizes dishware ( kitchen cabinets ) and necessary items to be placed within reach. 
  • Not to mention the fine cultural nuances, like a โ€˜kotatsuโ€™( dining table with heater ) space or an living room area for the attractive items that have a story to tell or that celebrate the seasons for family members.
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05/20/2024 02:13 am GMT

For an easy decor twist, Japan-inspired wallpapers are a great starting point:

Shoji Gami Origami Paper Washi Roll, 11-Inch x 60-Feet
$14.02

Shoji Gami Origami Paper Washi Roll, 11-Inch x 60-Feet.

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06/11/2024 01:19 am GMT

This also is a smart idea for a Japandi style kitchens, where you will enjoy cooking and a peaceful refuge of your routine.

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06/11/2024 01:19 am GMT
Japanese themed kitchen: space for nature and function

Japanese themed kitchen: space for nature and function

Top 13 Japanese Themed Kitchen Design Ideas

Idea 1: Tiny And Powerful: Select Smaller-Sized Appliances And Electronics Where Possible

A minimalistic design requires space - but instead of going bigger and bigger with our utensils and machines - and cramming all in our spaces, why not go smaller?

In fact Japanese plates are much smaller than American average-sized ones. Re-think how much you really need.

Is a full-sized dish-washer needed - or would a Japanese-sized one be sufficient?

Rice-cookers, water cookers, and other electronics do not only have high-tech functions and compact size, but also a minimalist design which will be a great addition to any Japan-inspired kitchen.

Best Rice Cooker
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04/15/2024 12:12 am GMT

Idea 2: Minimalist Cabinetry: Use sleek, handle-less cabinetry for a clean and minimalist look

Minimalist cabinetry is the secret to a clean and neat kitchen. 

Choose handle-less styles that open with a quick push or pull, keeping the lines clean and a minimalist look. 

Most of the time, these cabinets are provided with modern features such as soft-close hinges and fully extendable drawers, thus blending practicality and minimalist style. 

The lack of hardware keeps the attention on the craft and an option of materials used, whether it is a clean matte and or a wood like grain. 

It is a gentle yet powerful approach to minimalism in oneโ€™s kitchen design, making every element both functional and beautiful.

Grandma's Favorite
ๆœ‰็”ฐ็„ผใ‚„ใใ‚‚ใฎๅธ‚ๅ ด Chawanmushi Cups with Lids Set of 2 Japanese Chawan Mushi Arita Imari ware Made in Japan Shumaki Tokusa
$55.00 ($27.50 / Count)

These Cups are used in Japan to make custard, but can be used for many purposes in the kitchen or at home.

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04/14/2024 11:11 am GMT
Cat Design
Japanese Porcelain Bowl Rice Bowl Udon Bowl. Made in Japan, Maneki Neko Smiling Cat Pattern
$29.99

This cute cat design is very popular in Japan as cats are supposed to bring good luck and propserity.

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04/14/2024 10:52 am GMT
Japanese themed kitchen: open displays give an airy feel

Japanese themed kitchen: open displays give an airy feel

Idea 3: Zen-Inspired (ใœใ‚“) Color Palette: Choose subdued colors to create a calm and serene atmosphere

A Zen-inspired color palette is critical when designing a Japanese kitchen. 

Such palette is inspired by the gentle, quiet shades found in nature, producing a peaceful and slightly meditative mood. 

Think of the soft colors of morning dew, the golden brown of river rocks, or the dark greens of a forest glen. 

These colors harmonize together to provide a peaceful background for cooking and socializing. 

Matcha Cup
Japanese Handmade Matcha Tea Bowl Black, Green Tea Ceremony, Authentic Mino Ware Pottery, Kuro Sakin Gesho Ceramic Chawan
$23.44

This Matcha cup is handmade in Gifu prefecture, Japan and is a treasure for all Japan-lovers.

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04/14/2024 08:41 am GMT
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05/20/2024 02:41 am GMT

Idea 4: Bamboo Accents: Add bamboo details for a traditional Japanese touch

Bamboo is the symbol of being both powerful and flexible.

Bringing bamboo components into your kitchen will give it the sense of the traditional Japanese

If you like the natural look, you may consider bamboo shades as an option for a light-filtering treatment of your window or maybe bamboo utensil holders to keep your countertop in order. You can also go for cutting boards, trays, or placemats crafted from this eco-friendly material. 

Matcha Set
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Everything You Need
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04/14/2024 08:49 am GMT

Idea 5: Open Shelving: Utilize open shelving to display Japanese ceramics and kitchenware

Open shelving should not be treated just like some storage solution โ€“ it is rather the stage for your Japanese ceramics and kitchenware to shine. 

This design concept honors the artistry and elegance of the objects you touch in your routine.

Consider organizing a group of handcrafted sake cups, a fragile teapot, or a set of hand-painted bowls. 

The open shelves are a practical but decorative display.

You might choose the shelves from natural wood, which will be in harmony with the Japanese theme or opt for a contrasting material, for example, metal, to make the design more modern.

The trick is to maintain it clean and tidy, having items that are both attractive and dear to you. 

Your kitchen turns into a gallery of your preferences, and the open shelving stimulates a discussion about the art of Japanese pottery and the tales behind your collection.

Traditional
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04/14/2024 10:09 am GMT
Modern
Japanese Style Rice Bowls Set of 4, Creative Ceramic Home Rice Salad Bowl Noodle Bowl, Soup Bowl
$27.95 ($6.99 / Count)

These rice bowls come in a modern design which is now very popular in Japan.

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04/14/2024 10:10 am GMT

Idea 6: Integrated Indoor Plants: Place indoor plants or herbs for a natural, lively accent

Introducing indoor plants into your Japanese-styled kitchen does not only clean the air; it also adds natureโ€™s live to your home. 

A herbal garden can be made on the windowsill or you can hang eucalyptus for a small touch of green with a light aroma. 

Potting herbs in simple pots that reiterate the minimalist character or for a traditional touch in small, sophisticate bonsai trays is a great choice. 

Plants like ivy can be placed on higher shelves to add dimension to the room and attract attention up. 

Idea 7: Sliding Shoji Doors: Install shoji doors for pantries or storage for a unique Japanese aesthetic

Shoji doors are one of the unique characteristics that are typical of Japanese interiors, and including them in your kitchen storage can bring in an paralelled aesthetic value as well as functionality.

Usually, shoji is made of a paper material that is put in a frame of wood through which the light passes, creating a light, diffused, and quiet atmosphere.

In a western application, they work for the pantry doors or cabinets where they hide the clutter and still keep the space looking neat, and without blocking the light โ€“ a choice for small kitchens or lowlight ones. 

Shoji Gami Origami Paper Washi Roll, 11-Inch x 60-Feet
$14.02

Shoji Gami Origami Paper Washi Roll, 11-Inch x 60-Feet.

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06/11/2024 01:19 am GMT

Contemporary interpretations would probably utilize frosted glass or similar resilient materials that resemble the look. 

The sliding mechanism is a space-saver, ideal for tiny houses too, so an important design element for everyone who is living big in a small space.

Idea 8: Low-Hanging Pendant Lights: Use low-hanging, rice paper pendant lights for soft illumination

Pendant lights, in particular if they are low-hanging, can make a Japanese-themed kitchen look like a tea house bathed in dim soft light.

The soft lighting of rice paper provides a friendly and warm environment that is perfect for both cooking and dining. 

Each of these pendants can be hung separately over focal areas such as kitchen islands or dining tables or as a set in a line for a more impressive look.

The level at which they are hung should be low enough to introduce intimacy to the space while high enough not to block the view. 

Select fixtures that are simple and will not overtake the look of the entire space. 

Idea 9: Japanese-Style Breakfast Nook: Create a cozy breakfast nook with floor cushions and a low table

Picture your morning coffee enjoyed in a delightful breakfast nook which is made and designed in an intimate comfort similar to the traditional Japanese dining area. 

A chabudai, a low table, along with zabuton, floor cushions set, makes you sit with your legs folded and savour the tranquillity of your morning tea or cup of coffee. 

This arrangement prompts a casual sitting position and a more intimate relationship with family or guests as you eat.

For a little ambience, give a small indoor garden or shoji screen a try. 

This breakfast nook, Japanese-style, isnโ€™t just a dining space; rather, it is a daily spot to retreat where you can take your time, enjoy your meal, and have your Zen moment before your day starts.

Favorite
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04/15/2024 09:08 am GMT

Idea 10: Stone Countertops: Incorporate stone countertops for a natural and durable cooking surface

Stone benchtops are the ideal to convey the resistance and beauty of nature to your Japanese inspired kitchen.

Durable materials such as granite, slate, or soapstone provide a work surface that will resist the wear and tear of daily cooking and contribute a demure element of refinement.

The natural variations in color and pattern of the stone make each countertop one of a kind which is in line with wabi-sabi admiration of imperfection and individuality

Pick a stone with muted colors that will work in a zen-inspired color palette of the kitchen.

Designs that facilitate the rolling of dough, or working with pastry, make the cool surface functional as well as beautiful.

The simple cleaning and maintenance make sure that the countertop in your Japanese-inspired space becomes a timeless feature and combines tradition with functionality.

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05/20/2024 02:18 am GMT
Japanese themed kitchen: celebrating the everyday tasks

Japanese themed kitchen: celebrating the everyday tasks

Idea 11: Tatami Floor Mats: Place tatami mats in a dining area for an authentic Japanese experience

Tatami mats are an indispensible part of a traditional Japanese home and adding them to your dining area is sure to make it look and feel truly genuine in an instant.

Constructed from woven straw, and cloth edges, tatami mats are attractive as well as functional, providing an insulating layer that is comfortable against the floor. 

Supported by a low table and floor cushions, the mats promote a laid-back yet personal dining experience, allowing everyone to be seated at floor level in the typical Japanese fashion. 

Idea 12: Kintsugi-Inspired Decor: Add kintsugi (golden repair) pottery for a unique decorative touch

Kintsugi, the Japanese art of golden repair, honors the imperfection and life story of ceramic wares. 

The use of kintsugi-inspired decor in your kitchen can improve the depth and historical dimension of your kitchen. 

Instead of covering cracks and breaks, kintsugi highlights them with gold, silver, or platinum, making an everyday piece of pottery a masterpiece.

Kintsugi repaired bowls or plates can be shown on open shelves, or one can use them as functional pieces for special occasions. 

This method is in accordance with the Japanese general philosophy which states that there is beauty in imperfection and that objects are more valued because they have been broken and repaired. 

It is the art form proclaiming the spirit of everything rising again from the ashes, taught with the philosophical aspect which can turn a simple kitchen into a place of culinary creation and reflection of mind. And it is a fun craft to try out! ๐Ÿ™‚

Wabi Sabi Crafts
Bio Kintsugi Repair Kit, Food Safe Bio Resin Kintsugi Kit, Bio Based - Dishwasher Safe - Repair Your Meaningful Objects with Bio Glue, Perfect for Beginners, Japanese Art Kintsugi Craft
$28.99

This kit makes it easy to repair broken ceramics giving them the traditional Japanese look that does not hide imperfection, but highlights it. Store-bought kintsugi bowls can cost many hundresds of dollars.

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04/14/2024 08:59 am GMT

Idea 13: Traditional Japanese Art: Decorate walls with traditional Japanese art for an elegant finish

To have the Japanese spirit in your kitchen, just decorate walls using traditional Japanese art.

 They can be graceful calligraphy scrolls, lively ukiyo-e woodblock prints or gentle ink wash paintings like sumi-e.

 The artwork that one selects becomes the focal point of cultural, giving something to look at to enjoy, and a conversation piece among the guests. 

When choosing the art works, think about the type of colors and patterns that will suit the pattern of the kitchen and colors used. 

Hanging these art pieces as scroll paintings or layering them in a simple wood frame using the traditional methods will preserve their charm and originality.

In addition, traditional Japanese art beautifies a kitchen, depicts rich history, and cultural development of Japan and, therefore, makes space as both gorgeous and very cultural.

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05/20/2024 02:13 am GMT

How to achieve the Japanese Kitchen Design Look

Choosing the Right Materials

The choice of quality materials is one of the major elements of a polished Japanese design aesthetic.

Select organic materials like light  wood, bamboo and stone to create a warm and natural ambience. 

When it comes to choosing wood, for example, maple, cypress, or elm are great options, and loved for their texture and color. 

Bamboo is a versatile material that can be applied to floors, cabinets, and as dรฉcor. 

Countertops are all about the stone selections, like granite or soapstone that are attractive and durable. 

Please do not forget about the quality and sustainability of the materials: they must be not only good looking but also long-lasting and ecologically sound. 

Also think about refurbishing old or broken materials to give them a second life - Wabi-Sabi is after all a key Japan trend!

Integrating Japanese Decorative Pieces

To have a complete essence of a Japanese kitchen, it is essential to include pieces that speak of the culture and skillfulness of Japan.

Begin with choosing ceramics that are not only functional, but also decorative. 

For Everyday
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04/15/2024 12:06 am GMT

Handmade pottery with original patterns or dishes can decorate open shelves or even be used as everyday crockery. 

Elegant
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04/21/2024 05:17 am GMT

If you want some color and pattern, just hang a noren, a split curtain, in front of your kitchen or pantry. 

Do include a small tokonoma-like nook, a special alcove to display ikebana (flower arrangements) or a favorite piece of pottery. 

The inclusion in small things like a bamboo vase, a cast iron teapot, or stone lanterns can also make a substantial effect. 

Our Pick
Cast Iron Tea Kettle for Stovetop - Japanese Tea Set with Warmer, Trivet, Infuser and 4 Teacups, Hobnail Design (40 oz, Black, 6 Pieces)
$51.49

This traditional and understated tea set is great for brewing a fresh cup of tea at any time for a moment of "Zen".

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04/14/2024 08:24 am GMT

Such items should provide pleasure and embody the wabi-sabi philosophy that is all about imperfection and natural aging of the materials.

Our Favorite
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04/21/2024 05:19 am GMT

Further Resources for Japanese Themed Kitchen Designs

If you want to indulge into the details of the Japanese kitchen design, why don't pick up some design books to get inspiration?

Japanese themed kitchen: cooking with minimalism

Japanese themed kitchen: cooking with minimalism

Final Reflections on Japanese Themed Kitchen Design

At the end of the day, the most important thing in any kitchen design is functionality. A beautiful design and aesthetic are bonus, but should never compromise the functionality.

Some elements of Japanese kitchen design are hard to influence, as they depend on the structure of your building: having natural light, an open-plan layout, and high ceilings for an airy feel.

Other elements can be adapted more easily (and in a renter-friendly way!): using natural colors together with natural materials to form a connection with the natural world. These can be brought in through Japan-style wallpapers and ceramic tiles.

Even easier is it to include some of the Japanese design principles through kitchen equiment and decor elements. Think a rice cooker, a bamboo steamer, Japanese cooking equipment, miniature white appliances (including dishwashers!) and wind chimes and textile (Noren) screens for your windows and doorways.

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06/11/2024 01:19 am GMT
Noren
Japanese noren Slabline (Beige) Room Divider
$24.99

Doorway curtain (W33.5'xH66.9') is very common in Japan to create a visible border between two rooms.

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04/14/2024 09:55 am GMT

There is really something for any budget and amount of change you are able (and willing) to make.

Why not start small with something Japanese design today, and see how your space feels?

And then step by step (like with Kaizen ๆ”นๅ–„), you can build your Japanese themed kitchen.

ใ˜ใ‚ƒใ‚ใญใ€Yama

P.S.:
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Read more about Yama

Originally from Tokyo, I am a world-traveling Japanese adventurer who loves connecting with people.

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