Fuglen: a dash of Norwegian charm in Tokyo

by Vivian Morelli.
Photographs: Said Karlsson

Tucked in a quiet nook a few steps away from the Shibuya madness, Fuglen manages to display all aspects of Scandinavian peacefulness and stylish interior design in the form of a café, cocktail bar and furniture showroom.

Hailing from Oslo, Fuglen, in Norwegian, means “The Bird”. The warm, dark-wooded and slightly retro space looks like it’s straight from the 50s or 60s, and pretty much everything surrounding you is for sale: the sofa you’re sitting on to sip your coffee, the lamp above you, and the table on which your cocktail is served.

Fuglen’s design aesthetic is not too far off Japanese, and combines a natural, simple aesthetic with an extensive use of wood to create what looks something like a Japanese-teahouse-meets-Scandinavian-cottage.

The menu offers a selection of espresso blends made by skilled baristas, both Japanese and Norwegian: you could luckily have your drink whipped up by a Norwegian barista, visiting as part of an exchange program with the Oslo branch, or by some of the most talented in Japan.

Fuglen cafe

Either way, the coffee is exquisite, but if it’s too late for a java shot, Fuglen serves an array of cocktails from their speakeasy bar style. Bottled beer from the best four breweries of the Northern land and a seasonal wine chart will satisfy every palate. For non-alcoholic options, I highly recommend sipping on the homemade ginger ale, which offers the perfect balance of spicy and sweet.

The cozy interior is ideal for lounging around catching up with friends, or working away on a laptop while people-watching from the floor-to-ceiling windows. Piles of design magazines are available to browse through, and the unique trinkets adorning the furniture will make you feel right at home.

If you thought Norway was all about Vikings and ice, it may be a good idea to stop by Fuglen and soak in a bit of the Nordic style.

Coffee from ¥450, cocktails from ¥1300.

Fuglen will hold a beer tasting with Nogne O brewery on Thursday August 23 from 19:00, to tickle your taste buds with the most unique tastes from Norway.

1-6-11 Tomigaya, Shibuya-ku
Website here.

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