Unless you’re hiring a vehicle (or you’re an F1 superfan), it’s unlikely you’ll spend much of your holiday thinking about cars. This is especially true in Tokyo, a dizzying metropolis that’s about as far as you can get from the ideal road-trip destination. But one place you must visit during your time in the Japanese capital – regardless of your preferred mode of transport – is Intersect by Lexus.
As the name suggests, the space brings together many of the finer things in life – food, art, design, music, technology and more – in one exciting three-storey space. Located in Aoyama, a neighbourhood renowned for its high-end cafés, bars and fashion boutiques, Intersect rivals the very best lifestyle hubs. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this summer, it’s an inspirational experience that’ll set your imagination free.
At a glance, you might not even realise it’s designed by Lexus. While the graceful, light-filled interiors are a vision of contemporary elegance, merging modern, clean lines with traditional crafts, there are no obvious logos or showy graphics. But look a little closer and you’ll see the brand in the detail – a façade of layered Japanese bamboo forms the Lexus marque; a display called the Parts Wall, which on close inspection reveals 250 car components; monochrome marble floors which call to mind the tread of a tyre, and seating made of the same leather that’s used in the Lexus LFA supercar interiors. Everything here is an exploration of craftsmanship and a celebration of the beautiful, balanced design that characterises Japanese aesthetics and Lexus itself.
The first floor is a relaxed café and social space, created to foster connections and bring people together. Here, you can take a picture-perfect afternoon tea that includes buns with practically reflective glazes, and a menu of coffees sourced from Japanese roasteries. The first and second floors are also home to the Flag Partition, a flexible, modular interior where spaces are separated by brightly-coloured mesh screens, a legacy of Covid-19, which won the Grand Prix at the prestigious Red Dot Design Awards in 2021.
It’s just a taste of the innovation on offer here. Continue to the Garage, which houses contemporary art and design as well as cars. There’s a revolving series of exhibitions, including displays on the Lexus Design Award – an international competition which calls on rising talent to shape a better future. Artworks from around the world are displayed against a backdrop of aluminium panels and futuristic lighting. It’s less a car showroom, more a clubby, cutting-edge gallery, with installations designed to spark delight and curiosity. You can also shop from the artisanal range Crafted By Lexus – perhaps you’ll be tempted by a pair of handmade sunglasses, a beautifully woven lambswool blanket or a ceramic coffee kit with a volcanic-ash glaze?
In the second-floor lounge, traditional media makes a return with the library lounge. Spend time flicking through your pick of over 500 books on a wide range of subjects – it’s a far cry from the standard car manual. The second floor is also where you’ll find the bistro, which serves seasonal plant-based, fish and Akaushi beef dishes. Be sure to make a detour to the bathroom to admire its ceiling, covered in hundreds of model cars. Meanwhile the smart, basement-level Club House is open by arrangement for special events and meetings.
Source: Conde Nast Traveller