One of the exquisite event spaces in Beppu, one of the places has the power to gather mostly foreign and domestic residents together enjoying not only delicious dishes but also vivacious chats: event space 'Studio Noquudo' in small, lovely Beppu, Oita Prefecture. I believe that it's quite rare to have a space that can be used as an art space but at the same time, sharing its atmosphere to another form of art - cooking.
The Studio is located near the Beppu Station area, right under the railroad, which is, with noisy trains running overhead quite often, some sort of experience as said in classic movies. When you get into the studio, perhaps you will have the same feeling as I did, it looks like an art gallery more than a cooking studio; maybe because the owner of the Studio, Ninomiya-san, is a Beppu-based artist, but at the same time, she happened to be a superb cook. Now things make sense, an open space used to host various events such as café, themed dinners and live performances, but also lunch café during the weekend to full-course dinner events, especially seasonal meals and treats every month.
One of the things that make me love Beppu's cafes is not just the way the owners decide the style of their cafes, but it's when you get inside and feel its soul through the designs and interior. Studio Noquudo is one of my favorites spot because of that.
The space is surrounded by raw-concrete walls, the furnitures are mostly wooden-made, or at least, bear the same color tone. Small pots of plants, herbs and vegetables fill the space. Various art pieces are on display, hanging on the walls, and depending on occasions and events the works will be changed.
Moreover, sometimes, Ninomiya-san will organize cooking class sessions so as everyone can enjoy how to make delicious food together while creating a new hobby and making new friends in the area. Besides hosting artistic events, Beppu artists' merchandise will be on sale too.
There was one time when I came to Studio Noquudo in a hot summer day, and I was very happy to see the ice-shaver machine there, after having a extremely healthy lunch set, including a main dish, soup and salad; I treated myself one more delicious summer treat by ordering a big cup of kakigori (ice-shaved with syrup), and Ninomiya-san was the one who made it with the ice-shaver machine, which at the first place, I thought it was used for decorating purposes. To enjoy the summer flavor and summer brunch, inside a wooden space with exquisite and vivacious interior design, my summer list seemed fulfilled half.
If you want to live a new experience, by joining cooking classes, monthly events, or just simply treat yourself with a delicious weekend brunch in a dazzling atmosphere, come to Studio Noquudo and explore yourself, and if you are confident with your Japanese, some conversation with Ninomiya-san will be so much enjoyable!
Some other pictures in Studio Noquudo:
For more information:
Opening hours: according to events (but occasionally on weekends). Check the Facebook page for updates on the latest events.
Price range: Each lunch set in Studio Noquudo is around 1,000yen.
Events fee: ~2,000yen.