On July 3, two-Michelin-starred restaurant Inua announced it would be closing indefinitely due to the effects of COVID-19 on Tokyo’s restaurant and hospitality industry.

In a statement, head chef Thomas Frebel said, “As difficult as this decision is, with the wellbeing of our team and guests at the heart of everything we do, it is the only decision we can take.”

The restaurant opened to fanfare at the end of June 2018, with its head chef Thomas Frebel having spent 10 years working as both a chef and head of research and development at Copenhagen’s Noma, which topped The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list four times between 2010 and 2015.

Inua, which blended Nordic technique with local Japanese ingredients, was named Arrival of the Year at the inaugural awards ceremony for The World Restaurant Awards in 2019, awarded two Michelin stars at the end of November that same year and voted No. 49 in the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list in March 2020.

“Remaining closed for now will give us the best chance of returning again in the future,” said Frebel.

“At this time, I want to thank all of our friends and guests for their friendship and support — there is nothing more I look forward to than welcoming and serving you again.”

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

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