Putting a building in a tree seems to be an almost surefire way of producing that elusive cool factor. We’ve seen trees support actual houses, an entire resort, and even a concept for future city living. Yet, none of these compare to the shocking appearance of the Naha Harbor Diner in Okinawa, Japan. The restaurant is nestled atop a 20-ft concrete replica of a gajumaru tree, also known as a banyan. The replica is actually life-size as gajumarus really grow to mammoth proportions.
As the anchor of a commercial centre, aptly named the Banyan Town, the treehouse structure towers over its neighbour. Despite its quirky, playful exterior, the restaurant interior actually has a quiet, romantic ambiance. It is also rumoured to serve some of the best Asian cuisines in town and uses organic, locally grown ingredients.
It is not completely clear why the restaurant was placed on top of a tree. Although, it does appear to be a form of duck architecture as the tree symbolizes the ‘sustainable food’ theme of the establishment. Also, the gajumaru often has a spiritual role in many Asian cultures. And there’s no denying the simple business sense of it all — most passers-by can’t help but stop to check out the crazy restaurant in a giant tree.