You Have to Visit These Unique Starbucks Coffee Branches in Japan

They're all IG-worthy in their own way!

Starbucks Coffee – Ninenzaka Yasakachaya Branch
349 Masuyacho, Shimogawara-Higashiiru, Minamimon-dori, Kodaiji Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto
Contact: +81-75-532-0601
Open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
How to get there: It’s approximately an 18-minute walk from the nearest train station (Keihan Gion Shijo) or a 10-minute walk from nearest bus stop (Higashiyama Yasui).

A first for Starbucks worldwide is this tatami-style Starbucks Coffee branch located along Ninenzaka, Kyoto. A famous sightseeing spot, Ninenzaka is where you can find world heritage sites like the Kodaiji, Sanneizaka, and Kiyomizudera Temple, so it only makes sense that Starbucks housed its store in a 100-year-old Japanese building to preserve the original aesthetic of the neighborhood. With its tatami mats and zabuton cushions, this traditional coffee house doesn’t only offer a relaxing atmosphere, but also a unique Japanese experience to its customers.

On its second floor, you can enjoy a better view of Ninenzaka while lounging on the tatami mats. They also have table setups available should you wish to have your coffee there.

The narrow corridor, which is typical in Kyoto houses, leads to a beautiful garden.

The artwork behind the bar counter features the three layers of espresso and the flowing of Kiyomizu or spring water.

The LED chains that represent the flow of the water look even more wonderful when lit up.

Each room has a different scroll for you to check out.

“Since we are trying to protect the image of the neighborhood, we request that customers do not make a queue in front of the store. We ask them to use the waiting area on the first floor,” says the barista.

Starbucks Coffee – Kyoto Uji Byodoin Omotesando Branch
21-18 Ujirenge, Uji City, Kyoto
Contact: +81-774-25-7277
Open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
How to get there: It’s approximately a 12-minute walk from nearest train station (Keihan Uji) or a 14-minute walk from JR Uji Station.

If the aforementioned Starbucks store in Kyoto offers a fusion of modern and traditional sensibilities, this branch, located right next to Byodoin Temple, is perfect for those who simply want to enjoy their coffee in peace. To blend in with the traditional Uji neighborhood, the store was built with a spacious and attractive yard in front and a roof made from ancient Japanese gable roots. The premises are also painted green to create a harmony with the surrounding nature.

Having transparent glass as its walls lets customers enjoy nature even when inside the shop.

During spring, the large glass walls provide a good view of the sakura (cherry blossom) trees from the Uji River, while the koyo (maple) trees from the Byodoin Temple can be viewed here in autumn.

Starbucks coffee bean package designs made of Uji tea boxes

Feel completely zen in the open porch while enjoying a good cup of coffee and the sakura or koyo trees.

Starbucks Coffee – Kobe Meriken Park Branch
2-4 Hatobacho, Chuo Ward, Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture
Contact: +81-78-335-0557
Open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
How to get there: It’s approximately a 15-minute walk from the nearest train station (JR or Hanshin Motomachi).

More than being one of the biggest Starbucks branch in Western Japan, this particular store in Meriken Park, Kobe City is known for its remarkable architecture. Based on the theme “Kobe Harbor Coffee Cruise,” the Starbucks store is structured and designed to gives its customers the relaxing experience of having coffee on a cruise. This is in line with Meriken Park’s overall nautical concept because the park was originally a ship harbor.

The second floor window seats offer a panoramic view of Kobe City.

This Starbucks® NITRO Cold Brew Coffee (Tall: ¥561) is offered in limited stores across Japan, including this branch.

Enjoy a great view of Meriken Park and the port tower from the terrace.

Provided by Japan Walker™, Walkerplus™, and Kansai Walker™ (24 October 2017)

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