These unique Starbucks in Japan are all about culture and vibe

Japan is a country famous for its unique culture, art and architecture; and Starbucks Japan is no exception. While the coffee chain is especially famous for its seasonal drinks and merchandise unique to the Japanese market, including Sakura-themed tumblers and Frappuccino, some of these coffee shop in Japan deserve special attention.

Located in traditional locales and cultural districts, Starbucks Japan has outshined at harmonizing its store design with local and traditional culture. Here are a few beautiful and unique Starbucks shops in Japan that are a perfect blend of art, architecture, local history, and café culture.

Ninenzaka Yasaka Chaya, Kyoto

Starbucks Kyoto Ninenzaka Yasaka Chaya is one of 27 Starbucks Regional Landmark Stores, which exhibits the beauties of regional history, traditional crafts, and culture. This shop opened in 2017 inside a 100-year-old traditional townhouse and became the world’s first store to offer tatami floor seating. The store is located in front of Ninenzaka pathway, leading to Kiyomizu-Dera Temple, a popular sightseeing spot and a world heritage site; and preserves the vintage essence of the edifice. The ground floor offers a bar counter and inner courtyards complete with Japanese garden, while the second floor leads to multiple rooms with tatami mat flooring and zabuton cushions made with Kyotango woven fabric.

Dazaifu Tenmangu Omotesando, Fakuoka

Starbucks Dazaifu is designed by world-famous architect, Kengo Kuma. The shop is located along the historic pedestrian street leading up Dazaifu Tenmanhu Shrine, in Fukuoka. The architecture of this store is truly astounding; more than 2,000 wooden cedar batons are interwoven into trellis structures using the traditional kigumi technique, which is the art of interlocking wooden joints without nails. Featuring the eye-catching design, the interior of the shop looks like an elongated, tunnel-like space. Although, many geometrical variations may seem like a lot and cramped up, the skylight and the windows at the back allow plenty of natural light to enter the space to give it a bright and airy feel.

BAL Department Store, Kyoto

Ever been to a Starbucks that serves coffee and art? Termed as “a joint atelier for artists”, Starbucks Kyoto BAL is a new kind of coffee shop that is surrounded by fresh and modern works of art. Featuring many art pieces created by young artists from all over Japan and curated by the Kyoto-based creative platform SANDWICH, this store is located inside the Kyoto BAL department store. It is one of the few locations in Kyoto where customers can enjoy the new Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew coffee, along with the standard drinks and food items as well as some original drinks invented by the BAL itself.

Yomiuriland Hana Biyori, Tokyo

This Starbucks is located inside the blooming Hana Biyori greenhouse, which is part of a larger garden managed by the famous amusement park, Yomiuriland. The unusual café is a great place to savor greenery over a cup of coffee. Set in a big hall, the café is surrounded by blooming flower walls and hanging baskets of begonias, fuchsias, petunias, geraniums, and bellflowers. The open space is a breath of fresh air; and has a communal table with a water feature, plenty of seating, and an 8 meter-long aquarium. Moreover, the “Starbucks” sign is made with real, living plants.