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12 Must-Visit Starbucks Showcasing Japanese Architecture!

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Read on to discover 12 must-visit Starbucks across Japan! There are tons of unique locations, whether designed by a world-famous architect, operating in a traditional townhouse, or adjacent to a Japanese garden and library.

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Unique Japanese Architecture! Must-Visit Starbucks Stores in Japan

Are you a Starbucks fan? Have you ever visited any of Japan’s unique Starbucks coffeehouses?

Starbucks can be found across Japan in all 47 prefectures. Many of these coffeehouses are unique to Japan!
In this article, we'll introduce our top 12 stores that fans should visit in Japan. Some feature Japanese-style architecture, while others standout for their special services.

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Table of Contents

1. RESERVE® ROASTERY TOKYO: Designed by Architect Kengo Kuma!

Kengo Kuma Starbucks

RESERVE® ROASTERY TOKYO is located in Nakameguro, Tokyo, an area famous for its beautiful cherry blossom-lined streets. The store’s design and layout were created by none other than Kengo Kuma, world-famous Japanese architect. Its striking interior is enhanced by the use of natural wood.

Nakameguro Starbucks Bread

RESERVE® ROASTERY TOKYO has an extensive menu that includes oven-baked pizza, fresh bread, pasta, ice cream, and castella cake. Customers can enjoy the store at any time of day, whether for lunch or a drink in the evening. This popular store has captured the hearts of many Starbucks fans.

2. Ginza Matsuya-dori (Tokyo): The First Starbucks Opened in Japan!

First Starbucks in Japan

The Ginza Matsuya-dori store opened in 1996 as the first Starbucks in Japan. The cafe's chic exterior and wide windows set it apart from your typical coffee chain. No wonder it created a national stir when first opening!

The very first customer at this branch ordered a double tall latte, a drink that is exclusively served here.

First Starbucks Store in Japan Commemorative Steel Plate

A memorial plaque commemorating the store as the first in Japan is displayed inside. This is a must-visit photo spot for Starbucks fans.

3. RESERVE® STORE Ginza Marronnier-dori (Tokyo): The Upgraded Flagship Store!

Ginza Starbucks Reserve Store

The Ginza Marronnier-dori store is Starbucks’ flagship store in Tokyo's ritzy shopping district. It was renovated and upgraded to RESERVE® STORE Ginza Marronnier-dori in 2019.

Ginza Starbucks Reserve Store

Much like RESERVE® ROASTERY TOKYO, customers can enjoy pasta, among other tasty dishes, Teavana™ teas, and even alcoholic beverages. The store also offers a variety of special seasonal menu items.

4. Kawagoe Kanetsuki-dori (Saitama): Seamlessly Blending into Little Edo

Kawagoe Starbucks

The Kawagoe Kanetsuki-dori store opened in Kawagoe, a sightseeing destination in Saitama Prefecture, in 2018. This branch is located near a popular wooden tower called the Toki no Kane (Time Bell Tower).

The building was designed to blend into the townscape of Kawagoe, which has been beautifully preserved since the Edo Period. The stunning cafe was constructed from Japanese cedar grown in Saitama. The white noren curtains  give it a traditional touch and modern sensibility that our writer adores.

Kawagoe Starbucks Garden

Go inside and you’ll find a garden landscaped in the karesansui style. Plum blossoms also bloom here in spring!

Sip exquisite coffee at Kawagoe Kanetsuki-dori while listening to the sound of bell chimes. You may find yourself lingering here for a long time.

5. Kyoto Nineizaka Yasaka Chaya: Enjoy Coffee and Tatami Mats!

Kyoto Nineizaka Yasaka Chaya

Kyoto Nineizaka Yasaka Chaya is the first Starbucks to open inside a renovated machiya (traditional townhouse). The exterior of this traditional Japanese home was left in its original state, with only the interior undergoing renovations. The store opened in 2017.

Kyoto Nineizaka Yasaka Chaya

There are seats on tatami mats, as well as seating decorated in fabric woven with a traditional technique used in Nishijin brocade. Right outside, you'll spot an elegant garden.

6. Kyoto Sanjo Ohashi: Enjoy Cool Summer Evenings with Coffee

5 Starbucks Concept Stores Worth Visiting in Japan

The Kyoto Sanjo Ohashi store operates throughout the year, like any Starbucks. However, it undergoes a transformation in the summer. Summer terraces (noryo-yuka) are a common feature in Kyoto. These are installed outside the coffeehouse, allowing customers to enjoy the cool summer breeze with a drink!

5 Starbucks Concept Stores Worth Visiting in Japan

While seated at these summer terraces, customers can cool off, feeling the river breeze.

There are a limited number of seats, so you may have to wait in line on weekends and holidays. Please note that you’ll be added to a waitlist after purchasing your drink.

5 Starbucks Concept Stores Worth Visiting in Japan

We recommend visiting in the mornings on weekdays, since there are fewer people. In the evenings, the view of the Kamo River is breathtaking, so try visiting during that time too!

7. Dazaifutenmangu Omotesando (Fukuoka): A Fusion of Tradition and Modernity

Fukuoka Dazaifutenmangu Omotesando Starbucks

Opened in 2011, the Dazaifutenmangu Omotesando store is another design by Kengo Kuma. This space was constructed with a traditional wooden framework structure. The interior makes it feel as if you’re being embraced by nature!

Fukuoka Dazaifutenmangu Omotesando Starbucks Kengo Kuma

A year after opening in 2012, the store won Japan’s Good Design Award for "enabling (guests) to feel new developments in the way wood is used.”

8. Toyama Kansui Park: The Most Beautiful Starbucks!

5 Starbucks Concept Stores Worth Visiting in Japan

The Kansui Park store in Toyama was the first Starbucks in Japan to open inside a park. It is commonly called “the most beautiful Starbucks,” and is famous worldwide.

Its simplistic design harmonizes with and blends into the nature-rich park. On sunny days, the blue sky and white clouds shine on the store’s glass walls.

5 Starbucks Concept Stores Worth Visiting in Japan

The park’s scenery can also be enjoyed through the large windows.

5 Starbucks Concept Stores Worth Visiting in Japan

The most popular seats in the store are on the balcony, thanks to its river view. Even if no seats are available, you can still soak up the sunlight and feel the breeze on the balcony with a drink in hand.

Toyama Starbucks

Photo by Pixta

The night view is also exceptional!

9. Fukuoka Ohori Park: Environmentally Friendly and Eco-Conscious

5 Starbucks Concept Stores Worth Visiting in Japan

The Fukuoka Ohori Park store is the second Starbucks to open in a park, following Toyama Kansui Park.

It even looks similar to the Toyama Kansui Park store on the outside. However, this location has a unique interior that is especially environmentally consciousness.

5 Starbucks Concept Stores Worth Visiting in Japan

For example, the store makes and effort to “let natural light and reduce the amount of electricity used during the day.” A portion of the tables are also made from custom boards produced by combining used coffee grounds with timber from forest thinning.

5 Starbucks Concept Stores Worth Visiting in Japan
5 Starbucks Concept Stores Worth Visiting in Japan

Thanks to the many single-person tables, guests love getting some work done inside the Fukuoka Ohori Park store, too.

10. Hirosaki Koen-mae (Aomori): Full of Novelties

Hirosaki Koen-mae Starbucks

Picture from Aomori And Akita In Winter – Exciting Festivals, Art, And Snow

The Hirosaki Koen-mae store utilizes an old Western-style home that is a designated Tangible Cultural Property of Japan. This building was originally constructed in 1917 as the official residence of an army divisional commander.

5 Starbucks Concept Stores Worth Visiting in Japan

Aomori Prefecture is home to Shirakami-Sanchi, the world’s largest beech forest. That's why several decorations in the store are made from beech trees. Traditional embroidery from the Tsugaru area also decorates the backrest cushions of some seats. You'll be able to feel the region's unique culture throughout the store.

5 Starbucks Concept Stores Worth Visiting in Japan

Large glass windows help bring in natural light. The teak wood flooring, light brown counters, tables, and seats were also installed with care to retain the building’s original atmosphere. The building layout was kept as close to the original floor plan as possible.

You'll feel as if you’ve slipped back in time to the Taisho Period!

5 Starbucks Concept Stores Worth Visiting in Japan

Pictures depicting the history of this Western home are hung on the walls, so you can learn about the memories associated with this place.

11. Izumo Taisha: Located Next to a Spiritual Spot

5 Starbucks Concept Stores Worth Visiting in Japan

Starbucks Izumo Taisha in Shimane Prefecture is a stone’s throw from Izumo Grand Shrine, a popular spiritual spot for romantic relationships and marriage. The exterior is inspired by traditional Japanese homes with the concept of being a “union between Japan and the West.”

The first floor is designed in a Western style. The store also has huge glass windows that reach the floor, enabling a great outside view.

5 Starbucks Concept Stores Worth Visiting in Japan

The second floor features Japanese-style architecture with a view of Izumo Grand Shrine. In the middle of this floor is a large waterdrop-shaped table modeled after magatama beads: a traditional Japanese jewel that symbolizes a happy home.

The lighting was inspired by the rope talismans found at Izumo Grand Shrine.

5 Starbucks Concept Stores Worth Visiting in Japan

It's may be a cozy store, and the ambience is quite calming.

12. TSUTAYA BOOKS Takeo City Library (Saga): Enveloped by the Scent of Books

TSUTAYA BOOKS Takeo City Library Starbucks

Takeo City in Saga Prefecture renovated and reopened the Takeo City Library in 2013. It shares the premises with TSUTAYA BOOKS and Starbucks to appeal to a wide range of readers. You can also borrow and purchase books.

The impressive interior features a high ceiling, large wooden beams, and spectacular bookshelves lined with over 200,000 volumes. These features make it a popular spot with architecture enthusiasts.

TSUTAYA BOOKS Takeo City Library Starbucks

Many Starbucks worldwide are located in bookstores, but having one in a library is quite rare. How about immersing yourself in a world surrounded by the scent of books with a cup of coffee?

Add Starbucks to Your List of Travel Destinations!

Starbucks Japan has various concept stores that have become sightseeing spots in Japan. Enhance your travels by adding these coffeehouses to your list of travel destinations!

*This article was translated from a traditional Chinese article originally published on April 19, 2020.

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Written by

The MATCHA editorial department. Our articles feature useful travel information for visitors to Japan, from how-to guides to recommended places to visit.

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