Translated by Lester Somera
Savor Coffee By The Sea At Starbucks In Kobe's Meriken Park
Written by Osawa Kumi
Visit the Starbucks Coffee Kobe Meriken Park branch to enjoy the feeling of being on a boat cruise as you sip your coffee, set against the sea and mountains.
From Meriken Park, you can see the Port of Kobe, which just celebrated its 150th anniversary. In one block of the beautiful and recently-renovated park, the Starbucks Coffee Kobe Meriken Park branch opened in April 2017. It is the largest Starbucks in western Japan, and the first Starbucks to be opened in a park in Kansai. When you come to Kobe, you’ll certainly want to visit this beautiful location.
Located in a grassy lawn area in Meriken Park, the building’s chic exterior emphasizes the blue sky and green grass. Intended to evoke the image of a ship setting sail, the second floor, which takes on a rounded shape, was modeled after a ship’s bow. There is a slope to the right and towards the back, which provides easy access for people with wheelchairs or strollers.
Conceptualized as a Kobe Harbor Coffee Cruise
Originally a ship harbor, this area was filled in to create Meriken Park. Even now, there are docks and piers in the surrounding area, with big and small boats coming and going as steam whistles resound across the waterfront. The Starbucks Coffee Kobe Meriken Park branch was designed around the concept of a space to relax with coffee in hand, as though you are cruising through Kobe Harbor. The exterior, created through the hishibuki(*1) construction technique, was made to resemble the scales of the mermaid on Starbucks’ famous logo. The scales are also used on part of the second floor interior, so you can see the ‘scaling’ up close.
*1: Hishibuki is a traditional style of construction where square metal plates are arranged into a diamond pattern as they are installed. It has fallen out of fashion in recent years.