If there are special edition Japanese Starbucks menu items, there’s bound to be a special Starbucks store design that is traditionally Japanese as well right? Well, the plans are well on their way and a traditional Japanese Starbucks, Kyoto Ninenzaka Yasaka Tea House (京都二寧坂ヤサカ茶屋), will be opening on June 30, 2017.
Kyoto’s new Starbucks branch is set to provide a traditional Japanese interior cafe space complete with tatami (畳) mat seating areas so you can enjoy your coffee and other drinks and foods in the fashion that Japanese people did back when everyone lived in traditional townhouses.
The cafe will be found on Ninenzaka, which is the hill that leads up to the world heritage site Kiyomizu Temple (清水寺). The building that will house the new cafe is a two story, 100-year-old, traditional Japanese townhouse. For the first time for a Starbucks shop ever, there will be a norenn (暖簾), a type of Japanese hanging cloth, with the logo and name dyed onto it. The entrance that spans the length of the building facing the road, otherwise called the daibei (大塀), is one of the only buildings along Ninenzaka street remaining in its original form and has been preserved as a historically and culturally valuable artifact.
By paying homage to the culture and history of the area, Starbucks is attempting to create a mixture of new cafe culture and historical and traditional Japanese townhouse culture and architecture. In regard to the historical and cultural significance of the area that this Starbucks is going to be located in, there are a few things to be careful of. In order to make sure that there is no negative influence on the aesthetics of the surrounding area, you are not allowed to line up in front of the cafe as it affects the people living and working nearby. So, if you do have the chance to visit this new Starbucks please be careful and mindful of your surroundings.
There will be three gardens within the building, one in the front, one in the middle and one in the back. Each garden will be filled with greenery, rocks, and light in an attempt to recreate a traditional Japanese interior space. With the wooden building and decor mixing with the modern and chic furniture, the interior of the new Starbucks is going to be a comfortable space that you will want to hang out in for hours on end.
However, undoubtedly the most unique aspect of this new Starbucks is the second floor, where there are tatami mat seating areas where you can take your shoes off and enjoy sitting on the floor. There are cushions with Japanese designs on them so you can sit comfortably on the tatami mats.
— スターバックス コーヒー (@Starbucks_J) June 23, 2017
This new Starbucks will be open from June 30, 2017. If you want to enjoy the full Japanese cultural experience at this new Starbucks, why not grab a Chocolate Cake Topped Frappuccino with a Matcha Shot (チョコレート ケーキ トップ フラペチーノ® with 抹茶ショット)? This new dessert Frappuccino is the first of the dessert Frappuccino series and is going to be followed by the Chocolate Cake Topped Frappuccino with Coffee (チョコレートケーキ トップ フラペチーノ® with コーヒーショット). The beautiful combination of a bitter chocolate cake and a thick and rich matcha shot, creating a mature dessert-like taste that is sure to have you coming back for more.
If you aren’t quite in the mood for a Frappuccino but want to have something that is matcha flavored along with your usual coffee order, make sure to also check out the Matcha American Scone (アメリカンスコーン 抹茶) or the Matcha Donut (抹茶ドーナツ). These two dessert items are sure to be perfect matches to any coffee order and a wonderful accompaniment to the traditional Japanese interior space that is going to open at the new Starbucks in Kyoto.
Do you want to try out Starbucks with a twist? There’s no better place to do so in the Japanese city of Kyoto where you can experience a sophisticated blend of modern and traditional Japanese culture.