8 Must-Visit Starbucks in Japan with Local Concepts

Last Updated on 31.12.2021 by Coto Japanese Language School

Japan’s Starbucks has recently been featured globally for its unique blend of Japanese architecture, history, and culture. In this blog, we pick up 8 Starbucks stores that are a must-visit, if you are living in, or visiting Japan. From the world’s first Tatami Starbucks to the Izumo Taisha outlet that offers a “Zen” experience, there’s something for everyone.

Starbucks Coffee Kyoto

  • Nineizaka Yasaka Chaya Starbucks Store – “World’s first Tatami Starbucks”
    Only at Nineizaka Yasaka Chaya can you enjoy a Starbucks drink in a traditional tea house more than 100 years old. The store is located in Ninenzaka where the culture and history of the Taisho era (1912~1926) are preserved.
  • The experience: Visitors are welcomed through a traditional “Noren” curtain. The corridor inside is long and narrow – replicating the atmosphere of a “passage garden” seen in traditional houses of Kyoto. Wearing shoes in Tatami rooms is prohibited so visitors are asked to take them off before entering. Make sure to check out limited edition charms made by local artisans sold exclusively in Kyoto and Higashiyama.
  • Kyoto Sanjo Ohashi Starbucks
    Another must-visit Starbucks store in Kyoto is Sanjo Ohashi. The store is located along the beautiful Kamo River – visitors can enjoy the spectacular view of the Ohashi Bridge and mountains from downtown Kyoto.
    The experience: From May to September, visitors can sit on “Noryoyuka” – placed on a riverbank. These wooden seats are set up outside of the store – offering a traditional spaciousness inherited from the culture of Kyoto.

Starbucks Coffee Toyama

  • Toyama Kansui Park Starbucks – “World’s Best Starbucks”
    The store won Starbuck’s Best Store Design in 2008. It is located in Kansui Park where visitors can experience the sense of the ever-changing seasons from cherry blossoms in spring to vivid greenery. of summer to falling leaves in autumn.
  • The experience: The seating area is surrounded by massive glass windows – offering a breathtaking view of the canal and a spacious atmosphere. While taking a sip of a Starbucks drink, visitors can also enjoy the view of the iconic Tenmon-kyo Bridge.

Starbucks Coffee Fukuoka

  • Dazaifu Tenmangu Omotesando Starbucks – “Kengo Kuma’s Starbucks Design”
    Kengo Kuma is a Japanese architect who made headlines for his design of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium. He is known for incorporating timber in his designs to create an open atmosphere. Only at Dazaifu Tenmangu Omotesando can you admire his iconic timber surroundings while taking a coffee break.
  • The experience: Over 2,000 cedar battens flow from inside to the outside of the store. The overall design offers an atmosphere of the nearby Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine. When you visit Fukuoka, make sure to stop by and appreciate the early work of Kengo Kuma!

Starbucks Coffee Shizuoka

  • Fujikawa Service Area Starbucks Store – “Cup of Coffee with Mt. Fuji”
    Not your typical service area. Fujikawa Service Area is known for its view of Japan’s symbol – Mount Fuji. The Starbucks store is located at the top end of the area.
    The experience: Along with the spectacular view of Mount Fuji, visitors can also capture the nearby Suruga Bay and the Izu Peninsula. Whether you visit in the afternoon or night, the view is worth the visit.

Starbucks Coffee Shimane

  • Izumo Taisha Starbucks Store – “A Spiritual Coffee Experience”
    The store is located right in front of the Izuma Grand Shrine. Izumo Taisha is one of Japan’s most historic Shinto Shrines. The Izumo Taisha store welcomes visitors with its beautiful interior design inspired by traditional Japanese houses. If you’re looking for a spiritual experience, it is possible at the Izuma Taisha store while drinking a cup of coffee.

Starbucks Coffee Saitama

  • Kawagoe Kanetsuki-dori Starbucks Store – “Where Traditional Meets Modern”
    Kawagoe is known as “Little Edo”, the townscape reflects an authentic atmosphere of the Edo period. Along the line of traditional warehouses, there stands Starbucks. The exterior of the Kawagoe Kanetsuki-dori store is inspired by the warehouses in the neighborhood.
  • The experience: Visitors are welcomed through a traditional curtain and a nostalgic feeling of Old Japan. The store’s interior is made from regional products, from fabrics of benches to wood materials. A subtle touch of “Kawagoe” can be found in small details inside the store. If you’re looking for a reason to fall in love with Japan again, visit Kawagoe’s Starbucks.

Starbucks Coffee Hyogo

  • Kobe Kitano Ijinkangai Starbucks Store – “Meiji Nostalgia”
    The building: Kitano Monogari-kan was originally built in 1907 for an American resident named M.J. Shay. The ownership was passed over to a German baker before it was transferred to the City of Kobe. In 2009, Starbucks has opened its store in the building.
  • The experience: It is not your typical coffee store. The exterior and interior look like a home set up with a lounge, dining room, and a guest room. Most. of the architecture in the neighborhood is from the 19th century – capturing the western influence from the Meiji period. Make sure you leave without checking the 2nd floor where you can browse the library and the type-room.

Useful Phrases: Ordering Customized Drinks at Starbucks Japan

  • Extra espresso shots – エスプレッソを__ショット追加でお願いします。
  • Extra syrup pumps – シロップを__プッシュ追加でお願いします。
  • More whipped cream – ホイップを多めでお願いします。
  • Add sauce (chocolate, caramel, etc.) – チョコレート/キャラメルソースを追加でお願いします。
  • Extra/Less sweetness – 甘さ多め/少なめでお願いします。
  • Change milk (soy, almond, oat, etc.) – ミルクをソイ/アーモンド/オーツに変換でお願いします。
  • Do you have a seasonal drink? – 期間限定ドリンクはありますか?
  • Do you have a drink recommendation? – おすすめドリンクはありますか?
  • Do you have a drink recommendation for vegan? – ヴェーガンのおすすめドリンクはありますか?
  • Which drink is the most popular? – どのドリンクが一番人気ですか?