New Kyoto Starbucks Location Opts to Blend In
posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Originally a Seattle-based coffee shop, there's no denying that Starbucks is a worldwide franchise. Japan is no exception, often getting exclusive Frappuccino flavors that leave the rest of the internet drooling. The company has also become synonymous with overexposure, each location (perhaps exaggeratedly) only a few blocks from the last.
That kind of branding can turn into an eyesore, especially in locations featuring historic architecture. A new Starbucks location in Kyoto seems to have taken this into consideration and is blending the aesthetic of the shop with the surrounding buildings.
On June 30, the Starbucks Coffee Kyoto Ninenzaka Yasaka Teahouse will open. Ninenzaka is a pedestrian-only street in a preserved district of Kyoto that leads to Kiyomizu-dera Temple. There are no power lines overhead or cars bustling by. Everything appears as it was over a hundred years ago. Of course, there was no Starbucks, but the location has done its best to reimagine itself into the time period. The coffee shop is located in a two-story building that is over 100 years old. In the back garden is an impressive tsukubai (stone wash basin found in Japanese gardens) amidst a manicured garden.
Customers can enjoy coffee without their shoes on the second floor in one of three tatami mat rooms while sitting on old-fashioned-style cushions.