Starbucks first international market outside of North America began in Tokyo in 1996 and now with 1,100 stores across the country, Japan is Starbucks 4th largest market globally. Now, after 21 years, they’re opening the world’s first tatami-style Starbucks in Kyoto on June 30, 2017.
The new location will be located along the historic Ninenzaka street, which leads directly to Kiyomizu-dera, one of Kyoto’s most popular temples. And the coffee shop will be located inside a 100-year old traditional Japanese townhouse. Beginning with the noren at the entrance and extending into the 1st and 2nd floors, every effort has been taken to retain much of the charm of the historic structure. In fact, among the many historic townhouses that are situated along this path, this is the only one that retains its original daibei walled-fence.
The ground level will have a bar counter and 3 courtyards, each with gardens and unique stone water basins, known as tsukubai. On the 2nd floor will be 3 rooms where visitors will remove their shoes and sit on tatami mats with zabuton cushions while enjoying their beverage.
Starbucks Coffee Kyoto Ninenzaka Yasaka Tea Parlor (Map)
Hours: 8:00am – 8:00pm
Grand opening on 6/30/2017 at 1:00pm
Depending on where you sit on the scale of corporate appropriation of culture and tradition, the brand-takeover of Kyoto is either a neighborhood boon or blight. So far however, brands have displayed remarkable respect for Kyoto’s look and feel, and have appropriately invested in making sure that Kyoto is preserved and sustained.