World’s First Tatami-Style Starbucks to Open in Kyoto

a noren curtain hangs outside the new Kyoto Starbucks location

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 first floor bar counter

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

a narrow path leads back to one of the three courtyards

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.

Take for example the Kyoto Hermes location that opened last year, and Pass The Baton, which opened in 2015. You can read more of our stories on Kyoto right here.

one of the three tatami-style rooms on the 2nd floor

the historic Ninenzaka road

the historic townhouse, prior to renovations


  1. “Coushin”

  2. Friends.

    Tatami Style? Tatam is a traditional rice straw flooring material.

    You mean a Kyo-machiya Style House.


    • To those asking what is Tatami Style, the 2nd floor has 3 tatami room spaces (座敷) where you remove your shoes and sit on the tatami mats. That is what differentiates this Starbucks and makes it special. Cheers.

  3. What is tatami-style? 笑 lol 😉 Also, I don’t see any tatami in those pics!

    • From a view point of a Japanese, I can find 4 tatamis on 4th picture.
      We have many coffee shops of this style in Japan.

  4. “Tatami-style” Starbucks? You mean Starbucks with tatami rooms? Or do you mean a Starbucks that looks like a tatami (Japanese straw mat)?

    This looks like a machiya-style Starbucks. Do we call cars a chair-style vehicle? Is Nintendo a video game-style company? Is IKEA a furniture-style store? Machiya is a traditional Japanese townhouse made of wood. Kyoto is famous for them.


  5. I feel that this is a bow to respectfulness and appreciate that they have embraced the genus loci of the site.

    I live in Northern California and recently took on a project in a historic area of Monterey where the architecture is steeped in the old Mission style.
    On the fringe of the area a new McDonalds has been built and one has to do a double take to recognize the ‘golden arches’ icon.

    I don’t care for the fast food chain but I am happy that the city planners required the architects to design a building that would fit in with the historic value of this town while catering to 21 century patrons ( many are are workers in this touristy area who cannot afford to eat in the same restaurants that their customers dine in ) .

  6. For what its worth, Kiyomizudera is not a shrine, its a temple…

  7. Pity they still will not serve any coffee worth drinking…

  8. Not a fan of the product, but love the design ethic here.

  9. Simple and realistic.Great idea.

  10. Expect to wait hours to get in.

  11. lesser spotted crane

    July 4, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Matcha frappuccino please.

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