Starbucks Goes Japanese: The World's First Starbucks with Tatami Flooring in Ninenzaka, Kyoto
The world's first Japanese-style Starbucks with tatami flooring and noren curtains is located in Ninenzaka, Kyoto. Why not stop by this unique Starbucks shop?
Jun 26 2017 (Aug 23 2022)
On Friday, June 30, 2017, the world's first Starbucks cafe designed using Japanese aesthetics such as noren curtains and tatami flooring opened as the Starbucks Coffee Kyoto Ninenzaka Yasaka Chaya branch.
What is Ninenzaka, Kyoto?
Ninenzaka is a famous sightseeing spot in Kyoto.
This hilly cobblestoned street leads to Yasaka Jinja Shrine and the World Heritage Site of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, and has many souvenir stores and tea shops on both sides. Just walking down the street lined with machiya (traditional Kyoto buildings) built in the Taisho-era tea ceremony arbor-style of architecture will make you feel as though you've slipped back in time.
The Starbucks is housed in a traditional 2-floor machiya that was built over 100 years ago
The Starbucks Kyoto Ninenzaka Yasaka Chaya branch is housed in a traditional 2-floor machiya that was built over 100 years ago.
As opposed to normal machiya, which directly faces the street, this particular building was built with a style called "daibeizukuri" and has a wall that separates the building and the street. This is the only building along Ninenzaka that retains the wall as-is from when it was built, so it's a precious item that is being preserved properly.
They chose the color of the Starbucks' noren curtains over the entrance to be indigo, a traditional Japanese color, to match the facade of this historical building to create an appearance that will take your breath away.
The interior design was made to make the most of the building's shape
When you pass through the noren, you'll find a hallway that is directly connected to the espresso bar counter that opens up in the inner garden. Sunlight comes in to the store through the bar counter and inner garden, and passing through the hallway to reach that sunlight is almost a mystical experience.
The bar counter at the end of the hallway is staffed by welcoming baristas. The indirect lighting here and there creates an elegant atmosphere.
On the second floor are 3 spaces with tatami flooring where you take off your shoes and relax.
The cushions available to sit on are made from Kyoto's Tango chirimen fabric. This is the only Starbucks in the world where you can relax on a cushion on tatami and enjoy your coffee.
This can be called the perfect fusion of Kyoto culture and Starbucks' coffee culture.
Starbucks Coffee Kyoto Ninenzaka Yasaka Chaya branch is now a famous landmark in Kyoto. Why not stop by when you visit Kyoto? If you do go, please let us know your opinions about your experience.
*All the photos in this article were provided by Starbucks Coffee Japan.
Branch name: Starbucks Coffee Kyoto Ninenzaka Yasaka Chaya Branch
Address: 349 Banchi, Masuya-cho, Shimogawara Higashi-iru, Kodaiji Minamimon-dori, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto (Google Map)
Opening Day: Friday, June 30, 2017
Business hours: 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
*On Friday, June 30th, the business hours will be from 1:00 PM - 8:00 PM.
Capacity: 51 seats
Points to note:
In order to prevent causing trouble for neighbors and passing pedestrians, you are not allowed to line up in front of the shop.
If the shop is full, then entry will be limited.
There are no parking lots for bicycles nor cars, so please use public transportation.
In order to protect the scenery of the area, please take your take-out cups and other containers with you or throw them out in garbage cans.
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.