November 25, 2019

by Yuka Nakamura and Sakura Nakatani


History of STARBUCKS

Have you ever been to the STARBUCKS? You know, STARBUCKS is one of the most famous coffee shops all over the world. STARBUCKS was opened in Seattle, Washington, in 1971. It became famous and popular because of takeout style and having some coffee to go.

In 2017, there were 27,339 STARBUCKS shops in the world. Surprisingly, there are 1,328 shops in Japan. Of course, the USA has the biggest number of shops. However, Japan has the third most shops of STARBUCKS after the USA and Canada, which is second. In Japan, many people call STARBUCKS as short word, STABA and it is loved by all ages in Japan.

The first STARBUCKS was opened on August 2nd, in1996 at Ginza in Tokyo. As I said before, there are 1,328 shops in Japan. The number of STARBUCKS per 100,000 people is 1.04 shops. The prefecture that has most STARBUCKS shops is Tokyo. Second is Okinawa. There are 33 shops in Kyoto.

What is the Third Place?

According to the web site, it says, ‘The third place is the social surroundings separate from the two usual social environments of home (first place) and the work place (second place). Examples of third places world be environments such as churches, cafes, clubs, public libraries, or parks.’ STARBUCKS have been providing a relaxing place as third place. To make third place, STARBUCKJS listed 2 concepts.


They are sticking to making a comfortable atmosphere. To do that, they have a few big sofas, using some dark indirect lighting and highly selected BGM (background music). BGM in STARBUCKS is changing by seasons or menu that is on sale. They select music from all genres. The popular cafe’s music is jazz, bossa nova and Latin. In addition, they use hip-hop, French pops, oldies and sometimes they use classic and contemporary music. When people listen the same music, they would feel sleepy or bored. To select music from all genres, it might be making good atmosphere.

Regional landmark store

STARBUCKS put an effort into their Regional landmark store. It is a store designed in the place that become a symbol of Japan and it is a general term of shops which is spreading a tradition of region for all over the world. There are 23 regional landmark stores in Japan. One of them is in Kyoto.

Let’s go the world’s first Starbucks Coffee

A fashionable Starbucks came into being in Kyoto. It is in a famous tourist spot in Japan. This particular Starbucks was opened in Kyoto in June 2017. The store’s name is Starbucks Kyoto Ninenzaka Yasaka Tyaya. You can taste coffee in the world’s first tatami Starbucks.

What is Ninenzaka?

Ninenzaka is the name of the slope that continues from Kiyomizu-Temple to Yasaka-Shrine. There is a scary legend saying “When you fall down this slope, you will die within two years”. The street is narrow and lined with many shops. It is one of the tourist attractions of Kyoto.

Recommended points Noren

Noren are curtains, featuring a shop’s name or emblem, which hang from the top of a shop’s doorway about halfway down the length of the doorway. Japan’s Starbucks shops feature noren which contain the original Starbucks logo. Noren were originally used by Japanese houses to provide shade or keep out dust. Having noren creates a very Japanese atmosphere because it has been used in traditional houses for 100s of years. It is just like Japan to go into Starbucks through the Noren. The Starbucks has a good reputation among foreigners. They offer unlimited hospitality. Would you like to go there?

Recommended points ”Tatami”

This is the world’s first Starbucks with tatami. On the second floor of the store are three tatami rooms. You can take off your shoes and relax on tatami. There are seat cushions made from crepe fabric. There are items that you can feel “Japanese”, such as a shoj (sliding paper covered doors) tokonoma (an alcove used to display art), and soft lighting. The Starbucks provides a space for relaxation. You feel comfortable with the combination of tatami and coffee.

Recommended points “Exterior”

The beauty of the exterior is attractive. There is something elegant about the old town layout.

Starbucks is considerate about not damaging the scenery. It is a strange space where Starbuck’s logo looks like a Japanese style. That’s the important thing about the landscape.

Recommended points “garden”

There are three gardens, front garden, courtyard, and backyard. A washbasin called Tsukibai is placed. It allows visitors to wash their hands before entering the tea room. There are rocks and moss. It is a space where you can watch the Japanese garden.

Recommended points “Photogenic”

Both the appearance and the interior, the space of Japanese is spreading. It is a great spot for enjoying coffee and taking pictures. Large Starbucks logo on the wall, ikebana, indirect lighting, natural light are create a good atmosphere. Why do not shoot a nice picture? You cannot experience it at other stores.

Tumbler of Kyoto Starbucks limited

Starbucks in Japan, just like abroad, has a limited edition tumbler for each region. Tumbler of Kyoto Starbucks limited is black and based on a Japanese design.

Selling price: 335ml /2000 yen


Store name: Starbucks Coffee Kyoto Ninenzaka Yasaka Tyaya

Business hours: 08:00~20:00

Regular holiday: Irregular holiday

Access: 18 minutes on foot from Gion Shijo Station

10 mintutes Higashiyamayasui Kyoto city bus

Address: 349 Masuya-machi, Higashiyama-ku Kyotoshi Minami-dori Shimogawara


Phone number: 075-532-0601