I must confess that I am addicted to Starbucks. And why blame me? Starbucks is the most popular coffee store in Japan with almost 300 stores in the Tokyo area alone! Starbucks is the best gift ever for caffeine and cake lovers like me. Not to forget, Starbucks stores are in the coolest places, in the middle of all the action. Well, not all but some Starbucks stores have cool and unique features that make them more special than others. So, here are three unique Starbucks stores in Tokyo and around. You should check them out if you are in Tokyo!

Traditional meets modern – Starbucks, Kanetsuki Dori, Kawagoe, Saitama

This Edo style Starbucks store is in Kanetsuki Street in Kawagoe City, an hour away from Tokyo. Perfect choice for a traditional yet modern store as Kawagoe has beautiful scenery with buildings remaining the same since the 18th century Edo period. This Starbucks is located a stone throw away from Toki no Kane Time Bell Tower, the symbol of Kawagoe City. It is constructed with Saitama timber and the exterior looks like a warehouse – a famous feature of Kawagoe city. You even enter through Japanese curtains – just like traditional Japanese shops and restaurants!

The interior is equally beautiful with benches made of special fabric – Kawagoe tōzan, used in the production of traditional Kawagoe Kimono. The color scheme of the shop’s counter area is done in black and white tones – duplicating interiors of Kawagoe’s warehouse district. The decorations lining the walls are made from the sliding panels of traditional Japanese houses. A lot of attention has been paid to details, even to the cords that hold the benches’ cushions in place! They are decorated with a knot called ume musubi, signaling a bond that is tied firmly and will not come loose.

At the back of the store is a pretty Japanese garden – with a terrace seating area that offers the ideal environment to relax and unwind while you drink your coffee and admire your surroundings. Relaxation along with a cultural experience found at a coffee chain! What next?

Address: 15-18 Saiwaichō, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama Prefecture

Business Hours: 08:00~20:00

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A quaint oasis in the middle of the city – Starbucks, Tokyu Plaza, Harajuku, Tokyo

This store is in the middle of Harajuku, on the sixth floor of Tokyu Plaza – the most popular building on the Instagram. It is situated on the rooftop garden of the building, Omohara Forest where visitors can enjoy the stunning view of Harajuku neighborhood.

The inside seating area is the typical Starbucks like space, while the outer rooftop garden is about 200 square meters with a large illuminated tree and a bar-style seating around it. The outer plaza is made of natural wood with about 34 trees, and over 50 types of wild plants. They have seats surrounding trees, solo chairs and garden benches. The steps leading out to the edge of the deck are pretty wide and also serve as a seating area. There are sitting cushions and even beach style chairs – the atmosphere is relaxed and laid back with people chatting or working on their laptops. There is always a problem of seating at any of the Starbucks in Tokyo, but not here!

Address: 150-0001. Tokyo Shibuya-ku 4-30-3 Jingumae Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku. Telephone, 03-5414-5851.

Business Hours: 08:30~23:00

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Starbucks Tokyu Plaza


Starbucks in Tokyu Plaza Tokyo

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Buzz in the hipster neighborhood – Starbucks Reserve Roastery, Nakameguro, Tokyo

The biggest Starbucks Reserve Roastery is in Nakameguro now with a whopping 2,966 sq. meters. ごめんね Shanghai! It opened with long lines and a lot of buzz, by the cherry blossom-lined Meguro river.

The first time I went there, the wait was over seven hours and of course I had to give up. The second time was a bit planned. We went there, got a coupon with number and then went for lunch. We could use the scanner code to check how much wait time was still left. They sent us a message when our turn was about to come, and that is when we left our lunch spot to get some caffeine action!

The Starbucks Reserve Roastery Tokyo was designed by the famous Japanese architect Kengo Kuma – of the Olympic 2020 fame. It looks like a contemporary and cool cathedral from outside with huge glass windows which blends with the hipster vibe of Nakameguro. When you get inside – the first thing you will notice is the 17-meter-tall floor-to-ceiling copper roasting machine in the center – with futuristic looking system of pipes crisscrossing. 2,100 hand-made copper cherry blossoms suspend from the ceiling replicating the cherry blossom trees that line the Meguro River.

Each floor at the roastery is devoted to a different type of Starbucks theme. The first floor is a bakery and café – from the Milanese bakery Princi, famous for its focaccia pizza. All the items are baked on-site, with ingredients imported from Italy. They also sell coffee – roasted and packaged all on-site and other merchandise too. The second floor is a Teavana tea room selling 20 different kinds of green and black tea. The third floor is the Arriviamo cocktail bar. The drinks all feature a bit of coffee, but obvious! The fourth floor has a roasting factory, a lounge area, and a workshop space. They also have an outdoor terrace seating that overlooks the Meguro River.

The Reserve Roastery Tokyo can roast almost 1,800 kilograms of coffee a day. Coffee roasted here is shipped to Starbucks stores all over Japan. They also roast the famous – Tokyo Roast, a Starbucks Japan-exclusive blend coffee.

There is no doubt why this place is so popular even after months of its opening. I spent about four hours there – getting drunk in the beautiful terrace seating with a coffee Martini!

Address: 2 Chome-19-23 Aobadai, Meguro City, Tokyo 153-0042

Business Hours: 07.00~ 11.00

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You won’t find Starbucks like these ones anywhere else in the world, that’s for sure! Have you visited any of these Starbucks?

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