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First Starbucks with Tatami?! We Take You Inside Kyoto Ninenzaka Yasaka Chaya

Starbucks Kyoto Ninenzaka Yasaka Chaya is one of 27 Starbucks Regional Landmark Stores, which convey the beauties of regional history, traditional crafts, and culture.

Blending so well into this neighborhood of beautiful streets that passersby often fail to notice it, this Kyoto Starbucks is situated in a traditional Japanese house fronting the Ninenzaka pathway leading to Kiyomizu-dera Temple, a popular sightseeing spot and world heritage site.

Pass under the traditional noren shop curtain at Starbucks Kyoto Ninenzaka Yasaka Chaya

Ninenzaka, where the shop is located, carefully preserves the atmosphere of the Taisho era (1912-1926), reflecting the history and culture of that period. This is an area very popular with tourists because it is home to many famous attractions such as Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Kodai-ji Temple, Yasaka Pagoda (Hokan-ji Temple), and Yasaka Koshin-do Temple.

Kyoto Ninenzaka Yasaka Chaya is the only Japanese-style house in Ninenzaka that has a large wall from the Taisho era. The shop skillfully blends the traditional with the Starbucks style and the modest signboard at the entrance does not detract from these aesthetics. This is the only Starbucks in the world with a noren shop curtain.

Some pass by the modest entrance without realizing it, so when looking for the shop be sure to look up for its signboard. The large signboard located on the second story is easy to spot.

Passing under the noren you will see a tsukubai (stone basin) in the front garden. Tiles are arranged in a pattern of fish scales like those in the Starbucks logo.

Kyoto shops are traditionally long and narrow – the shop preserves that design!

After completing your order at the counter that glows with the soft light of a paper lantern, you next go down the long corridor to the bar counter. This corridor replicates the atmosphere of a “passage garden” often seen in traditional Kyoto houses. Walking down the corridor dimly lit with downlights you arrive at the inner garden bathed in sunlight.

There you will find the bar counter. While waiting for your drink you can admire the beautiful moss garden beyond the glass windows. The interior design of this store is a skillful fusion of that which is old and good, such as the traditional architecture with its fittings, beams, and pillars, with modern innovations.

There is a brush painting of the logo on the wall in front of the bar counter. It is a popular spot for taking photos.

Slip off your shoes and enjoy a coffee break while relaxing on tatami!

Raised tatami-floored seating area

On the second floor of the shop there are 3 rooms with tables and sofas, each presenting a part of the story of coffee, and when entering these rooms, too, you must take off your shoes. The raised tatami-floored se…

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