Starbucks to Open New Branch Along Nakamise Street in Nagano Near Zenkoji Temple

20.March.2020 | FOOD

Starbucks Coffee Japan is set to open a new branch in Japan on March 26, 2020. It will open along Nakamise-dori, a street that leads to Nagano’s famous Zenkoji Temple.

It will open as the Kōshin’etsu region’s first Starbucks Regional Landmark Storeーa Starbucks branch unique to Japan that’s built as a symbol of that area which promotes that region’s culture to customers. They enable coffee-loving visitors to discover or rediscover the wonder of a region’s history, culture, craftsmanship, and industry, while building a connection with the region through those discoveries. The branches incorporate various local design elements into them.

 

The new branch, called Starbucks Coffee Shinshu Zenkoji Nakamise-dori, neighbours the Niou Gate of Zenkoji Temple. It’s a place where you can sit down with a delicious cup of coffee and relax while feeling the history of the place. The coffee shop’s design and decor also takes inspiration from local history and culture, their concept behind “Busy and Quiet, Light and Dark.” It’s situated a little away from the hustle and bustle of Nakamise-dori, and houses two spacious floors.

 

The sliding doors and skylight let in a soft light which also casts shadows in places, mimicking the beauty of shade found in a Japanese-style house. The ceiling and walls at the entrance are made from Japanese red pine, while the bar uses five different types of wood from Nagano Prefecture like hornbeam and katsura. The stone lanterns which were in the original building have been put at the entrance, and the great beams on the second floor have been left as they are. All of this preserves the feeling of the local region while small Starbucks touches are added here and there, resulting in a unique Starbucks experience.

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  • Tokyo’s New Starbucks Branch in Ginza is a Cafe Dream Come True For Workers and Business People

    02.August.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    Starbucks Coffee Japan opened a new branch at CIRCLES Ginza on July 30, 2020 that will serve as a dream location for business people.

    The dream coffee shop, split into two floors, offers a unique environment and service created in collaboration with Think Lab. Rather than your regular, more public Starbucks, this branch also lets customers reserve booths and meeting spaces. This includes the SMART LOUNGE™ aimed at business users, as well as solo working spaces by Think Lab.

     

    Starbucks Coffee CIRCLES Ginza caters to both solo workers and co-workers, giving them a space to think and concentrate alone, or come together in groups to exchange ideas. Booths offer a place to host online meetings, the SMART LOUNGE lets groups arrange chairs and tables however they like, and the Think Lab—which you pay an extra fee to use—is the perfect spot for some quiet contemplation.

     

    1st Floor: Quick TOGO experience

    The first floor is for people who aren’t looking to stay at the cafe long. They are looking for a quicker experience where they can order their Starbucks drink and food and head on out. The cafe offers cashless payments, which is notable as Japan is still very much a cash-based country, as well as the Starbucks mobile order and pay service where you pick what you want on your phone and then go and pick it up.

     

    2nd Floor: A place where you can focus

    Reserve a booth for video calls and more


    There are four individual half-booths which can be reserved, each of which have a screen for video calls and online meetings. These can be used for 40 minutes and can be booked in advance. The booking system was co-developed by Starbucks and Vacan.

     

    Tables for in-person group meetings

    The window tables offer a place for meetings, discussions, and business negotiations for 2-12 people. It’s a relaxing area where workers and clients can chat freely.

     

    解放される“ひとり”のためのパーソナル空間

    For those who want to work along, Starbucks has created a spacious area with individual booths where you don’t have to meet eyes or be bothered by other people.

     

    If you’re working in Tokyo, and need a business-oriented location where you can enjoy a coffee, then look no further than Starbucks Coffee CIRCLES Ginza.

  • Tateshina Bamboo Grass Garden Opens 20,000m² Sasarikyu Garden For Free

    11.June.2020 | SPOT

    Tateshina Bamboo Grass Garden has is opening the Sasarikyu area of its gardens for free from June 5 to October 31 this year. The area spans almost 20,000m² and is home to an arbour and over 120 varieties of bamboo grass.

    Opening the gardens in June means that visitors will get to see the bamboo grass at its most beautiful. Tateshina Bamboo Grass Garden wants more people to enjoy the gorgeous scenery, and so decided to make it a free experience for visitors.

     

    It’s an opportunity to see the vivid green leaves of the bamboo free which, on a clear day, glistens brightly at the shine of the early summer sun. On a rainy day during the rainy season, it offers a completely different spectacle: the twinkle of the leaves as a result of the dew. In addition to the bamboo grass, rows of hydrangeas also blossom in the garden at the start of summer, and in autumn, the area takes on gorgeous red and yellow hues.

    Another charm of Sasarikyu is the tea ceremony arbour that sits amongst the verdure. This arbour, which was designed by Japanese architect Kiyoshi Yasui, continues the tradition of sukiya style of building known as sukiya-zukuri which was first established in Kyoto.

     

    Sasarikyu

    The Tateshina Plateau sits enveloped by the Yatsugatake, a collection of towering inactive volcanoes. In this expanse lies Sasarikyu, a botanical garden of kuma bamboo grass with over 120 varieties from both Japan and overseas. It is the only bamboo grass garden of its kind in the world and aims to contribute to the region’s culture by drawing out the unknown when it comes to bamboo grass.

    Bamboo grass area (13,200m²)

    Sasarikyu is not just a botanical garden. It is also home to the world’s largest tsukubai basin called Zuigetsusen, as well as an azekura-zukuri style statue of the god of wealth, Hashiri Daigoku. It also has Jōmonka, a style of building from the middle of the Jōmon period in Japanese history which has bamboo grass-thatched roofs.

     

    Sukiya Arbour Garden Area (6,600m²)

    The sukiya arbour was designed by Kiyoshi Yasui who helped carry out major renovations to the Katsura Imperial Villa, as well as helped dismantle and reconstruct two national treasures of Japan: the Joan and Taian tea houses.

     

    Another highlight of the gardens is an area where medicinal herbs area grown. The herbs there are ones mostly seen in Nagano Prefecture. It not only serves as an area with specimens of such herbs, but also offers gorgeous scenery too when the flowers bloom through the seasons.

  • Grapes For Wine Now Being Picked at Shiojiri Station’s Platforms

    01.June.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    Shiojiri is a city in central Nagano with a population of 67,000 (as of April 2020). As a tourist destination, it’s a place that goes under the radar, but it’s actually home to the best quality grapes for wine in Japan, and also boasts 17 wineries (as of April 2020).

    Shiojiri is a place with many tourist attractions, such as the historical town of Narai-juku whose streets still echo the Edo Period, Kiso-Hirasawa lacquerware, the Hiraide ruins which are one of Japan’s three biggest ruins, Takabotchiyama which has become known for appearing in anime and Japanese drama series in recent years, the local dish “sanzokuyaki” (large fried chicken), and more.

     

    In 1988, the city of Shiojiri began growing grapes at Shiojiri Station to promote the city’s grapes and wine. It has gone on to become famous as the only station in Japan with grape production. They grow Merlot and Niagara grapes.

     

    The station encourages volunteers to help pick the grapes. The first picks of this year’s season began on May 29, and the efforts are being posted about on the city’s official social media accounts and website. The Merlot wine made from the grapes picked in August last year is also ready and will be posted about soon too.

  • Travel Virtually to Japan’s City of Komoro in Nagano to See Cherry Blossoms, Soak in the Onsen & More

    02.April.2020 | SPOT

    Komoro Tourism Bureau has developed the new “Komoro Tourism Channel” using Voicy, a news and media site which reports spoken information online. The channel focuses on the latest information with regards to tourism in Komoro, and focuses on the city’s many different hot springs.

     

    About Komoro

    Komoro is a city in Nagano Prefecture. Komoro Castle is home to Kaikoen Park, which was chosen as the 100 best cherry blossom spots in Japan. The city also boasts a wide variety of onsen (hot springs) which offer amazing views and numerous different bathing experiences. Komoro Tourism Channel covers all of this and more.

     

    Komoro is about 2-hours by car via the Nerima Interchange on Kan-etsu Expressway. It’s also accessible from Tokyo via car. You can also reach it in around 24 minutes from Karuizawa Station via Shinano Railway.

     

    Delivering the sounds of the relaxing onsen from Komoro

    Komoro has eight water sources which provide water to its hot springs. The city sits 1,400 meters above sea level, from which each of its hot springs offer breathtaking views. The podcast on the hot springs, which is in Japanese, lets you feel like you’re experiencing them from your very own home. More podcasts on Komoro are planned to be released in the future, and QR codes will be implemented are various hotels and tourist facilities in Komoro which when scanned will offer voice guides to those places.

     

    Komoro Tourism Channel: https://voicy.jp/channel/1074

     

    The Komoro Tourism Bureau is coming up with measures to continue promoting the city during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. As well as Komoro Tourism Channel, it is also releasing information on its website, Twitter page, and elsewhere.

     

    Kaikoen Park at Komoro Castle

    Kaikoen Park at Komoro Castle is a tourist hot spot in Komoro. The castle itself was chosen as one of Japan’s 100 most famous castle sites. It is also famous for the castle itself being situated lower than the town around the castle. Kaikoen Park was selected as one of Japan’s 100 best cherry blossom spots, where around 500 trees bloom Yoshino cherries, shidare-zakura, higan-zakura, and more through April every year. The “Komoro-yae-beni-share” tree is an endemic species of cherry tree to Komoro and has a deep pink colour. The park also has towering stone walls and is home to the the front castle gate.

     

    Komoro Castle Official Website (Japanese): https://www.komoro-tour.jp/castle/

    Komoro Castle Official Website (English): https://www.komoro-tour.jp/lg_en/

  • Starbucks Reserve Roastery Tokyo to Release Butterscotch Latte

    14.March.2020 | FOOD

    Starbucks Coffee Japan is launching a new drinks promotion in Japan on March 13 entitled “New Latte Love Coffee.” The first two drinks in the series will celebrate the 1st anniversary of the coffee wonderland Starbucks Reserve® Roastery Tokyo. The drinks are the Butterscotch Latte and Butterscotch Coffee Jelly Frappuccino®.

    Left: Butterscotch Coffee Jelly Frappuccino® – Tall ¥590 (Before Tax) / Right: Butterscotch Latte – Short ¥420 Tall ¥460, Grande ¥500, Venti® ¥540 (Tax not included in drink prices)

    The new beverages incorporate a butterscotch sauce which offers a rich and smooth buttery taste and sweet caramel. Each drink is carefully crafted with a shot of freshly-made espresso, the butterscotch sauce, and steamed milk.

     

    The Frappuccino® version is filled with a Starbucks-original coffee jelly made using the coffee chain’s “Espresso Roast” which goes perfectly with the milk of the cold drink. It’s almost like a dessert in a cup, especially with the addition of the butterscotch sauce.

     

    Starbucks Reserve® Roastery Tokyo is also widening its range of milks in line with the new beverages. Soy milk is already a standard there, but now customers can also enjoy oat milk for a limited time, as well as almond milkーthe latter of which will be put onto the regular menu.

    Oat Milk Latte/Almond Milk Latte – ¥Short 390, Tall ¥430, Grande ¥470, Venti®︎ ¥510

    The subtle sweetness of the oat milk used in the Oat Milk Latte goes perfect with the taste of the espresso. A Starbucks-original almond milk is also used for the Almond Milk Latte, adding a fragrant almond taste to the coffee beverage.

     

    Enjoy your coffee with your milk of choice from six kinds: Starbucks Milk, Low-Fat, Fat-Free, Soy, Oat, and Almond.

  • SHISHI-IWA HOUSE in Nagano Prefecture Makes Travel + Leisure Magazine’s “2020 It List”

    06.March.2020 | SPOT

    SHISHI-IWA HOUSE, a “boutique resort” located in Karuizawa, Nagano, has made it into the “2020 It List” of American travel magazine Travel + Leisure.

    Travel + Leisure is a New York-based travel magazine. “The Best New Hotels in the World (The It List)” shines a light on hotels around the world that have newly-opened or have been renovated that year.

    The “2020 It List” has placed 72 establishments around the world in its ranking. Ten of these are located in Asia, with two being in Japan: SHISHI-IWA HOUSE and Aman Kyoto.

     

    SHISHI-IWA HOUSE opened in February 2019. Described as a boutique resort, this hotel was built by internationally-acclaimed Japanese architect Shigeru Ban who won the 34th Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2014ーthe most prestigious award in modern architecture. The unique hideaway blends together nature and architecture, and is built in such a way as to strengthen the bonds between people.

    The resort accommodation has two floors, and a unique structure which makes it look curved. It has ten individual rooms and three terraces. All the rooms enjoy a breathtaking view of the gardens which enjoy gorgeous scenery all year around. It’s home to over 250 trees, including cherry blossoms, maples, and evergreens. You can also see Mount Asuma from all rooms.

     

    Planning a trip to Nagano? Why not book to stay at this little hideaway?

  • SHISHI-IWA HOUSE in Nagano Prefecture Makes Travel + Leisure Magazine’s “2020 It List”

    28.February.2020 | SPOT

    SHISHI-IWA HOUSE, a “boutique resort” located in Karuizawa, Nagano, has made it into the “2020 It List” of American travel magazine Travel + Leisure.

    Travel + Leisure is a New York-based travel magazine. “The Best New Hotels in the World (The It List)” shines a light on hotels around the world that have newly-opened or have been renovated that year.

    The “2020 It List” has placed 72 establishments around the world in its ranking. Ten of these are located in Asia, with two being in Japan: SHISHI-IWA HOUSE and Aman Kyoto.

     

    SHISHI-IWA HOUSE opened in February 2019. Described as a boutique resort, this hotel was built by internationally-acclaimed Japanese architect Shigeru Ban who won the 34th Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2014ーthe most prestigious award in modern architecture. The unique hideaway blends together nature and architecture, and is built in such a way as to strengthen the bonds between people.

    The resort accommodation has two floors, and a unique structure which makes it look curved. It has ten individual rooms and three terraces. All the rooms enjoy a breathtaking view of the gardens which enjoy gorgeous scenery all year around. It’s home to over 250 trees, including cherry blossoms, maples, and evergreens. You can also see Mount Asuma from all rooms.

     

    Planning a trip to Nagano? Why not book to stay at this little hideaway?

  • Starbucks Japan Reveals Cherry Frappuccino®ーThe Second Drink of Starbucks Sakura Season

    20.February.2020 | FOOD

    Starbucks Japan has announced that the second drink in its Sakura Season series of springtime cherry blossom drinks will be released on February 26, 2020. Named the “Sakura Sakuranbo Frappuccino®” (Cherry Blossom Cherry Frappuccino®), this tasty-looking drink is exclusive to Japan.

     

    Sakura Sakuranbo Frappuccino®—Savour the sweet and tangy fresh cherry pieces

    Sakura Sakuranbo Frappuccino® – Tall ¥590 (Before Tax) / Available: February 26, 2020 – March 12, 2020

    The new drink contains fresh and sweet cherry pieces. It uses a cherry blossom flavoured base together with strawberry milk, which adds a subtle flavour, and a sauce made from fresh cherries. Cherries in Japan also go by the name outou (桜桃), which has the Japanese kanji for sakura (cherry blossom) in it. This is because its roots come from the same family of roses.

     

    The drink has a unique sweet and sour punch to it, and one sip is enough to make you feel like spring is here. Topped with pink, white, or blue Japanese sugar candies known as konpeitō, this drink truly offers a toast to a kawaii Japanese spring.

     

    Customise your drink for free with “Sakura Toppings”

    Free Sakura Toppings / Available: February 26, 2020 – March 12, 2020

    For Sakura Season at Starbucks, customers can customise all drinks with two different colours of mochi pieces and dried raspberries shaped like cherry blossom petals. The coffee company highly recommend topping cappuccinos, white mochas, and matcha cream frappuccinos® with them. Make your drink your own!

     

     

    Starbucks is also releasing a new range of merchandise, such as mugs and tumblers, with theme “Spring Misty-Rain,” on February 26. These gorgeous designs are inspired by the light rainfall in spring which falls onto the cherry blossoms and grass and makes them glisten with the light. A new cherry blossom Starbucks Card will also be available to pick up for a limited time.

     

    Sakura Season at Starbucks is always a popular time in Japan, so if you’re planning a trip here for spring and are in need of a coffee top-up, then you’re in for a real treat.

  • Starbucks Reserve®︎ Roastery Tokyo to Release Cherry Blossom Spring Drinks and Merchandise

    15.February.2020 | FOOD

    Starbucks Reserve®︎ Roastery Tokyo boasts the most incredible location, sitting by the side of Nakameguro, one of Tokyo’s most famous spots for seeing the cherry blossoms in spring.

     

    This year, the coffee roastery’s “Sakura Season” is set to begin on February 15, when its cherry blossom-inspired merchandise collection is released, along with a line-up of pink beverages and food.

    The official Starbucks sakura merchandise ranges from tumblers and mugs to a key ring, handkerchief, and more, for a total of 10 items.

    Strawberry Chia Oolong – ¥900

    Poppun Sakura Jasmine Tea – ¥950

    Floating Blossom – ¥900

    Six beautiful beverages from last year’s Sakura Season at Starbucks are also making a return from the Teavana™️ brand, made with delicate and soft cherries, hibiscus, and tea leaves as refreshing as green grass.

    Clockwise From Left: Gianchetti & Sakura – ¥880 / Mini Panettone Sakura – ¥680 / Cornetti Sakura – ¥380 / Maritozzo Sakura – ¥540

    Italian bakery Princi®︎ is also heading to Japan for the first time to serve up Italian food culture to people at Starbucks Reserve®︎ Roastery Tokyo. Enjoy the floral taste of cherry blossoms done in a Princi®︎ way.

     

    Heading to Tokyo for Hanami and the cherry blossoms? Then make a stop at Starbucks Reserve®︎ Roastery Tokyo for this year’s Sakura Season.

  • Starbucks Japan Unveils Cherry Blossom Milk Latte, Frappuccino & More For Sakura Season

    12.February.2020 | FOOD

    Every year, Starbucks Coffee Japan serves up its seasonal “Sakura Season” drinks menu, a limited-time offering of special cherry blossom flavoured drinks for the spring. This year’s Sakura Season at Starbucks begins on February 15, and they’ve revealed the first of several upcoming batches of drinks and merchandise.

     

    Sakura Milk Pudding Frappuccino® & Sakura Milk Latte ー Japan Only

    The first two drinks of the Sakura Season menu are a gorgeous light pink, reminiscent of cherry blossoms. They’re available at Starbucks in Japan only.

     

    The Sakura Milk Pudding Frappuccino® is made like a Japanese pudding, scented with fresh cherry blossom leaf extract. The milk base is mixed with a cherry blossom and strawberry sauce, and it’s all topped off with cream and decorations made to look like flower petals. The pink gradation in the cup also calls to mind the beautiful dance of falling cherry blossom leaves.

     

    The Sakura Milk Latte is a subtly sweet, no-coffee beverage made with a combination of cherry blossom and strawberry suace as well as warm milk. It’s still cold out right now, so this is the perfect treat to warm you up for the coming spring.

     

    Sakura Milk Pudding Frappuccino®: Tall ¥590 (Before Tax) *Tall size only

    Sakura Milk Latte: Short ¥450 / Tall ¥490 / Grande ¥530 / Venti® ¥570 (Before Tax)

    Running: February 15, 2020 – February 25, 2020

    *The Sakura Milk Latte will be served until March 12, 2020

    Available: At most Starbucks branches in Japan (while supplies last)

     

    Reusable Cherry Blossom Cups ー Japan Only

    Starbucks introduced its reusable cups to help reduce plastic waste, and now you can get them in these stylish new cherry blossom designs. If you’re still using disposable plastic cups, then make that important step today and get your own reusable cup.

     

    SAKURA 2020 Reusable Cup (473ml) & Bag Set – ¥2,800 (Before Tax)

    SAKURA 2020 Reusable Cup (473ml) – ¥350 (Before Tax)

    Release Dates:

    SAKURA 2020 Reusable Cup (473ml) & Bag Set: February 15,  2020

    SAKURA 2020 Reusable Cup (473ml): February 19, 2020

    Available: At most Starbucks branches in Japan (while supplies last)

     

    SAKURA Season Merchandise ー Batch ①

    The theme of the first batch of Sakura Season 2020 merchandise is “Spring Breeze.” The design captures the image of cherry blossom petals falling from the gentle spring breeze, the warm days, and hope. The line-up includes not only tumblers and mugs, but a picnic mat with a cherry blossom print, and more. Enjoy your coffee with one of the reusable cups or tumblers and feel good about doing your part to reduce plastic this spring.

     

    Batch ①

    Release Date: February 15, 2020

    Available: At most Starbucks branches in Japan (while supplies last)

     

    Starbucks’s cherry blossom filter makes flowers blossom in your photos!

    Experience the cherry blossoms early before they bloom with the Starbucks Sakura 2020 (Japanese: #スターバックスさくら2020) filter. You don’t even have to download an app to use it.

    To get access to the filter, simply scan the QR code in a Starbucks branch, tap the button, and take your springtime photo!

    The filter lets you choose between the three most common cherry blossom trees in Japan: the Yoshino cherry, yae-zakura, and shidare-zakura.

     

    Starbucks Sakura 2020 Filter (#スターバックスさくら2020)

    Running: February 15, 2020 – March 12, 2020

    Available: At most Starbucks branches in Japan

  • Starbucks Japan Reveals Spring Blend Releasing On Valentine’s Day 2020

    05.February.2020 | FOOD

    Nestlé has revealed that it is releasing a new seasonal coffee, the Starbucks® Spring Blend, on February 14 aka Valentine’s Day.

     

    Springtime and the cherry blossom season at is a popular time of the year every year at Starbucks in Japan. To beckon the cool breeze of the spring, the coffee chain is releasing three types of coffee at supermarkets and stores in Japan: the “Regular Coffee (Powder),” “Regular Coffee (Beans),” and “Starbucks Origami®︎ Personal Drip®︎ Coffee.” The coffee is blend of beans from Latin America and East Africa, enjoying a balanced richness, and a flavour akin to milk chocolate and sweet orange, which can now be enjoyed at home or in the office.

    Starbucks is also releasing a set of four bags of a Spring Blend of the Starbucks Origami®︎ Personal Drip®︎ Coffee, as well as a reusable cup. Pre-orders are now also open to get the “Starbucks® Spring Cheer Gift,” a set that comes with the coffee, the cup, and a cup holder, which is perfect as a gift to yourself or your coffee-loving friends, familyーor even your special someone this Valentine’s Day.

  • Starbucks To Release ‘Sakura White Chocolate Cheesecake with Milk Pudding’ Chilled Drink

    29.January.2020 | FOOD

    Starbucks’ Chilled Cup Series will release a new spring drink from February 11, 2020 called ‘Starbucks Sakura White Chocolate Cheesecake with Milk Pudding’ for a limited time. 

     

    The Starbucks Sakura White Chocolate Cheesecake with Milk Pudding is blooming with the scent of cherry blossoms and the flavour of rich white chocolate cheesecake and creamy milk. The fun texture of the milk pudding makes for the perfect luxurious spring treat.

     

    The drink is packed into a dome-headed cup reminiscent of Starbucks’ classic and popular frappuccino®. The light pink colour of the scattered cherry blossom petals creates the warm and welcoming feeling of spring. 

     

    Perk up with a refreshing cup full of the flavours of spring.  

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