World’s First Traditional-Style Starbucks With Tatami Rooms to Open in Kyoto!

25.June.2017 | FOOD

If you’re in Kyoto and in need of coffee but also want to keep with the traditional vibe, you should check out the new Starbucks coffee shop opening in Ninenzaka on June 30th. It will be the first Starbucks ever to have its own old style ‘noren’ – an entryway door curtain. As well as that, you can indulge in your delicious beverage while sat on tatami.


The new Starbucks goes by the name of “Starbucks Coffee Kyoto Ninenzaka Yasaka Tea Shop” (translated from Japanese). Ninenzaka is a sloping street that leads down from Kiyomizu-dera, a Buddhist temple and World Heritage Site. It’s a quintessential example of traditional Kyoto and close by to many shrines and temples that you can enjoy visiting.114

The building being used for the new Starbucks shop is a two-storey traditional Japanese house with a history spanning over 100 years. It is a remnant of the Taisho Period and maintains its historical look and feel alongside all the other shops on the street. The building itself and wall were chosen as historical structures to be preserved as part of a plan to protect traditional buildings in Sannenzaka. The wall in particular has been preserved due to its precious architecture. This is a Starbucks that fully respects and values maintaining the feel of a bygone age and will do all it can to ensure the building is conserved. It’s a completely new experience that combines Kyoto’s tradition and culture with the modern Starbucks coffee culture.


The first floor takes advantage of the building’s shape and recreates the experience of walking through a ‘tori-niwa’ (pictured above), a hallway with an earthen floor leading from the entrance to the back of the house. Barista staff will be waiting at the counter to welcome customers into the house. By taking time to look after each customer one by one, the new Starbucks will continue combining tradition with serving coffee.


There are 3 tatami rooms on the second floor where you take your shoes off to relax and feel at home. This is certainly the best way to enjoy your favourite coffee from Starbucks. Each tatami room also has its own original hanging wall scroll to maintain that combination of Kyoto culture and Starbucks culture.


The neighbourhood in Ninenzaka surrounding the shop value the scenery and look of the street more than anything and make a conscious effort to consider history, culture, tourism and lifestyle. This is something that you will notice straight away when visiting—you can almost feel the breath of the people looking after the area. The staff at this Starbucks are also part of the neighbourhood so will most definitely work hard to produce the kind of hospitality and space for you to visit that you would expect.


Kyoto is the best place to be if you want to throw yourself into traditional Japan, and what better place to open up an old style Starbucks for you to enjoy. What are you waiting for?



■Store Name: Starbucks Coffee Kyoto Ninenzaka Yasaka Tea House (Japanese: スターバックス コーヒー 京都二寧坂ヤサカ茶屋店)

■Address: 349 Higashi-iru, Masuya-cho, Shimogawara, Minamimon-dori, Kōdai-ji, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto (Japanese: 京都市東山区高台寺南門通下河原東入桝屋町349番地)

■Grand Opening: Friday June 30th 2017

■Opening Hours: 8:00-20:00

※The shop will be open from 13:00-20:00 on the day of the grand opening (Friday June 30th 2017)

■Holidays: No fixed holidays

■Seats: 51

■Please read the notes below before visiting:

Please do not line up in front of the shop as it will cause inconvenience for the neighbourhood and people passing by.

The number of people allowed inside the shop will be limited during busy hours.

Please note that there is no car park or place to park your bicycle near the shop so please use public transport.

To preserve the town’s environment, please take your takeout cups home or dispose of them in the bin.


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