Historic Japanese Starbucks Doesn't Even Look Like A Starbucks

One of the best-preserved streets in Kyoto is Ninen-zaka. A Starbucks just opened in the area, but you could walk by and not even know it.


It looks like the only way you’d know it was a Starbucks is by the noren, or the curtain hanging out front, with the chain’s logo.

Opening on June 30, the Starbucks is located in a Edo Period (1603 to 1868) building that dates from the mid-1700s. Via Fashion Press, let’s have a look inside:

Certain parts of Kyoto have strict regulations so as not to disturb the visual landscape. For example, vending machines are sometimes brown instead of starker colors like white or red.


What a nice counter.


The second floor has some traditional Japanese cushions for sitting and enjoying coffee.

Japan—and Asia, in general—is home to several Starbucks that don’t look like Starbucks.


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Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.



Weirdness aside, do any other Americans get jealous of nations with “building history”?

I mean there’s a pub in England that you can go to right now, that CS Lewis and Tolkien went to together for what was essentially a writers group, and that’s probably one of England’s least historic buildings.