Historic Japanese Starbucks Doesn't Even Look Like A Starbucks

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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.

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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.

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What a nice counter.

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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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Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

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About the author

Brian Ashcraft

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored five books, including most recently, Japanese Whisky: The Ultimate Guide to the World's Most Desirable Spirit.