In Japan, a Thousand People Just Lined Up at Starbucks

Illustration for article titled In Japan, a Thousand People Just Lined Up at Starbucks
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Yes. That’s right. Starbucks. After not having one for years, Tottori Prefecture finally got its first Starbucks this past Saturday.

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Across Japan, there are Starbucks all over the freaking place. But Tottori Prefecture was the final frontier for the American coffee chain. There are now Starbucks in every one of Japan’s 47 prefectures. Yay, globalism.

Early in the morning, there was already a line of around 150 people:

Illustration for article titled In Japan, a Thousand People Just Lined Up at Starbucks
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Illustration for article titled In Japan, a Thousand People Just Lined Up at Starbucks

[Photos: Himasoku]

The line apparently stretched to this:

Illustration for article titled In Japan, a Thousand People Just Lined Up at Starbucks
Illustration for article titled In Japan, a Thousand People Just Lined Up at Starbucks

[Photos: 2ch]

Illustration for article titled In Japan, a Thousand People Just Lined Up at Starbucks
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[Photo: hiramekik]

And according to Chunichi, Starbucks employees passed out free coffee to people waiting.

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Illustration for article titled In Japan, a Thousand People Just Lined Up at Starbucks

[Photo: Chunichi]

The line even made the TV news!

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[Photo: matamatakita]

Illustration for article titled In Japan, a Thousand People Just Lined Up at Starbucks
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[Photo: matamatakita]

This guy said the taste of Starbucks, which didn’t exist in Tottori until now, was really good.

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Illustration for article titled In Japan, a Thousand People Just Lined Up at Starbucks

[Photo: matamatakita]

There is a history of stores and shops in Japan allegedly paying people to wait in lines (McDonald’s admitted to doing so in Osaka in 2008).

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But, here, something different might be going on. Lots of the people aren’t waiting just for coffee, but the limited edition mugs and tumblers.

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That’s one of the reasons all of these people gave, and they came from other prefectures to get these items:

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Illustration for article titled In Japan, a Thousand People Just Lined Up at Starbucks
Illustration for article titled In Japan, a Thousand People Just Lined Up at Starbucks
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[Photo: Bataden2100]

These limited-edition, Tottori-only tumblers sold for 2,470 yen (US$20)—and now, are being up on auction sites for up to 28,000 yen ($231). Don’t think people will pay that for them, but maybe!

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Illustration for article titled In Japan, a Thousand People Just Lined Up at Starbucks

[Photo: matamatakita]

Top photo: 2ch

To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter@Brian_Ashcraft.

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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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DISCUSSION

shippoyasha
Shippoyasha

Those mugs really do look awesome. Not sure if it’s worth wasting half a day on though. I get that coffee shops have that social niche and all, but I think home brewing is the better experience. Much less expensive, no dealing with putting up appearances, worrying if the bartender is friendly or a surly teen.