Part of the fun of travel is going to an iconic American business while abroad to see how it’s adapted for a non-american tastes. Some people focus on McDonalds, others go for a pizza chain, but for me, it’s Starbucks. The Starbucks by my flat in Paris looks like any one stateside, serving identical offerings in real cups with fancier names & better croissants. Tourists are easily identified because they take their coffee to go. Ginza’s Starbucks is chock full of polite people queued before a counter identical to the Rue de Royal shop in Paris & serving a matcha latte that is a clone of what is served in the US. All the shops & kiosks are similar and there are very few surprises in the menus. Or so I thought.
According a one of my favorite Japanese art, design and culture blogs, Spoon & Tamago Starbucks will breakaway from their cookie cutter design when they open the first tatami Starbucks in In Kyoto. Housed in a 100 year old historic townhouse, the shop will have a coffee bar on the first floor with courtyards while the second and third floors features tatami rooms. I am enchanted that the only change made to the front of the shop is a branded noren at the front door. I hope they customized their menu to reflect this new location’s aesthetic.
Thanks to Spoon & Tamago for the photo above. Drop by to check out more images & info on the Kyoto Starbucks, the latest fashions in samurai armor for your dog or cat or for inspiration for tea house design. Offerings in their shop reflect an aesthetic of clean design and light heartedness. Who wouldn’t want their own galaxy?