Feb. 08, 2019 UPDATE

Most Japanese Starbucks in the world

Here in Kyoto, on the slopes of Ninen-zaka, you can find a Starbucks that is more Japanese than any other.
Sampo[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ]

There is a completely new Starbucks café in Kyoto, and it is located in a 100 year-old town house, renovated, but which still looks like a town house, not at all like your average Starbucks. 

Some of the seats are just sitting pillows on tatami, and the whole place has a kind of dignified feel to it. It feels like if it were a restaurant, it would not be a cheap one, but a nice fancy kaiseki restaurant. 


This Starbucks on Kyoto’s famous Ninen-zaka slope was just opened in June 30, 2017, so everything inside of it looks really pretty, especially the Japanese garden in the back. Just think about it: a Starbucks that has its own Japanese garden. Hard to believe, but in Kyoto, even this is possible. 



They even have a washbasin, called tsukubai, likes of which you can often see in Japanese gardens. 


Starbucks staff

It must not have been easy for Starbucks to get this location approved, and there are many rules, like that people are not allowed to line up in front of the café, but have to do this in a park close by, from where a member of Starbucks staff will take you to it. 

number 135 and 136 

This is what we had to do on the day it opened, and we were number 135 and 136 in line, so it took around an hour and half to actually get to the café. 


You first buy the sweets and food 

Once inside, even the showcases look dark and fancy. You first buy the sweets and food you want, and then you get a ticket with which you can get your drink from a barista by the Japanese garden in the back. 


very chic,

Everything inside looks very chic, from the bar counter to the Japanese garden. 


first floor

We couldn’t find seats on the second floor, so we had our drinks here on the first floor. If there are no seats, you can’t wait inside, but have to go outside. So you are forced to “take out” your drinks. 



matcha shot

We had the new chocolate cake Frappuccinos, one with a matcha shot, and one with a double espresso shot. This was my first time having a Frappucino with cake, and I must say I would prefer to have the cake not in my drink. But having the coffee one with double espresso made it quite bearable; you could even say almost delicious. 

lantern on top 

Maybe the best part about this Starbucks is that if you look closely at the lantern on top of it, you will see it has the original logo on it. 


If you want to go to this Starbucks, it is located on the Ninen-zaka slope, just before the stairs begin. It is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

A comment from the staff
Actually I really like Starbucks, and since they were going to open a really Kyoto-like cafe near Kiyomizu Temple, I had to go there! Inside the renovated town house everything looks just breathtakingly beautiful. Having a Frappucino while sitting on a tatami mat is something completely different from your normal Starbucks experience. Altough you may have to wait before you can get into the cafe, I think it is worth it!

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