Situated along the historic Ninenzaka street in Kyoto, this new Starbucks, which opened on June 30, is located inside a 100-year-old converted Japanese teahouse where visitors can remove their shoes and sit on tatami mats on the 2nd floor of the building while enjoying their beverage. For additional comfort, Starbucks also provides a selection of zabuton seating cushions made with Kyoto’s famous crepe fabric. The ground level has a bar counter and three courtyards, each with gardens and stone water basins. Every effort has been taken to retain much of the charm of the historic structure. As Takafumi Minaguchi, chief executive of Starbucks Coffee Japan, told CNN:
Walking through the noren at the entrance and venturing inside, we want customers to experience a feeling of being inside a traditional Kyoto machiya wooden townhouse. As this store is in an area of great cultural significance, we feel a responsibility to be the stewards of the building’s traditional architecture and ensure that it remains an integral part of its historic neighborhood for many years to come.Photos by Alex Nikolaev.