It may be a global multinational with a cast-iron grip on the coffee industry but Starbucks still has a little whimsy at its core – you just have to go to Japan to find it. With the opening of its latest Kyoto store, Starbucks has unveiled what has to be its most beautiful location yet. Taking up residence in a 100-year-old, traditional Japanese townhouse, the coffee house chain has scrapped its standard branding in favor of something in keeping with the history of this ancient tea-house. With three tatami-matted rooms in the new store, customers are faced with removing their shoes and sitting on silk cushions scattered across the floor if they want to enjoy their caramel macchiato in-house.
Not content with a beautiful interior, the Kyoto Nineizaka Yasaka Tea House in the historic district of Higashiyama features a beautiful Zen garden for when customers need to mellow that caffeine buzz.