1,000 line up for Starbucks' opening in Tottori


About 1,000 people lined up for the opening of Starbucks in Tottori City on Saturday morning. Tottori Prefecture was the final frontier for the popular coffee shop chain that now has more than 1,000 stores in Japan’s 47 prefectures.

Japanese media reported that customers started lining up from around noon on Friday. Sports Nippon reported that at least 150 people set up camp outside the 71-seat store overnight hoping to be first into the store that opened at 6:55 a.m.

The store is located near JR Tottori Station.

Meanwhile, local coffeehouse chain Sunaba Coffee, whose name is almost an exact copy of Starbucks’ Japanese nickname, is promising half-off discounts on blend coffee for anyone who comes in with a receipt from “the American coffee shop.” During the campaign from May 23 until May 27, it is also offering a full refund to any customer who says Starbucks’ coffee tastes better than Sunaba’s.

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Have they no shame?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Ouch... Sunaba will be crying itself to sleep tonight. Especially after they get suckered by people who want a cheap, half-price coffee after Starbucks.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

From sunaba to sutaba.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

1,000 line up for Starbucks' opening in Tottori

Sounds like an exciting place

2 ( +4 / -2 )

"1,000 line up for Starbucks' opening in Tottori"

Says a lot about the night life in Tottori !

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Good Lord!

I understand that the mini-desert and the tired old camel can get pretty boring.

But Tottori people need to get a life!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

It's not a big deal to get as many visitors when a new object is opened for the first time. The real challenge would be to keep the high visit rate couple of months after the opening...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It may be fun to mock those who line up for a simple pleasure and a novelty drink, but it is kind of nice some people can enjoy their life without needing to spend thousands of dollars, fly to some remote part of the world, etc. I envy those who can take joy in little things.

2 ( +4 / -3 )

I going to tottori and opening up a hamburger joint for a week, then moving to Okayama for a week, then Hiroshima, then......

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Same thing in Shibuya when it opened. and the lineup at Taco Bell was still there A WEEK LATER when I walked past the other day.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People love to stand in long lines in Japan...never could figure out why...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Few years back there was a huge line for some new burger or something at Micky D's. Turned out they were all paid.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There's not Starbucks in Italy...of course. We don't need clones of the real Italian caffetteria. The saddest thing is that the US call Asian nations "copycat countries". Pizza, Parmigiano, Espresso, many things do they think they can plagiarize from Italy? Recently I saw a video where Japanese people were saying what they like about America, and one of them I don't even. This clone food is one of the reason why Italy shouldn't join TTIP.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Well Alex80, the tomato plant originated in the South American Andes, so we have that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And they say the British would queue for anything......

The Japanese beat us hands down. On Showa Day I saw people queuing outside Hankyu Department Store in Umeda, about an hour before it opened. What were they queuing for? Crisps. 1,000 yen a packet crisps.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Starbucks, Disney, Universal Studios etc. . . . Can't hate one without the other.

Hope the people Tottori enjoy west coast USA Coffee. Yeahh ---

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I'd like to see a follow-up article and find out how long it took the 1000th person to get his/her coffee. I mean with only 71 seats, and Japanese people being notorious for staking a claim to a seat and never leaving, that could take days.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Wow. Pretty naked envy showing. Don't blame the U.S. simply because it has entrepeneurs who are smart enough to see something and popularize it, and then take it international. It's called "free enterprise".

I'm not envious at all, since the original Italian food is way better and popular worldwide as well, indeed you have not market in my coluntry with this cheap and fake food. I only find funny the double standard. If it was a Chinese company for example, you would say it's a copycat company, not that they are "smart entrepeneurs".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We tried . . .

At least they didn't come to Yonago. :) Yet.

There are about four or five very good cafés here. Tullys just arrived not too long ago. Starbux is not needed and a lot of people I know basically don't support it. I asked the owners of some of these shops and they agreed that it was a plus to be the only prefecture without Starbux, just for the novelty, but none of them felt it was serious competition and welcomed it. This prefecture's main train line still uses diesel. There may never be a Shinkansen. The main highway is two laned with some three lane passing areas. The beaches are mainly unpoliced and there are few signs telling you what to do and not do. It's beautiful and a nice place to live.

But Tottori City IS boring as hell. :)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

American "espresso beverages" with tons of sugar, fat, and addtives (what you wanna call Seattle style, LOL) is far from the original source of inspiration, though, I kinda admire Howard Shultz (the founder of Starbucks) for what he has done to the coffee culture all over the world.

Starbucks doesn't taste like coffee but a nice blend of capitalism and globalization.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Starbucks doesn't taste like coffee but a nice blend of capitalism and globalization.

When globalization kills the culture of healthy and delicious food, isn't that "nice".

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Just before a Starbucks opened a while back in my neighborhood, I was walking my whippet and noticed suits on Apples in a pre-meeting, and figuring this would be the only time my dog would be allowed in the building, I went inside to say hello. They seemed delighted at the presence of a Westerner and gave me a ticket to the next day's pre-opening, so I went again with my whippet the next day and got him a latte to lap up on the patio. (He loves milk-based coffee drinks.)

I've never been back.

1 ( +1 / -0 )


When globalization kills the culture of healthy and delicious food, isn't that "nice".

Good point. Some may argue that consumers let that happen by choosing coporate giants. It's a sad fact in America, we do "eat local, shop local" and other crunch granola stuff (I do, too. I don't go to Starbucks) but it's a luxury to get to do so nowadays.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Sugar plus caffeine -- those poor ignorant souls are on the road to self-inflicted destruction.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I was in Tottori last month for a day to see the sand dunes, What a depressed place it was, almost every other store front was closed-up with for lease signs. Hopefully Starbucks will help bring the life back to Tottori city!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not really. Alex is just envious that the U.S. entrepeneurs had the smarts to take these "Italian" products global, and build global brands accordingly.

Are you saying that Italian Espresso and Cappuccino are not already global? Okay, I'm envious of Starbucks, if this makes you happy.

But, note that Alex fails to mention pasta, which we all know Italy stole from the Chinese. So, that door swings both ways.

While I guess pasta's origin is rather complex, I think you trust this American myth

There is a legend of Marco Polo importing pasta from China[20] which originated with the Macaroni Journal, published by an association of food industries with the goal of promoting the use of pasta in the United States.[21] Rustichello da Pisa writes in his Travels that Marco Polo described a food similar to "lagana". Jeffrey Steingarten asserts that Arabs introduced pasta in the Emirate of Sicily in the ninth century, mentioning also that traces of pasta have been found in ancient Greece and that Jane Grigson believed the Marco Polo story to have originated in the 1920s or 30s in an advertisement for a Canadian Spaghetti company.

Pasta's origin is way a different stuff from Frappuccino, Parmesan, and clones like that., with names that sound similar to the original ones. Ramen (Chinese noodles) is called ramen, not spaghetti al pomodoro, and vice versa. Plus, they are completely different dishes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )


Yeah, it's sad, specially for little kids' health. For this I'm bashing Starbucks and the logic behind these food corporate giants (whose Jerseyboy thinks I'm envious).


Currently the US is 34h in the list of countries by life expectancy, at the level of poor countries like Cuba and Colombia. Of course, I don't want American food culture can destroy local food culture in countries like Italy, where we care about quality so much. Sadly some people like jerseyboy think huge companies like Starbuck or Mc Donald are "great"...yeah, it's great to be obese and have the same life expectancy of a developing country.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The price of a Starbucks coffee is nothing to line up about! I feel sorry for that 1,000 people who thought it worthwhile to waste precious moments (if not an hour or two) of their lives that they'll never get back, just for a cuppa substandard joe.

1 ( +2 / -1 )


-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The last thing I want to do is wait in a long line. So I can't figure out why people go out of their way to line up for just a cup of coffee or two. It's simply not my cup of tea. Hope the new Starbucks is doing well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

i think thats what it is about people in japan. the line up bc their excited to see a place that comes from us to open in japan. especially large like starbucks. who know what kind of things ppl like

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It's pretty pathetic that people have nothing better to do....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Tottori is one of the smallest prefectural capitals with c. 197,000 residents. Starbucks passed up a proposition to open a cafe in my city of Yamaguchi. The proposed location was occupied by a Tullys café instead. Starbucks' decision is less likely to be because Tottori has 1000 or so more residents (according to wikipedia), but because it has a 25% higher population density. Tottori is swinging. Population and population density figures in Japanese here

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I suppose... that the attraction of Starbucks... apart from wifi access, might be that it offers a slice of a different culture...? i cant think the food or coffee has much to do with anything...since the prices are enormous, for nothing very amazing. it might be nice to open an all brit chip shop, or real french patisserie/cafe...with authentic people style, and goods etc..I imagine that would be a huge success... Im impressed with most French local cafes...theres a true french style ...part of it is... you can bring your own choice of food ...from anywhere you like...dont have to buy it in the cafe...just drink their coffee and talk the talk.. the journals...bring your dog in... if it doesnt fight with the resident dog... etcetcetc and stay a long time...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Best look at the eye and feel the hand who serve U the import coffee....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Elizabeth HeathMAY. 23, 2015 - 09:47PM JST And they say the British would queue for anything..


Where people mention British?....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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