From the over-river seating in Kyoto to a former residence of a division commander in Aomori, we’ve seen some gorgeous Starbucks buildings in stunning locations around Japan. Amongst all the good-looking outlets, however, there’s one that stands out, earning a name for itself as the “world’s most beautiful Starbucks” after it took first prize at the 2008 Store Design Awards.
Located in Toyama Prefecture, the location is acclaimed not only for its glass-walled design, but also its serene location, which allows customers to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Overlooking a canal in Toyama’s sprawling 9.6-hectare Fugan Unga Kansui Park, which is also home to a bird sanctuary, it’s easy to forget that you’re still in the heart of the city here, with the shinkansen bullet train stop at Toyama Station just a short ten-minute walk away.
The interior is filled with light, with views from inside the store making it seem like the building hangs right over the water’s edge.
Outside, customers can enjoy their snacks and beverages as if they’re on the deck of a ship.
The star attraction here, though, is the scenery. With a fantastic view of the park’s symbolic Tenmon-kyo Bridge just outside, the tranquil setting looks picture-perfect as the sun slowly sinks into the horizon.
At night, the glistening lights on the water’s surface create a beautiful atmosphere. It’s also the scene for stunning firework events.
What makes the place really special is the fact that you can enjoy the beauty of Japan’s four seasons here, with snow in winter, coloured leaves in autumn, cool breezes in summer, and beautiful waterside cherry blossoms in spring.
With an outdoor theater and a 1.8-kilometer walking trail nearby, there are plenty of relaxing options for customers to enjoy after their coffee break.
With so many Starbucks locations around the globe, it’s certainly a bold statement to call this the most beautiful one, but for Meg, our reporter who visited, it was definitely one of the most unique locations she’d ever seen in Japan.
The beautiful waterside breeze, joggers, and people sitting outside relaxing on the grass made Meg feel like she’d gone to a foreign country, which is a perfect way to bring the Seattle-based Starbucks culture to Japan. Not just with their menu, but with an open and relaxed atmosphere too.
Store Information Starbucks Toyama Fugan Unga Kansui Park/スターバックス富山環水公園店 Address: Toyama-ken, Toyama-shi, Minatoirifune-cho 5 富山県 富山市 湊入船町5 Hours: 8 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. Website
Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Six sensational Starbucks for sakura spectators -- The “doya-gao” phenomenon and where you’re most likely to see it -- You’re not seeing things, that’s a cat selling roasted sweet potatoes© Japan Today