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World's 1st Starbucks coffee shop with tatami rooms to open in Kyoto

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Starbucks Coffee Japan said it will not allow people to form lines in front of the shop and will also restrict the number of customers during peak hours to avoid disrupting the quiet atmosphere in the area.

Right, they'll line them up back.

I understand the idea and reasoning for Starbucks, and the blatant PR plug it's getting here, but I question the wisdom of allowing further commercialization of the area. Most people I know visit Kyoto because of it's history and traditions, and to get away from places like Starbucks.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Yubaru, totally agree about the commercialization of Kyoto. But this is the fault of the city for not doing a far better job to protect their heritage. Shimogamo-jinja allowing condos to be built on their property is the most striking example in recent memory.

That said, I go to Kyoto several times a year and every Starbucks is mobbed from dawn to dusk.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Lots of these old machiya/shops are being converted from nothing (empty since 2005 in this example) to something people want (usually coffee shops but also bars serving expensive and/or not easily attainable saké, handcrafts, art galleries, etc). This is, to my knowledge, the first a major corporation is doing so. It probably won't be the last.

Will Toyota put a showroom in one? One hopes not but I can see a small shop with pamphlets for their most expensive models, free coffee, quiet music, and manned by a knowledgable salesman or woman.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Kyoto is a large city and most young people welcome the tatami room. The Starbucks has found balance between maintaining the trendiness of being an American brand and adapting to the Japanese market. They are the first coffee chain to implement a non-smoking environment, which appealed to the younger Japanese generations.

Starbucks has realized that it is not just about the product, but the experience as well and they have taken the extra step to become familiar with Japanese culture to create an unbeatable experience.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Whilst I reluctantly accept the need for such PR, I remain steadfast in my refusal to set foot in any of their premises. Other coffee outlets and viewpoints are available, natch.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Starbucks has realized that it is not just about the product, but the experience as well 

Experience? Please, it's just a glorified coffee shop. And you are right, it certainly isn't the product.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I don't like corporations and I don't like Starbucks, but I do like vernacular architecture and businesses trying to fit into their locations, rather than simply sticking the same building and signage into whatever space they are using. That is generally what happens.

Starbucks has some obsessive fans in Japan who collect all their products, like the cups they sell in different prefectures. If they sell Kyoto branded stuff at this place, you will get people going there simply to visit Starbucks, not Kiyomizudera. Which is kind of sad, really.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Wow. Awesome!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I hope one day Japanese people will understand they have to save their heritage instead of taking down "old things" all the time....If Starsucks can help a bit in that direction, why not.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It won't be long before they set-up shop on the deck of Kiyomizu-dera.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It'll be cute I'm sure. It may appeal to the young Japanese and Asian tourists more than western ones who see it as a blemish on the landscape. But that area of Kyoto is already so full of tourist-trappy shops and whatnot it's just basically a theme park of "Kyoto-esque." Crowds concentrating there mean other areas are quieter. It's not all bad.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I hope one day Japanese people will understand they have to save their heritage instead of taking down "old things" all the time....If Starsucks can help a bit in that direction, why not.

First part makes sense, second part, I spit my beer on the keyboard. lol.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The successful companies tend to look outside of the box. It's about growth and survival. If Starbucks was Japanese company, people in Japan wouldn't spit beer on the keyboard.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

There's a Starbucks in central Beijing which has kept a traditional look and fits in with it's surroundings quite well I think.

http://www.blogcdn.com/www.bloggingstocks.com/media/2007/06/beijing_starbucks2.jpg

I think this additonal one in Kyoto will be able to do the same without much of an issue.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If Starbucks was Japanese company, people in Japan wouldn't spit beer on the keyboard.

Right, then according to the post you are referring to here, then it's up to the Japanese to keep their heritage intact.

I think this additonal one in Kyoto will be able to do the same without much of an issue.

Starbucks itself is the problem....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

YubaruToday  04:27 pm JST Right, then according to the post you are referring to here, then it's up to the Japanese to keep their heritage intact.

It should be available equally to all nationalities (foreign companies) that respect Japanese culture.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Starbucks, for the coffee no but when I need urgent wifi and sometimes just stand outside. There are good places for coffee just not Starbucks, whatever building its in, spaceship or machiya.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

An anyone knows if entire floor in a room.  is tatami or tatami chair?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tatami, tiles, wood or marble wont change the fact that the coffee sucks and is hugely over priced but then what do i know.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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