The global coffeehouse chain has two stunning stores planned for these world-famous tourist spots.

Starbucks might be a global company, but in Japan it has a cult-like following. There’s an insatiable appetite for anything emblazoned with the iconic green mermaid logo here, which means customers get to enjoy new Frappuccino releases every other month, and limited-edition drinkware is so sought after that items have been known to sell out immediately, with some products limited only to customers mid-flight on ANA planes.

Starbucks locations are another thing that customers travel far and wide for, with Japan even boasting the most beautiful Starbucks in the world. Now there’s some more competition for the top spot in terms of coveted locales around Japan, with the latest announcement revealing two new stores are now set to open at two of the country’s most popular tourist spots: Miyajima and Dogo Onsen.

Miyajima, which goes by the official name of Itsukushima, is an island located off Hiroshima Bay, best known for its beautiful floating torii gate, which is set off the shore of Itsukushima Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. According to Starbucks, their new location on the island, accessed by a ten-minute ferry ride from the mainland, is a first for the company, as it’s the only Starbucks in Japan that requires a boat trip to get there.

The new Starbucks will feature wood panels and large glass windows, and with the local Miyajima Beer company opening up a brewery restaurant in the same building, this looks set to become one of the most popular – and crowded – spots on the island for visitors.

Miyajima is known as one of the Three Views of Japan, along with Matsushima’s pine-tree clad islands in Miyagi Prefecture and the Amanohashidate sandbar in Kyoto. The new Starbucks location allows customers to bask in the famous scenery, with large windows and a balcony that looks out to the floating shrine gate and the inland sea.

Along with the Miyajima store, Starbucks will be opening another new location at Dogo Onsen in Matsuyama, on the island of Shikoku, in Ehime Prefecture. Dogo Onsen is often referred to as “Japan’s oldest hot spring“, and the beautiful rustic public bathhouse here is one that inspired the bathhouse in the Studio Ghibli anime film Spirited Away.

The olde-world charm of the area is particularly evident when visitors arrive at Dogo Onsen station, where a beautiful two-storey wooden replica of the original station building stands. This is where Starbucks will be taking up residence, in a prime location to attract visitors.

The interior of the new Starbucks pays homage to the stylings of the original building, which was constructed in 1911 at the end of the Meiji Period (1868-1912). Customers will be able to make their orders on the ground floor and then go up to the second floor of the building to enjoy their coffee in retro western-style surroundings.

▼ The tables and chairs will be made using iron from old rails
and timber from railway sleepers.

The Miyajima Starbucks will open on 22 November while the Starbucks at Dogo Onsen will open on 22 December. What do you think about Starbucks opening up at these famous locations? Let us know in the comments section below!

Source: Starbucks (1, 2
Top image: Flickr/Tatsuo Yamashita
Insert images: Starbucks (1, 2)