Now you can enjoy your coffee with a side of Edo-style charm in this old castle town.
As one of the world’s leading global coffeehouse chains, Starbucks knows how to adapt their brand for international markets, with exclusive local products, limited-edition beverages and modern outlets that blend perfectly into exotic surroundings.
Now it’s time for Kawagoe in Saitama Prefecture to get the Starbucks treatment, with a brand new outlet that pays homage to the town’s carefully preserved heritage. Kawagoe, which sits northwest of Tokyo, is a short 30-minute train ride from Tokyo, but when you step off at the station, you feel like you’ve travelled back in time to the Edo period (1603-1868), with old merchant stores lining the historic streets, and a stunning wooden bell tower that rings out the time across town.
▼ “Toki no Kane” (“Bell Of Time“) is the symbol of the city,
and has been telling time to the city’s residents for 350 years.
▼ Kawagoe is known locally as Koedo (“Little Edo”), due to its many historic buildings.
Japan’s capital of Tokyo was known as “Edo” during the Edo period.
The new Starbucks outlet set to open up in Kawagoe aims to blend seamlessly into the historic townscape with a building that uses the same rooftop style as the traditional “kura” clay warehouses that exist in the area.
With an exterior made from locally sourced cedar, the new Starbucks aims to maintain a modern aesthetic while blending into the traditional architecture of the town. Inside the store, customers will be able to enjoy a courtyard-like feel, in keeping with the historic warehouse style, and a bar area that uses the black-and-white stucco grid pattern seen on traditional storehouses.
▼ Traditional kura feature a distinctive black-and-white grid pattern.
At the back of the store will be a lush garden and terrace seating where customers will be able to enjoy “the scenery of the changing seasons” throughout the year, and the seats and benches will be covered in Kawagoe Tozan, a locally made fabric that was first created towards the end of the Edo period.
The 77-seater coffeehouse, which is due to open on 19 March, will be located on the same street as Kawagoe’s historic bell tower, giving customers the chance to enjoy drinking coffee with the sound of old Edo ringing in their ears. According to the company, this is just the latest offering from the popular coffeehouse chain, which aims to provide a “third place” for customers, in addition to their homes and office or school spaces.
If their “third places” continue to look like this one, as well as their stunning teahouse branch in Kyoto, then we’ll be more than happy to shack up there with a limited-edition Frappuccino in the future!
Starbucks Coffee Kawagoe Kanetsuki-dori / スターバックス コーヒー 川越鐘つき通り店
Address: Saitama-ken, Kawagoe-shi, Saiwaicho 15-18
Hours: 8 a.m.-8 p.m.