Starbucks aside, you can really get a feel for the Taisho era in this newly reopened landmark.

Visitors to the Kanmon Strait that runs between the main Japanese island of Honshu and its southern counterpart Kyushu might be looking for something to do after traveling through its surprisingly pretty pedestrian tunnel. Luckily, as of March this year, that search has ended with the reopening of Mojiko Station in Kitakyushu City.

After a six-year period of renovation, the station has been restored to its original appearance at the time of its foundation in 1914 which in the Japanese convention of imperial eras converts to the third year of the Taisho period. It was a time when Japan was rapidly adopting western styles but still retained some distinctively Japanese touches.

Mojiko Station was a major Kyushu/Honshu travel hub via train and ship, and photos hanging all over show scenes of its bustling heyday.

It was also the first station to be designated an important cultural asset of Japan and has a classical feeling that is hard not to get caught up in.

This might cause some to cringe upon hearing that a new Starbucks location also opened inside the historic landmark at the same time. However, in keeping with the chain’s regular efforts in historically significant parts of Japan, Starbucks has tried to make its presence relatively subtle.

The location was originally the Third Class Waiting Room of the station, so you can feel like a turn-of-the-century salesman waiting for the next leg of his journey selling those newfangled things called “zippers” across the country.

There is also a little bit of Starbucks history on display, showing all of the logo designs dating back to 1971. Extrapolating this data, we can assume the logo in 2049 will simply be the mermaid’s left eyebrow.

There are also many neat little details. For instance, the Starbucks sign is made in the same style of an old locomotive’s name plate.

Also the base of the tables and some beams in the ceiling are made from actual sections of rail from Japan Railway Kyushu’s tracks that have outlived their usefulness.

The Starbucks seats 32 indoors and 16 on the patio. However, none of the seats have electrical sockets, making this a less than ideal location to do a lot of work. But that’s fine, seeing as the purpose here is to sit back and enjoy your coffee surrounded by the old ambiance of Mojiko Station. It’s a nice spot for fans of history, trains, and Frappuccinos alike.

It’s also the next step in Starbucks’ apparent master plan to be a part of each of Japan’s historical eras following their location in Kawagoe and its bell dating back to the Edo era, and a temporary Showa era themed store.

I’m personally looking forward to the prehistoric Jomon era Starbucks, where coffee is sipped from large earthenware cups and the staff are all frightened and confused by electricity.

Cafe information
Starbucks Coffee (Mojiko Station branch) / スターバックスコーヒー(門司港駅店)
Address: Fukuoka-ken, Kitakyushu-shi, Moji-ku 1-5-31 Mojiko Station 1F
福岡県北九州市門司区 西海岸1-5-31 門司港駅1階
Open 8 a.m.-9 p.m.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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