If you’re as big of a fan of Starbucks as you are of traditional Japanese aesthetics, mark your maps.

Japan is home to many unique Starbucks cafes, including Kyoto’s Kamogawa location and the “world’s most beautiful Starbucks” in Toyama prefecture. Now, a popular temple region is about to become home to another branch of the coffeehouse.

On March 26th, Nagano City’s Shinshu Zenko-ji Nakamise-dori street will see the opening of a Starbucks that has a distinct Japanese aesthetic. It will boast traditional noren curtains and sliding shoji doors for a Japanese feel that puts it right up there with Kyoto’s Ninenzaka storefront.

▼ The coffee shop is also meant to blend in with the other traditional storefronts surrounding it.

The designers wanted the branch to blend in with its surroundings. Rather than have it stand out as a brand-new and contemporary cafe, they thought it would provide a better experience as something more akin to a mom-and-pop shop.

What makes this Nagano Starbucks feel truly local, though, is the use of local Nagano wood in its interior. The ceiling and walls of the entrance are made with red pine, and the counter design incorporates Japanese hornbeam and Judas tree woods.

What’s more, you’ll also find remnants of the site’s former building scattered throughout the cafe, like stone lanterns and a giant beam. It’s all a part of the cafe’s contrasting design theme: bustling and silence, light and darkness. Its two floors will offer a quiet escape from the busy Nakamise-dori streets, and the light streaming through the windows will show visitors the beauty of shadows.

While it’s not exactly an ideal time to be traveling, be sure to mark it down in your future Japan travel plans (or your worldwide Starbucks pilgrimage – no judgment).

Cafe information
Starbucks Coffee Shinshu Zenko-ji Nakamise-dori Branch/スターバックス コーヒー 信州善光寺仲見世通り店
Address: Nagano-ken, Nagano-shi, Motoyoshi-cho 483
Open 7 a.m.-9 p.m.

Photos: Starbucks Coffee Japan
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[ Read in Japanese ]