A very Japanese Frappuccino for a very Japanese location.

Starbucks is known for popping up at stunning locations in Japan, and its latest branch in Tokyo has secured an enviable spot in Kokyo Gaien National Garden, just outside the grounds of the Imperial Palace.

Opened on 1 December, the new store is deeply focused on sustainability, aiming to produce as little waste as possible. It’s also home to an exclusive Frappuccino you can’t get anywhere else, so we made our way there to try it out.

▼ The new branch sits in the Wadakura Fountain Park area of the national garden.

As soon as we stepped inside the store, we were met by a few unusual design features, like a tall, gently sloping ceiling, and a digital menu board, which we’d never seen at any other location in Japan before.

It was impressively large for a Tokyo branch, and the wall-to-ceiling windows offered beautiful views of the park, creating a relaxed atmosphere. We couldn’t let the views distract us though, as we were here to try the “Wasanbon Almond Milk Frappuccino”, which can only be purchased at this location. 

▼ The drink is sold in a tall size, priced at 648 yen (US$5.71) for takeout and 660 yen for eat-in customers.

The beverage is served in a reusable cup, and ours looked absolutely beautiful with its crunchy crushed almond topping on a delightful mound of airy, fluffy cream.

We took a sip, using the paper straw provided, and were immediately impressed by the savoury taste of almonds that hit our taste buds. Because it contains wasanbon, a fine-grained Japanese sugar that’s been in production since the 1770s, it has a very elegant and refreshing sweetness, which is apt for this Starbucks’ very royal surroundings.

Wasanbon is known for being one of the world’s most delicate sugars, so when combined with cream it creates a smooth, heavenly flavour, and it made the perfect partner for the almond milk, which added a layer of richness to the taste.

The elegant flavour profile and simple yet top-quality ingredients made us feel that this was a very adult Frappuccino. Those who don’t like too much sweetness will fall head over heels for this beverage, and it’s available as a “Wasanbon Mousse Foam Almond Milk Latte”, in hot and iced versions too, with prices starting at 540 yen.

All these wasanbon drinks are well-suited to their very Japanese surroundings, and they’re well worth the visit to try them, just like those other hard-to-find Starbucks beverages, which are only available at two locations in all of Japan!

Photos: ©SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]