Mr Sato puts on his walking boots to give us a whirlwind tour of all the Starbucks in one of Tokyo’s busiest areas. 

Japan has a lot of Starbucks stores. Everywhere you go, you’re bound to find the green mermaid lurking somewhere nearby, especially in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward, where our office is located.

In fact, if you’re meeting a friend at Starbucks in Shinjuku, you’ll definitely want to specify which one, because a total of 32 different branches have the word “Shinjuku” in their title.

As soon as our Japanese-language reporter Mr Sato heard about the many Shinjuku Starbucks stores, he wondered if he’d be able to visit all of them during an afternoon break. So he pulled up a map and conducted some research on them, to see how many were actually located in the heart of Shinjuku, close to the station.

After jotting down some notes and doing some calculations, Mr Sato found that over 70 percent of the ward’s Starbucks stores were located downtown. Armed with that information, he grabbed his backpack, put on his walking cap, and headed out to document every one of these locations for us.

How many locations would he visit? How long would it take? And would he bring us back anything? These are all questions we yelled at his back as he disappeared from the office, and they lingered unanswered in the air until he eventually returned with his report.

So let’s join Mr Sato on his Shinjuku Starbucks journey to find the answers to these questions, and get an overview of the different vibes on offer at each location as he passes by them.

1. Nishi-Shinjuku Mitsui Building Store
Nishi-Shinjuku Mitsui Building, Shinjuku-ku, Nishi-Shinjuku 6-24-1

2. Shinjuku Green Tower Building Store
Shinjuku Green Tower, Shinjuku-ku, Nishi-Shinjuku, 6-14-1

3. Shinjuku Central Park SHUKNOVA Store
Shinjuku-ku, Nishi-Shinjuku 2-11-5

4. Shinjuku Mitsui Building Store
Shinjuku Mitsui Building, Shinjuku-ku, Nishi-Shinjuku 2-1-1

5. Shinjuku Nomura Building Store
Shinjuku Nomura Building B1F, Shinjuku-ku, Nishi-Shinjuku 1-26-2

6. Shinjuku L Tower Store
1-6-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku Shinjuku L Tower

7. Shinjuku West Exit Store
Takakura Daiichi Building 1F, Shinjuku-ku, Nishi-Shinjuku 1-12-1

8. Shinjuku South Exit Store
Est Shinjuku Building, Shibuya-ku, Yoyogi 2-13-8

Numbers 8 and 9 on this list are a little unorthodox, as they’re officially located in Shibuya Ward, but you wouldn’t know it because they’re super close to Shinjuku Station. That’s because the line that separates Shibuya and Shinjuku wards runs right through the middle of Shinjuku Station.

9. Shinjuku Southern Terrace Store
Shinjuku Southern Terrace, Shibuya-ku, Yoyogi 2-2-1

10. LUMINE Shinjuku Store
LUMINE Shinjuku 1 6F, Shinjuku-ku, Nishi-Shinjuku 1-1-5

11. Shinjuku Mylord 5th Floor Store
Shinjuku Mylord 5F, Shinjuku-ku, Nishi-Shinjuku 1-1-3

At this point, all this walking was making Mr Sato’s stomach grumble so he stopped for a bite to eat. Despite being right outside a Starbucks, though, Mr Sato decided to head to fast food chain Lotteria for a burger instead, as he wanted to save the taste of Starbucks for the end of the challenge, to help motivate him to complete his mission.

12. Odakyu Shinjuku Store
Odakyu Department Store B1F, Shinjuku-ku, Nishi-Shinjuku 1-1-3

13. Seibu Shinjuku PePe Store
Seibu Shinjuku PePe 3F, Shinjuku-ku, Kabukicho 1-30-1

14. LUMINE EST Shinjuku Store
LUMINE EST 2F, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-38-1

15. Shinjuku Da’an Building Store
Da’an Building 1F, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-36-6

16. Shinjuku New South Exit Store
Shinjuku Youth Building 1F, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 4-1-9

17. Link Square Shinjuku Store
Link Square Shinjuku 3F, Shibuya-ku, Sendagaya 5-27-5

18. Shinjuku Marui Main Building 2F Store
Shinjuku Marui Main Building 2F, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-30-13

19. Shinjuku Marui Main Building 8F Store
Shinjuku Marui Main Building 8F, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-30-13

20. Keio Shinjuku 3-chome Building Store
Keio Shinjuku 3-chome Building 1F, Shinjuku-ku Shinjuku 3-1-24

21. Shinjuku 3-chome Store
Ecure Shinjuku 1F, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-11-6

22. Shinjuku 2-chome Store
FORECAST Shinjuku AVENUE 1F, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 2-5-12

23. Shinjuku Gyoen Store
Shinjuku Gyoen, Shinjuku-ku, Naitomachi 11

And with that, Mr Sato completed his mission to visit all the Starbucks locations in downtown Shinjuku! Or at least he thought he did, until he returned to the office.

▼ Mr Sato’s Starbucks route.

Before he returned to the office, though, Mr Sato revelled in this feeling of accomplishment, rewarding himself with an ice-cold cup of Joe in the relaxing grounds of Shinjuku Gyoen, one of the best parks in Tokyo.

▼ He’d walked for three hours and done around 16,000 steps, so this coffee tasted particularly exceptional.

After his stop in the park, the office was just a short walk away, so when he returned triumphant, to tell us all about the stores he’d visited, we humoured him as he ran down the list. However, that’s when he realised that in his excitement, he’d actually missed two stores — the Shinjuku Subnade Store and the Shinjuku Maynds Tower Store.

▼ Mr Sato’s proud smile quickly disappeared from his face at the realisation, and that triumphant coffee in his belly didn’t feel so good now, after all.

So in actual fact, there are 25 Starbucks stores around Shinjuku Station, and now Mr Sato has vowed, with a raised fist in the air, to retake the challenge and reign supreme as the Starbucks pro. He’s got tough competition in that regard, though, as our reporter K. Masami is the undisputed queen of Frappuccinos, and fellow reporter Yuuichiro Wasai has recently been flexing his muscles at the Starbucks buffet.

However, given Mr Sato’s passion for challenges, anything can change in the office hierarchy of Starbucks professionals!

Related: Starbucks Japan
Photos ©SoraNews24

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