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Business trends

Starbucks Japan evokes tradition and history with unique designs

Gardens, tatami rooms and hanging scrolls create a 'third place' for customers

Starbucks Kyoto Ninenzaka Yasaka Chaya is a 100-year-old traditional house converted into a coffee shop.

TOKYO/MATSUYAMA, Japan -- In the old Japanese capital of Kyoto, on the Ninenzaka slope leading up to the Kiyomizu Temple, one of the city's most notable landmarks, a 100-year-old traditional house has been turned into a Starbucks coffee shop.

At Starbucks Kyoto Ninenzaka Yasaka Chaya, which opened in June last year, the exterior of the building has been left untouched to preserve its historic character. There is no green, twin-tailed mermaid Starbucks logo. Customers are ushered in through an indigo curtain. While the original floor has been covered with finished concrete, the walls, pillars and room layouts have been kept in the original.

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