Okay, so Starbucks is not every coffee lover's first choice but I think this is no ordinary Starbucks.
Architects Kengo Kuma and Associates have designed this outlet on the approach to a Shinto shrine in Dazaifu, Japan. The Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine, in Fukuoka, was established in 919 A.D. and is one of Japan's major shrines, receiving 2 million visitors a year who worship the 'God of Examination', wishing for success.
This Starbucks now seems rather well situated....2 million ill prepared students? Marketing genius!
'Over 2000 wooden batons line the interior of the shop, creating a diagonally woven lattice that spikes out beyond the recessed glass facade.' (Dezeen).
I know some people have very strong views on Starbucks, and whilst it's been sometime since I visited one, there was a time when Starbucks was just the thing.
London, late '90's when Starbucks started out as the Seattle Coffee Company, we thought the idea of these coffees in paper cups was fantastic, as we frog marched into the bank.
A few years later, my local Richmond Starbucks used to see me, and several other bewildered new mothers, push strollers through the door at 10am, through to the back room where there were comfortable chairs and fellow humans. My hip-braced, reflux screaming baby and I could sit there over a 'hit and miss' coffee for an hour or so and feel comfort with other sleep deprived mothers. It wasn't the most stylish place in town but it was comfortable and welcoming.
So for that, I thank Starbucks.
I hope you're all having a lovely Monday. Annie x.
Images via Dezeen.