Photo: Courtesy of Starbucks Reserve

If you needed another excuse to head over to Tokyo, here's one. Starbucks' latest Roastery opened last Thursday in Nakameguro, Tokyo, and it currently sits uncontested as the largest Starbucks establishment in the world—dethroning Shanghai. Unlike the hundreds of thousands of other Starbucks branches around the world, Starbucks Reserve Roasteries are large open spaces meant to be lived in like a second home or workplace. As their name suggests, they have on-premise roasters to make the freshest, darkest cup of premier coffee. Make no mistake, these roasteries are premium, luxury establishments, with this latest one in Japan being only the fifth one ever established.

An introduction into Tokyo's Starbucks Reserve Roastery

This particular roastery boasts four floors and a total floor area of 2966 square meters, an unprecedented scale. Its architect, Kengo Kuma, is the man who'll be credited for the new National Stadium that will host the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, so this is a good chance to get a little sip of how that's going to turn out.

The building is an aesthetic blend of modern sleekness and rugged overhead pipes reminiscent of an era gone past. This anachronistic look adheres both to its traditional roots and cutting edge modernity that Starbucks embraces. Likewise it offers a variety of classic blends, as well as experimental ones that will then be rolled out to the Starbucks stores around the rest of the country if they succeed here. Its architecture in its entirety is a conceptual blend of the old and new, a microcosm of many other aspects of Japan itself.





Photos: Courtesy of Starbucks Reserve

In each of its four floors are different establishments to provide a variety of grade-A experiences to the casual Tokyo stroller. On the first floor is a bakery, its pastries provided by world-renowned bakery brand Princi. The second floor features the world's largest Teavana tea rooms. There's a cocktail lounge on the third floor which can also boast being Starbucks Japan's first cocktail bar. Finally the fourth floor is titled the AMU Inspiration Lounge, a large open community space where people can come in and relax, work or both. 

Indeed coffee won't be the only reason you'd drop by. The new Reserve Roastery is located in Tokyo for another very good reason: the Meguro area where this Starbucks is located at is a prime viewing spot for cherry blossoms that bloom every April and only in April. Cherry blossoms have strong cultural significance in Japan and their blooming is treated as the sign of new beginnings, new hopes and dreams to start and are very symbolically beautiful. They are a sight to behold and without them, this roastery would just be another fancy Starbucks. With them, it becomes a premier, authentically Japanese tourist locale worth going to Japan for. 


(See also: 4 Cafes For People Who Love Flowers)

Tags: Starbucks, Japan, Tokyo, Reserve Roastery, Meguro, coffee, cafe