Starbucks is an international brand that no doubt every person on the planet has heard of. I’ll admit that I drink a fair amount of Starbucks and find them great places to write and work in. I’ve found some amazing places in Japan for coffee like Tully’s, Excelsior, Beck’s, and the countless smaller chains and independent places.
But, there’s something familiar about Starbucks that always has me going back. Maybe it reminds me of home, or maybe I just always know what to expect when going to a new location. It doesn’t help that Starbucks always comes out with new seasonal merchandise that, while expensive, has a great design and draws me in every time.
So, because I know I’m not the only one who enjoys a Starbucks, I wanted to highlight the largest Starbucks location in Japan, the Starbucks Reserve Roastery Tokyo.
What is the Starbucks Reserve Roastery?
Starbucks Reserve coffees are a selection of the rarest, most extraordinary coffees Starbucks has to offer. It’s where Starbucks push their boundaries of craft, developing a unique roast for each individual lot before experimenting with coffee as an art form—brewing, aging, infusing, and blending it into imaginative and often surprising creations.
The Roasteries and bars are where Starbucks shares their discoveries and the enjoyment of exceptional coffee with the world. The roasteries are usually huge theme-park-like buildings of tens of thousands of square feet that include coffee bars, cocktail bars, areas to observe the roasting and brewing process, as well as areas to purchase food and local artwork.
What specifically makes these locations different from individual Starbucks stores (aside from having different merchandise and more on offer) is the fact that they roast, package, and ship coffee to stores in their region.
Starbucks Reserve Roastery Locations
I’ll admit I didn’t know what a Starbucks reserve roastery was until I moved to Japan. And when I first learned about the Roastery in Tokyo, I wondered how many Starbucks Reserve Roasteries there were in the world.
There are 6 locations currently with the first opened in Seattle in 2014, followed by Shanghai, Milan, New York City, Tokyo, and lastly Chicago. Starbucks originally intended to open 20 locations but put plans on hold in 2019.
Besides the main Roasteries in those main locations, there are also Starbucks Reserve Bars in many countries around the world that sell Reserve-specific drinks and merchandise. There are 43 locations around the world with a few locations in Tokyo. Including Tokyo Midtown, Tokyo Midtown Hibiya, and Shapo Funabashi Minami-Kan.
There are also other locations that serve Reserve You can find the list of locations Here.
Starbucks Reserve Roastery Tokyo
The Reserve Roastery in Tokyo opened in February 2019 and was at the time the largest roastery in the world, soon eclipsed by the Chicago location later that year. The Tokyo location is in Nakameguro, just along the famous cherry blossom-lined Meguro river.
The massive space houses the roasting factory on the fourth floor, with each floor below devoted to a different type of Starbucks hangout. The first floor is a bakery and café; the second floor is a Teavana tea room, and the third floor is Arriviamo cocktail bar. The fourth floor factory also has a lounge area and workshop space. There’s also outdoor terrace seating that overlooks the Meguro River. You can bet these seats are in high demand come sakura season. Here’s the flor-by-flor plan of the Reserve Roastery in Tokyo.
Hours: 7AM-11PM daily (last order 10:30PM)
What to do at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Tokyo
1. Take a Tour
The Tokyo Roastery is a massive site: with its 1200sqm spread out over four floors, it’s the 2nd biggest Starbucks on the planet, just behind Chicago. The exterior was designed by one of Japan’s most influential contemporary architects, Kengo Kuma, while the interior was created by the Starbucks community design team. Everything about the interior – from the lighting to the furniture made in Tendo City, Yamagata – was selected to match Kuma’s modern Japanese style.
The first thing that will probably catch your eye is the floor-to-ceiling roasting machine that goes up the center of the building from the first to fourth floor. Standing at about 17m, this is Starbucks’ biggest roaster. The beans are roasted in this giant cask, which is connected to overhead tubes that send the beans whirling all over the store.
Your journey begins on the first floor, where, as Starbucks says, coffee meets craft. You can experience the bean to cup journey and enjoy Roastery-created espresso drinks and signature creations crafted with the art and science of captivating brewing methods. You’ll also find artisanal pizzas, pastries, and breads baked to perfection.
The second floor is dedicated to the long-standing importance of tea in Japan. Here it is reimagined through mixology, tea-inspired cocktails, and unique brewing systems. Bring home our innovative tea accessories and serveware to design and enjoy your Teavana experience.
Head to the third floor to continue the experience of coffee craft and discover inspired mixology. You’ll see how Starbucks is driven by their relentless need to innovate, explore, and care for every drink they serve.
The top floor of the Tokyo Roastery is the AMU inspiration Lounge. Starbucks totes this as a space to enjoy a discussion, hold impromptu meetings, and reflect on the wonder of coffee and its journey to the cup. For those like me that aren’t Japanese speakers, AMU means “to knit” so essentially a place to bring people together.
2. Buy Some Freshly Roasted Coffee Beans
The first-floor Starbucks has about five different Reserve beans from all over the world on offer every day, selling the stuff that’s been roasted and packaged all on-site.
3. Sample Milanese Baked Goods
The baked goods on the first floor hail from the Milanese bakery Princi, which is famous for its delectable cronuts and focaccia pizza. The pastries are baked on-site, with the flour and other essential ingredients imported from Italy.
4. Relax in the Tea Room or Cocktail Bar
If you want to take a break from coffee, head to the second and third floors for tea and alcohol respectively. The second floor houses the biggest Teavana tea room in the world, where the selection includes traditional Japanese and Chinese green teas as well as black teas from all over the world. All told, there are 20 different kinds of tea to try here.
The third floor hosts the Arriviamo Cocktail Bar. The drinks here all feature a bit of coffee flare, naturally. Try the espresso martini (made with chocolate from the neighborhood’s Green Bean to Bar chocolatier), or the orange coffee tonic.
Tips for Visiting the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Tokyo
How to get there
Like I said above, the Starbucks Reserve Roastery is located in the Nakameguro neighborhood in Tokyo which is just south of Shibuya. It’s possible to walk to the Roastery from Shibuya Station. Exit the station at the South Exit and walk about 20 minutes.
You can also take the Hibiya Subway line to get off at Nakameguro Station. This is best if you’re coming from the Eastern side of the city in areas like Roppongi, Ginza, or Tsukiji. Otherwise, it’s probably easier to head to the more well-connected Shibuya Station and walk.
When to Visit
Like most popular attractions in Tokyo, the Roastery can get very crowded even during the week or off times. So don’t expect to just wander in when you feel like it.
If you want to avoid the crowds and a long wait, it’s better to go first thing in the morning or late in the evening. The Starbucks Reserve Roastery’s hours are 7AM- 11PM everyday. Going before 9AM or after 6PM will get you a shorter waiting time for entry and the whole place will be less crowded.
Avoid weekends, holidays, and the middle of the day if you can.
Getting an Entry Ticket
Entry to the Reserve Roastery is based on timed tickets. You need to go to the small building just next to the Roastery to get a ticket that will have a ticket number and a QR code that will give you an estimated entry time on the ticket.
To make a Starbucks Reserve Roastery booking and get a ticket, you must enter the “Numbered Ticket Distribution Center,” one of the lines in this side building. You will check-in at one of the iPads or with an employee. Each person visiting will need a ticket. To get an entry ticket, only one person needs to wait in this line. So while it’s probably frowned upon, one person from your party can head over there to secure tickets while the rest of the group does something else to kill time during the wait.
While you have a wait time estimate, it’s good to still stay in the general area as the times can change quickly. However, there isn’t a time limit for how soon you can come after your entry time. So if you don’t enter the Roastery exactly when your slot becomes available you should be fine.
Passing the time in Nakameguro
The great thing about the ticket system is that you don’t have to waste your day standing in line. You can actually enjoy the quaint and interesting Nakameguro area. Here are some things I recommend doing in Meguro and Nakemeguro.
Traveler’s Factory Store– The flagship Traveler’s Factory store is in Nakameguro just about a 10 minute walk from the Roastery. If you’re into stationery, planners, or amazing Japanese design this is a place you have to visit. See also our Guide to Traveler’s Notebooks.
Meguro River– The Meguro River is a popular and famous river that is especially known for its cherry blossoms. So if you’re around during spring, this is a must-do. But even during other times of the year, the river is lined with shops and restaurants that offer a variety of food, drinks.
Tsutaya Books Daikanyama- If you love a combination of coffee and books, check out the massive Tsutaya bookstore. It’s located eight minutes away from the Starbucks Reserve Roastery by foot. There is an English selection of books and many cafes and restaurants in the area. There is also a Tsutaya Books right outside of Nakameguro Station that is really cute. But from my experience, the English section is basically nonexistent so I always recommend the Daikanyama site to other travelers. For more English Bookstores in Tokyo Read Here.
Don Quixote- After you’ve wandered around past all of the shops, head into Don Quixote located right next to the Roastery. You can spend time shopping for anything and everything here. Get last-minute souvenirs, make-up, snacks, household goods, travel necessities, toys, novelty items, and so much more. The best thing about it is most of the products are inexpensive making it a great place to go after you’ve spent all of your money on your premium Roastery drinks.
Use the Search Box Below to Find other activities in Tokyo
Starbucks Reserve Roastery Tokyo Menu
The Starbucks Roastery offers a wide range of drink and food options. From cold brew coffees, espresso drinks, drink flights, and exclusive options just at Starbucks Japan locations, there are plenty of options for everyone. And like I’ve mentioned above there is Princi Bakery that offers plenty of baked goods, artisanal pizzas, and meals.
As the menu can change at any moment, Check Here for their up to date offerings.
If you’re planning your trip to Tokyo and the Starbucks Reserve Roastery make sure to check out my other posts to make the most of your trip.
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