The Top 5 Starbucks in Tokyo With A View
Our pick of Starbucks' best locations in the capital—by what you can see out the window.
Some hardcore travelers want to sit in a hole-in-the-wall restaurant and stumble through basic Japanese to order the most obscure dish possible. These gem experiences should be embraced, but do you really want every day of your trip in Japan to be so intense? What if you just want a place to catch your breath and charge up that phone battery?
For travelers in Tokyo, Starbucks is just the kind of oasis that can provide that much-needed pause during travels. It’s one of the few cafes that offer free WiFi in Japan, plus the stores usually have outlets to charge devices, English-speaking staff and most importantly—restrooms and trash cans. (FYI Tokyo is notorious for its lack of these two things.)
Plus, Japan does Starbucks like nowhere else meaning that, while it is a US chain, there’s still something culturally unique to discover at many of its Japanese counterparts.
These 5 spots are for when you’re simply in need of a place to sit back, relax and enjoy the view of Japan’s dazzling capital—just don’t expect the barista to get your name right here either.
5. Starbucks at Ueno Oshi Park
This store is right in the middle of the action of Ueno, a classic stop for anyone visiting Tokyo for the first time. You could easily spend a day exploring just Ueno Park and its many museums and art galleries. In spring, the Onshi Park area where the Starbucks is located is a very popular cherry blossom spot, while the cafe is so close to the front gate of Ueno Zoo that you can sometimes hear the elephants and lions while sipping your coffee. After knocking back a few limited-edition Starbucks specials, you can walk down to the lotus-filled Shinobazu Pond for a stroll.
Location aside, this store has extremely professional staff and most speak a bit of English. The store has a small van outside for anyone with a small (tall-sized) order to get in and out as fast as possible. There is plenty of outside seating and cozy couches inside. There you can take a rest and enjoy the occasional street performer or the symphony of kids losing their mind about Xiang Xiang the baby panda.
- 7 a.m.-11 p.m.
- 8-22 Uenokoen, Taito Ward, Tokyo, 110-0007 - Map
4. Starbucks in Odaiba Aqua City
Chances are Odaiba is already on your Tokyo checklist as the man-made, island home of the giant moving Gundam and the new teamLab Borderless digital art exhibition. Located inside the Aqua City shopping complex, the store faces the business district of Shinagawa across the bay as well as the famous Rainbow Bridge that connects the city to the island, offering the perfect pitstop between exploring what Odaiba has to offer. Everything from the breathtaking architecture of the FujiTV building’s Hachitama sphere to the Statue of Liberty replica at Odaiba Seaside Park is within a quick five-minute walk.
You can chill inside on the cozy seating or make your way out to the patio. Once the sun is down, Odaiba comes alive with lights as Rainbow Bridge paints the night sky over the bay. Its a sight you have to see, and this Starbucks store is in a prime spot to do it.
- 9 a.m.-11 p.m.
- 1-7 Daiba, Minato Ward, Tokyo, 135-0091 - Map
3. Starbucks at Tokyu Plaza Omotesando
One of Tokyo’s most famous Starbucks, this store is located right by the Meiji-jingumae junction, up on the sixth floor of the Tokyu Plaza department store. The entrance to this Harajuku hub of youth fashion is a giant silver chasm with an elevator going right into it. Fear not, enter the mirrored tunnel and you will be rewarded.
When you manage to make it all the way up to the sixth floor, you will find ample seating with couches, roundtables, and counters which look out toward the streets and the hordes of shoppers snaking up and down them. By the time you’ve received your drink, you will have seen the expansive rooftop garden directly behind you. Walk right out and enjoy the awesome outdoor deck area, made up of some 200 square meters with a large illuminated tree in the middle and bar-style seating around it.
But we are here for the view. The stunning vista from the deck looks right out on to Harajuku towards Yoyogi Park and Shibuya. If you time it right, the sun paints Omotesando in breathtaking shades of orange and blue. This is the perfect spot to breathe some fresh air and enjoy Tokyo in all its splendor from above.
- 8:40 a.m.-11 p.m.
- 6F Tokyu Plaza, 4-30-3 Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001 - Map
2. Starbucks Tsutaya at Shibuya Crossing
This is it! The Starbucks store you have to go to when you come to Tokyo. The nearby Shibuya station is the second busiest train station in the world and sees about three million commuters a day weaving through its network of corridors, entrances, and exits. This is the ultimate big-city experience for those looking for a taste of daily Tokyo. The store is across the street from the historic Hachiko exit and sits on one side of the iconic “Shibuya Scramble” crossing. Located on the first and second floor of a Tsutaya bookstore, you’ll get that perfect view of the scramble.
Be aware that the store itself is super crowded. Always. There is usually a wait time to find somewhere to sit, and you can only buy tall and grande size drinks there. So, why would anyone wait 20 minutes to sit and drink a small coffee in a super crowded Starbucks? Well, it all hits you when you look out of the second story-window: just… wow.
- 9 a.m.-11 p.m.
- 21−6 Q Front, 1F, Udagawacho, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo 150-0042 - Map
1. Starbucks Reserve Roastery at Nakameguro
The Starbucks Reserve Roastery Tokyo opened its doors to four floors of sensory coffee immersion at the end of February this year. The first of its kind in Japan and the fifth internationally, the upscale roastery cafe and store encompasses a whopping 32,000 square feet (2,966 sq. meters), taking over from the Shanghai store as the biggest Starbucks in the world.
Designed by renowned Japanese starchitect Kengo Kuma–the man behind the main host stadium for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics—huge glass windows and terraced floors blend seamlessly with its riverside location in Nakameguro, making it a prime spot for cherry blossom viewing from the comfort of a leather couch. The rest of the year, you can content yourself with gaping at the impressive interior, where a Willy Wonka-esque system of pipes crisscrosses around the gigantic 17-meter-tall copper coffee cask. The best view though will likely come from the ample people-watching opportunities, as Nakameguro is a known hub for Japanese celebs and well-to-do Tokyoites. So settle in with a pastry and an espresso martini (yes, there’s also a bar) and drink it all in.
- 7 a.m.-11 p.m.
- 2-19-2 Aobadai, Meguro Ward, Tokyo 153-0042 - Map