Starbucks opens store in historic former home in Aomori

Starbucks Hirosaki Koenmae

On April 22, Starbucks will open a store in a heritage listed building in Hirosaki City, Aomori Prefecture. This is the first Starbucks store in the city, and the first Starbucks store to be located in a local government owned property.  Starbucks Japan operates over 1,000 stores across the country, including four in Aomori Prefecture.

The Hirosaki Koen-mae Store will open in a building that was built in 1917 as the official residence of the Commander of the 8th Division in the Imperial Japanese Army. It was designed by Hikosaburo Horie, the eldest son of Sakichi Horie who was a carpenter that worked on many of the western-style residences built in Aomori during the Meiji period.

Starbucks Hirosaki Aomori
The shop interior. Image via Hikozo Sugiyama and the Mainichi Shimbun.


The house was confiscated by the US following WWII and was sold to the city in 1951. In 2003 it was registered as a tangible cultural asset.

This is the second Starbucks store to be located in a heritage property. The first store is located in a historic former foreigner’s residence (c1907) in Kobe’s Kitano neighbourhood.


1-1 Kamishiroganecho, Hirosaki City, Aomori Prefecture

Starbucks Kitanocho
The Starbucks Kitano Ijinkan Store in Kobe.


The Mutsu Shinpo, April 8, 2015.
The Kahoku Shinpo, April 15, 2015.
The Mainichi Shimbun, April 20, 2015.

 3,495 total views,  2 views today