The grand opening of Aomori prefecture’s first Starbucks location in the Hachinohe area drew quite a crowd. On September 14, 2012, around 100 people waited in line on the first business day of Starbuck Coffee Hachinohe Tamukai.
The store’s interior is typical of most Starbucks locations: big windows let in natural light from outside, funky lamps hang from the ceiling, and wood grain paneling adorns the ceiling and counters. The store is around 1,700 square feet with enough seating for 55 people inside and another 16 on the terrace. There’s even a drive-thru for those who want coffee on the go.
But Starbucks-goers didn’t get all riled up over a mediocre cup of coffee. Oh no, they had their eyes on something even better: A limited edition coffee tumbler.
Starbucks Japan makes a multitude of limited edition tumblers in all different shapes and colors. You might remember the $50 limited edition All Nippon Airlines collaboration Starbucks tumbler we posted about earlier this month. Many cities also have special tumblers splashed with images of the area’s most famous attractions. Take a look at the Hachinohe tumbler that sent Aomori residents into a frenzy:
At the head of the grand opening day line stood three 20-something-year-old men who claimed to have waited in line since midnight to get their hands on the limited edition coffee tumbler. With tired expressions on their faces, the weary men confessed that their supervisor asked them to procure the prized coffee tumbler. They would do anything it took to return to work with their supervisor’s requested item.
A husband and wife from Misawa City, 17 miles away from the Starbucks grand opening, admitted that they collect Starbucks limited edition tumblers and made the 45 minute journey in hopes of adding a Hachinohe tumbler to their collection. From around June, the couple was determined to be one of the first in line at the grand opening.
Starting from 30 minutes before the store opening, a temporary shop was set up to sell the limited edition 12oz Hachinohe city coffee tumbler for 1,500 yen (US $19). A sign read, “Hachinohe Limited Edition Tumbler – Limit 5 per customer.”
Hurried by the massive crowd of people loitering outside the store, Starbucks workers decided to open its doors ten minutes before the scheduled opening time of 7am. When asked how it felt to finally buy the limited edition tumbler, one women said, “I feel relieved to finally have it! I was so worried they would run out. Now all I want to do is go the bathroom.”
Since the grand opening was scheduled on a weekday, many officer workers, clad in their business suits, were seen going through the drive-thru buying limited edition tumblers. An office worker in her twenties commented, “Right now, I only came to buy the tumbler because I don’t want to be late for work. On my way home, I’ll come back and leisurely enjoy some coffee.”
The internet hasn’t had any kind words to say of these enthusiastic coffee container customers. One netizen laments, “These people are idiots!” With the huge popularity of the Hachinohe Starbucks grand opening and the amount of people who visited the store intent on only purchasing the limited edition coffee tumbler, it makes you wonder, did the Hachinohe Starbucks even sell any coffee that day?