Get your Christmas caramel toffee fix with sweet Starbucks Japan holiday drinks and goodies

It’s that time of year again! Starbucks Japan has announced their line of holiday beverages and goodies! Yes, it’s amazing how quickly a year seems to go by, isn’t it?

This year, the coffee chain will be offering their customers seasonal goodness featuring caramel and toffee (and plenty of whipped cream), and if that’s how they’re expressing their holiday spirit, well, we have to say, “Bring the holiday sweetness on!!!”

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Japanese artist captures the beauty of Tokyo street scenes and cafes on coffee cups 【Pics】

When you’re travelling in a foreign city, the sights, sounds and aroma of your surroundings can be so beautiful that there’s an overwhelming desire to capture it in a way a photo never could. Next time you find yourself in this predicament, you might want to stop by a cafe and take out a pen like this artist, who captures the atmosphere of Tokyo beautifully with just some coloured pencils, pens and a humble paper coffee cup.

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Sweet and fruity taste of autumn comes to Starbucks Japan — we try the new Fruit Crush drinks!

Starbucks never ceases to delight us with their tempting seasonal creations, and here in Japan they’ve done it again this autumn with two new beverages that they released on October 1, the “Fruit Crush & Tea” and “Fruit Crush & Cream Frappuccino“. Both are fruit infused tea-based drinks that should be prefectly relaxing as the weather gets cooler heading into fall. Naturally, we had to try these, and we sent one of our Japanese reporters to a Starbucks the day the drinks were released!

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Etsy shop sells anime Starbucks mugs featuring all our favourite characters!

Etsy, the online marketplace filled to the brim with unique handmade goods, can be an absolute treasure trove for people who want to stand out from the crowd with special items that can’t be found in regular stores.

Case in point: these amazing mugs from Californian seller Howard Le. From Naruto to Sailor Moon and Cowboy Bebop to The Legend of Zelda, there are dozens of Starbucks-esque mugs to choose from. And if none of them take your fancy, he’ll even custom make your order for you!

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Starbucks Japan rolls out chestnut lattes and frappuccinos to get us in the mood for autumn

Okay, who else is already sick of summer? Bugs, humidity, sweat, and pongy passengers on public transportation. Bring on the autumn, with its fresh, crisp air, cosy and stylish fall fashion, and seasonal flavours like pumpkin, cinnamon, and hot roasted chestnuts!

Luckily, it seems that Starbucks in Japan is feeling us and has decided to give us a treat to really get us in the mood for autumn with their new range of chestnut flavour lattes and frappuccinos which are due to go on sale next month!

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Starbucks Coffee Korea celebrates 16 years with color-changing tumbler

Who doesn’t love a birthday? And while usually the best thing about birthdays is all the cool stuff you get, Starbucks Coffee is instead celebrating 16 years in Korea by giving things away.

To mark this special occasion, the coffee house chain has released a special range of merchandise including an anniversary mug, thermos and, very cool glass tumbler which changes colour as the temperature drops. The color-changing tumbler takes us back to when we were kids and Hypercolor T-shirts were all the rage.

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Starbucks in Aomori is the hot topic in Japan right now because of its beautiful…architecture?!

After opening in April, a Starbucks location in Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture, has received quite a bit of attention online for its surprisingly beautiful architecture and design. Yes, we’re serious, the hot topic in Japan right now is this Starbucks location!

But, wait, before you scoff, you seriously need to see the place. One of our Japanese reporters headed to Aomori recently and his photos of the coffee shop will definitely make you say, “Wow, that is a beautiful Starbucks location!” for the first time in your life!

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Beat the heat with Japanese somen noodles dipped in Starbucks noodle sauce?!

For many Japanese, somen is the go to food of choice for keeping the summer heat exhaustion blues away. These thin, white Japanese noodles that resemble vermicelli are traditionally made from wheat flour and served chilled.

But what do you do if a somen craving hits and you don’t have a full serving of mentsuyu, or noodle dipping sauce, on hand to eat them with? What if you’re tired or eating somen the traditional way?  Or what if you’re in need of a little caffeine kick with your meal?

If you answered mix your noodle sauce with Starbucks coffee, congratulations! We’re stumped as to how our Japanese staff arrived at this weird food combination, but apparently it tastes much better than it sounds.

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Going, going … gone! Starbucks x Alice+Olivia mugs sell out across most of Japan in a single day!

If you’re into fashion, coffee, or both, you may remember the collaborative items that Starbucks and New York-based fashion brand Alice + Olivia came up with, the first of which were released in North America about a year and a half ago. Not surprisingly, the items apparently caused a bit of a craze among fashionistas at the time (seriously, who thinks of something like a tumbler dressed up with a tutu?), with everyone clamoring to get their hands on the limited edition goods.

Well, it turns out the collaboration recently made its way to Japan, but one of the reporters from our Japanese sister site Pouch ended up finding out the hard way that the goods were in just as much demand here in Japan as they were in the U.S.!

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Starbucks conquers Japan with first location in Tottori, now has a branch in every prefecture

Tottori: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starbucks (coffee) enterprise. Their continuing mission: to serve strange new Frappuccinos, to open new stores and new locations, to boldly go where no Starbucks has gone before.

For anyone playing Starbucks Japan bingo, you can now cross off Tottori from your sheet. May 23 officially marks the first day that there is a Starbucks Coffee shop in every single prefecture in Japan. Tons of people showed up for the grand opening of the Tottori Starbucks, but was this a great triumph or another situation of the little guy being pushed aside by a huge mega-corp?

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“Solid Sato” sneaks into Starbucks under cover of cardboard box, Metal Gear-style 【VIDEO】

Our resident oddball writer Mr. Sato loves his coffee, so much so that he finds it impossible to pass by a Starbucks without stopping in for a quick coffee break. The only problem is that he tends to favour “girly” drinks like frappuccinos, and lives in fear of being spotted by friends and acquaintances enjoying one.

The solution? Sneak into Starbucks underneath a cardboard box, Solid Snake-style, and see if the baristas will serve coffee to a cardboard box. Check out our video to see how he did!

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Starbucks comes to Tottori, local coffee chain’s poster compares it to Perry arriving in Japan

With Starbucks having won the loyalty of so many customers in so many countries, sometimes it seems like the Seattle-based coffee giant has a location in every corner of the world. There’s still at least one place that’s Starbucks-free, though, and that’s Tottori, the last prefecture in Japan without a branch of its own.

The situation is about to change, though, as Starbucks is set to open its first Tottori location this week. Local coffeehouse chain Sunaba Coffee, whose name is almost an exact copy of Starbucks’ Japanese nickname, is bracing for the impact of its new competitor by guaranteeing its product tastes just as good as Starbucks’, while making the humble request that customers get one out of every three coffee fixes at Sunaba.

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Starbucks Japan to release frozen drink maker for homemade cool refreshments

Who’s ready for the hot and humid summer? We’re approaching the second half of spring here in Japan, so that means it’s almost time to get out those Cool Biz clothes and your sweat towels, because this summer is bound to be as uncomfortably muggy as always.

Starbucks has your back this year though. Later this month they’ll be releasing the “Starbucks Frozen Drink Maker” – a reusable mug that doubles as a super simple frozen coffee mixer. It’s easy, it’s cold and it’s delicious. Let’s take a look!

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Starbucks to release Almond Milk Latte and Frappuccino in Japan for a limited time

For years, fans of Starbucks have been petitioning the coffee chain for a non-dairy alternative to soy. While the company recently responded by adding coconut milk options to their U.S. menus, lovers of almond milk were left out in the cold due to concerns over nut allergens.

Now, for a limited time, Starbucks Japan will be taking the bold step out into nut allergen territory with the release of the Almond Milk Frappuccino with Honey Crunch and the Almond Milk Latte with Honey Crunch. If you’re in Japan from 18 March to 14 April, you’ll be one of the lucky few to introduce your tastebuds to a sweet treat others can only dream of!

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Starbucks sakura series 2015: Caramel, chocolate and a flowery chiffon cake

With Valentine’s Day out of the way, and plum blossoms still in bloom, it’s time for early spring marketing to burst onto the scene in Japan. Leading the pack, as it does every year, is popular coffee chain Starbucks, with the nation’s other favourite flower, the cherry blossom, taking centre stage in their annual line-up of sakura menu items and merchandise.

This year, the humble cherry blossom meets caramel and chocolate in latte and Frappucino forms, and also finds itself in a beautiful pink and white chiffon cake. Curious to know what sakura tastes like when blended with such sweet partners? Join us as we bring you all the photos and flavours from our recent visit.

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Espresso Patronum! Artist creates awesome artwork on Starbucks’ cardboard cup sleeves

The iconic Starbucks mermaid is an instantly recognisable commercial symbol, up there with McDonald’s golden arches or Nike’s tick. But don’t you get a little bored sometimes with the same old face peering back at your from the cardboard sleeve lovingly hugging your steamy cup of joe? One artist decided to jazz up the old mermaid design using black pen, featuring everyone from Dragon Ball‘s Goku to The Legend of Zelda‘s Link, and the results are kind of awesome!

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Attention coffee lovers: The RocketNews24 Ultimate Café Fukuburuko Ranking 2015 is here!

It seems like we’ve been spending every spare moment we have snatching up fukubukuro, the lucky bag bundles that shoppers in Japan buy at New Year’s without knowing what’s inside. As a matter of fact, by the time we stopped and took count, we’d grabbed eight different fukubukuro from cafés near our office.

As a result, we’re pretty much stocked up on coffee for the next couple of weeks. Honestly, we’ve got so much we’d be happy to pour you a cup, if only the RocketNews24 offices had a visitors’ lounge. But since it doesn’t, instead, we’re going to give you the information you need to pick the best café lucky bag for yourself, as we present the RocketNews24 Ultimate Café Fukubukuro Ranking 2015.

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Contents of Starbucks Coffee’s 2015 lucky bag REVEALED!

Happy New Year! At the start of the new year in Japan many stores release fukubukuro, or lucky bags, where you can get a selection of goodies for less than they usually retail for, as well as limited edition items. People rush around the stores picking up fukubukuro from all their favourite brands, but often the items inside are a secret. We’re here to reveal some of them so you can make an informed decision on which to go for.

Here we have Starbucks Coffee’s offering, which sells for 3,500 yen (US$29). Read on to find out what’s inside!

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Izumo’s Starbucks, a stone’s throw away from the gathering place of Shinto’s eight million gods

Shintoism has such a large pantheon of gods that the religion even has a structured way in which they all keep in touch with each other. Every October, the deities enshrined across the nation are said to gather in Shimane Prefecture’s Izumo Taisha Shrine, where they convene for their annual divine meeting.

We imagine it’s a busy conference, considering that some eight million deities are thought to attend. So we’re sure several of them were happy to find Izumo City now has a Starbucks, with the same tasty beverages the chain serves all over Japan, but with Japanese décor that’s unique to Izumo.

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Korean artist opens a new door to the way we look at Starbucks’ paper cups

To some hardcore coffee fanatics, Starbucks may not serve the best coffee in the world, but they are definitely the most internationally popular coffee brand known to us. Starbucks fans around the world are not just in love with the coffeehouse chain’s signature blends, many of them like the brand as a whole entity, and some artistic individuals have even been inspired to create handicrafts and pieces of art with the brand’s packaging items.

Think you know the brand’s iconic logo well enough? Korean artist Soo Min Kim shows us faces of the infamous siren that we’ve never seen before in his creative renditions of Starbucks cup art!

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