Coolest Starbucks Ever?

The design was inspired by the nearby Shinto shrine

Forget Squaw Valley's groundbreaking ski-in/ski-out Starbucks, or Tukwila, Wash.'s eco-friendly outpost made from reclaimed shipping containers — because this new Starbucks in Japan's Fukuoka prefecture has to be the coolest store design we've seen to date.

Designed by the Kengo Kuma & Associates, the store is located on the street leading to the important Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine, which apparently influenced the firm's approach to the project. Wanting to have the store fit in seamlessly with the setting, the interior features some 2,000 light wood blocks interwoven throughout the length of the store. According to reports, the stunning effect is meant to evoke the look of branches in a forest, giving the impression that the store is "nestled in a tree."

Click here or here for more photos of the Fukuoka Starbucks and details about its design. 

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