Metsa reopens Starbucks Saitama Metsa Village

There are 81 branches of Starbucks in Saitama Prefecture at the time of writing this post. Many of them have been around for donkeys years, especially ones in train stations. However, in the last three years, in particular, several new branches have opened. Many of them have something extra to make them more enticing than the typical train station branch of the coffee chain. What makes many of the new branches particularly popular since the pandemic is that they have either an outdoor seating area or a drive through. Many have both. Lets take a look at five of Saitama’s most appealing Starbucks.

A selection of 5 Starbucks in Saitama Prefecture

With the exception of number one on the list, which is highly regarded as one of Japan’s best, this list is just based on my personal experience with Starbucks in Saitama. I am no expert and I actually normally don’t go to Starbucks very often. However, during the pandemic the Starbucks with a drive thru and / or a terrace were a bit of a life saver. Outdoor dining still isn’t that popular in Japan, although since the pandemic the number of places with outdoor seating is increasing. But there are still relatively few places you can get a coffee outdoors in Saitama. Relative to my home country where almost every restaurant and cafe has an outdoor seating area! The Starbucks on this list have either outdoor seating or a drive through or both…

1. An Edo period Starbucks

Starbucks Kanetsuki Street Kawagoe Japan

Top of the list for me personally, and one of the most famous Starbucks in Japan, is the Kanetsuki branch of Starbucks in the tourist area of Kawagoe City. It opened in March 2018. This branch is along a famous tourist street which isn’t officially pedestrianised, but is rarely used by cars due to the foot traffic. As such, it does not have a drive thru, but it does have a lovely outdoor area at the back of the store. Part of the outdoor area is maintained as a style of zen garden and as such you can enjoy a view with your coffee here. This branch is famous for being designed in the style of an old Edo period building with a beautiful interior design.

Hours: 8 am to 8 pm
Address: 〒350-0063 Saitama, Kawagoe, Saiwaicho, 15−18. On Google Maps
Access: about a 20 minute walk from each of the three Kawagoe stations (Kawagoe, Kawagoeshi and Hon-kawagoe)
Links: More information in English and Official website

2. A Finnish Starbucks!

Starubcks Metsa Village
Starbucks Metsa Village

Another of Saitama’s Starbucks that looks quite different to the typical stand alone Starbuck buildings, is the branch in Metsa Village in Hanno. Pictured above, it is also the picturesque photo in the featured photo of this article. Like the Kanetsuki branch, it is a relatively new addition to Saitama’s Starbucks. It opened in November 2018. Furthermore, it was designed to fit in with the Finnish theme of the park. As it is in the middle of the Finnish theme park, there is no drive thru. But it has a small terrace outside. Moreover, you can bring your coffee down to the deck chairs by Miyazawa lake, just a 30 second walk from the terrace. As such, thanks to the wall to ceiling windows, you have great views of the lake even from with inside. The inside of the branch, albeit small, is quite picturesque too.

Hours: 10 am to 6 pm on weekdays and until 7 pm on weekends.
Address: 〒357-0001 Saitama, Hanno, Miyazawa, 327-6 Metsa. On Google Maps
Access: bus from Hanno Station
Links: More information in English and Official website

3. A Starbucks with a playground

playground at Sayama Starbucks Irumagawa Kasenjiki Central Park
Starbucks playground, Saitama Prefecture

Saitama’s latest branch of Starbucks is in Sayama City. It opened earlier this year, in March of 2021. It was the very first branch of Starbucks to open in Sayama City. And this one is pretty special, because it has a playground. It is one of only a few Starbucks throughout Japan with an outdoor playground. Furthermore, the Starbucks is located within a small park famed for its mature cherry blossom trees. Moreover, the terrace seating afford a front seat to the stunning sakura in spring. It is the perfect place to enjoy a Starbucks sakura latte with real life sakura. This branch also has a drive through, but a word of warning – the roads in the area are notorious for always being congested.

Hours: from 7 am to 10 pm
Address: 2910-1 Kashiwabara, Sayama, Saitama 350-1335. On Google Maps
Access: a 19 minute walk from Sayamashi station
Links: More information in English and Official website

4. For a drive through hanami

Starbucks by Oisezuka Park, Kawagoe
Iseharacho Starbucks by Oisezuka Park, Kawagoe

Another of Saitama’s Starbucks is located next to a locally renowned sakura spot. Starbucks Kawagoe Iseharacho is beside Oisezuka park which has some stunning cherry blossoms. Moreover, the Osehashi Road that both Oisezuka park and the Starbucks is on, is lined with cherry blossoms that create a tunnel of pink in spring. In both 2020 and 2021 it was a popular spot for “drive thru hanami” on account of the Coronavirus. Pick up a coffee and / or treat at the Starbucks drive thru and drive through a tunnel of sakura. The branch also has a nice terrace. On the east side it is narrow, but it opens out to a large outdoor seating area on the North east side. Inside is spacious. There are some work stations, complete with charging ports, at this branch.

Hours: 7.30 am to 10 pm.
Address: 〒350-1108 Saitama, Kawagoe, Iseharacho, 3 Chome−2−3. On Google Maps
Access: 20 minutes walk from Matoba station
Links: More information in English and Official website.

5. Starbucks Namegawa Shinrin Mall

Namegawa Shinrin Mall Branch of Starbucks Saitama Prefecture
Terrace and drive thru at Starbucks Namegawa Shinrin Mall

Added to the list in March 2022, the branch near the South Entrance of Shinrin Park is also one of Saitama’s newer Starbucks. Like many that have opened in the last couple of years, it has both a drive thru and an outdoor seating area. Furthermore, it is what seems to be the new standard for the terraces of Starbucks: a narrow terrace on one side that opens into a larger sunny terrace. Inside is pretty standard too. They have high tables with kitchen dining table type wooden chairs as well as low tables with leather armchairs (sans arm rests) . There is also a hybrid – a wooden kitchen chair type with a leather cushion base!

Hours: 7 am to 11 pm.
Address: 2806-1 Haneo, Namegawa, Hiki District, Saitama 355-0811. On Google Maps
Access: Its about a 20 to 25 minute walk from the North Exit of the Shinrin Koen station (Tobu Tojo Line).
Links: Official website

Bonus: Starbucks at an expressway service area

Hanyu parking / service area Starbucks, Saitama Prefecture
Hanyu PA / SA Starbucks, Saitama Prefecture

The Starbucks at the Hanyu Service area on the Tohoku Expressway has been around for a long time. It is not that uncommon to find Starbucks at a parking / service area anymore. But once upon a time it was a real novelty to pull into a service area to find a Starbucks. I think Saitama Prefecture now has four different service area Starbucks on three different expressways. In my experience, the Starbucks at Hanyu service area is always busy. Moreover, it is quite common to see a queue out the door during bank holiday weekends. There are two Hanyu service areas. One on the way into Tokyo (which is hugely popular as it is an Edo themed service area) and one heading out of Tokyo, toward Tochigi. The Starbucks is in the outbound service area. That is, on your way out of Tokyo.

Hours: 7 am to 10 pm on weekends and from 6.30 am on weekends. From December 29th 2021 to January 4th 2022 they will operate from 6 am to accommodate the New Year rush.
Address: Pasar Hanyu, 824 Sanshinden Miroku, Hanyu, Saitama 348-0004. On Google Maps
Access: by car only, from the Tohoku expressway
Links: More information in English and Official website

This post is adaption of a post I wrote about Starbucks reopening after the State of Emergency in Saitama Prefecture in 2020.

3 Comments

  1. wow. people really like Starbucks I guess. Not sure why, although I dont drink coffee most people I know who do actually tell me McDonald’s does better coffee!!!

  2. I like getting a look at the different Starbucks around the globe. As a barista from 1990-1994, I never thought I’d see they day…thanks!

    1. Author

      There is a SB in the city beside me (Kawagoe) that is stunning. It is my favourite. I haven’t put it on the blog yet, never enough time! It is very interesting to see the different Starbucks from around the world. My local back in Dublin, in the Dundrum town center, is boring in comparison to the ones here in Saitama! Thank you so much for commenting.

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