Starbucks is not universally loved, and GetHiroshima strongly urges you to patronize the many independent coffee shops serving expertly poured and drawn drinks around town as well as popping into those repositories of Showa nostalgia, the venerable junkissa kissaten. Sometimes, however, we do like something familiar and no fuss, and of course the free Wi-Fi doesn’t hurt.
Below are brief introductions of the branches of Starbucks that can be found in Hiroshima city center and one cool one on the way to Miyajima. Many of the others are to be found inside malls, and, well, they’re what you would expect really.
Starbucks ASSE (Hiroshima Station)
This is the nearest Starbucks if you are looking to gran something for a train journey starting from Hiroshima Station. It’s not in the actual station itself but on the 3F of the ASSE department store above the ticket machines on the south side of Hiroshima Station. If you are looking to pick up something while changing trains at Hiroshima, you’ll have to negotiate with the station staff at the ticket gate to let you out and back in again – twice if you are changing shinkansen (once to get through the shinkansen ticket gate and once through the JR ticket gate – you’d have to really love Starbucks to do that and I would suggest settling for Dotour which inside the shinkansen ticket gate).
This branch gets busy, but they do have some electric outlets for you to use at the high counter seats.
Fri & Sat: 08:00-23:00
Sun & Nat Hols: 08:00-22:00
Bang in the middle of Hirohsima’s shopping district, across from the PARCO department store, this 3 storey Starbucks offers the best people watching, though is often busy and can be quite noisy.
Sat, Sun & Nat Hols: 08:30-20:00
This branch looks out across Rijo-dori to Shirakami Shrine and is more relaxing than the other city branches. Proximity to Peace Memorial Park and the hotels on Peace Boulevard makes this branch particularly popular with overseas visitors.
Underground in the Shareo shopping mall, close by the Hondori Astram Station exit, this is the nearest Starbucks to the A-bomb Dome and Hiroshima Castle. They have a Starbucks Reserve bar here and a good number of comfy seats, though it is often busy and can feel quite gloomy. Counter seats by the window offer some people-watching opportunities.
Open nice and late for the hardcore coffee addict, this is also a drive through location. However, when there is a line, it often seems quicker to park, buy your stuff to-go and return to your car. The upper floor has a studious vibe and also has a nice balcony.
Starbucks Miyajima Service Area
Now, this one is a bit special – a Starbucks with a view – even if it is quite an effort to get to. Set aside from the other stores in the highway rest area, this Starbucks has outdoor seating that looks out onto lovely green grass. There is a kids play area and some good space for little ones and doggies to run around. There is also a great view over the sea to Miyajima. It’s so nice, many people drive out there just to enjoy a coffee.