Walking around with coffee? Not!


I love sitting down at a cafe, maybe to read or look at people, or enjoy talking to my friends. Japan also has this "slow-life" tradition at the kissaten coffee shops that became popular in the late Meiji and early Taisho era. But recently, as Starbucks conquered the world, they are introducing all kinds of novel ways of drinking coffee. On a positive note, the introduced non-smoking: yes, all seats at Starbucks in Japan are non-smoking. Wonderful.

Having said that, bear with me as a dig deeper into the dark side of Starbucks. No, I'm not going to discuss the fact that they use milk from cows that may or may not be getting hormon treatment to produce more milk. Or the campaigns to get them to use more Fair Trade and Organic beans.

No, what I really want to gripe about right here and now is that here in Shibuya, the world's busiest place, where a million kids gather each day, they have put up fancy signs inside the Tsutaya video shop in the same building, on every floor, encouraging customers to walk around while drinking coffee. だいきらい!!

Let's start a campaign against trying to teach people to live more busy lives. Are you with me or are you against me? People!

Comments

Pandabonium said…
Having worked for Borders Bookstores, which have a cafe inside the store, I understand the motive - keep shoppers in the store longer and make them feel relaxed so they will spend more. money.

I guess one can look at it both ways. It might seem like being busier, but on the other hand if people can relax and enjoy coffee while looking at videos or magazines and books, then they don't have to rush through coffee to get to the bookstore or visaversa.

I'm with you on slowing down. My big objection to most parts of Tokyo is that unless one goes to a park, there is nowhere to sit down and relax without having to go into a restaurant and BUY something.

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