[Update, Mar 2] The opening date for the Japanese garden, including the greenhouse Hana Biyori and the on-site Starbucks, has been moved to March 19.
Opening on March 14, just in time for the highly anticipated cherry blossom season, this new café is set inside the Hana Biyori greenhouse, which belongs to a new Japanese garden run by Yomiuriland, one of Tokyo’s most popular amusement parks. The 1,500sqm space will feature abundant greenery and blooming plants including begonia, fuchsia, petunia, geranium and bellflower – some of which will even hang from the ceiling.
That's not all: you'll also find 1,200 colourful fish of 50 different species swimming in two massive aquariums set up across the vast space. One 8m-long tank is filled with colourful corals and saltwater fish from Okinawa while a 3m-long one is filled with rock formations and greenery.
From the southern terrace of Hana Biyori, you can admire rows and rows of outdoor flower beds. The western terrace, on the other hand, offers a glimpse of the nearby Japanese garden with its two imposing Bodhisattva statues (these are the real deal as they are designated national important cultural properties), a 17th-century pagoda and the Hijirimon Gate which was once part of the Kyoto Imperial Palace.
Don’t be surprised when the lights go out – it means you’re about to see the best part of the venue. Digital projections, coupled with sound, will incorporate the on-site greenery and flowers to create an immersive audio-visual treat. Utilising 20 projectors and 18 speakers, the spectacle stretches across the room, covering a total length of 60 metres. There will be four shows daily on weekdays and six on weekends and holidays.
Got kids in tow? Take them to the on-site otter enclosure, where they can learn about the adorable creatures’ lives and have the chance to meet and feed them (¥300). Otherwise, try one of the rotating workshops to make your own moss terrarium, bottle aquarium or flower arrangement (from ¥2,000).
For more information on the new Starbucks and Hana Biyori, check the official website. If you’re a fan of Starbucks Japan, don't miss the country's most beautiful Starbucks stores. Prefer local and independent businesses instead? These small-batch coffee roasters pull a mean cup.