Wow. 3 years of graphic design, and this is how I showcase the Busiest Starbucks in the World? DON'T JUDGE ME!
My friends and I went to Shibuya after a rather short but taxing day of Japanese class. We visited Loft (aka Mecca) for some necessities and school supplies and did some window shopping and purikura afterwards. Then we went to THE BUSIEST STARBUCKS IN THE WORLD.
It actually wasn't that busy. I suspect it was probably busier than most for 5 pm on a Wednesday, however-- they had people monitoring the line like they were club bouncers. They take their jobs very seriously, those bouncer/baristas. They're also bi-lingual, verifying orders in both English and Japanese. That Starbucks was basically like the Japanese United Nations.
The woman that helped me out wore thick-rimmed glasses like me, and all black with a microphone, earpiece, and the standard green Starbucks apron. It is my belief that anyone wielding a microphone/earpiece has a completely warped sense of power-- this woman definitely lives up to this conception. After asking for my order in line, she wrote it down on a piece of paper and shouted it to the people making the coffee, so naturally, I thought it was my turn to pay. She grabbed me by the shoulders and shouted, "NO! STOP."
o_O WOAH LADY-- TAKE A CHILLAXATIVE.
Her completely curt 'tude almost ruined my green tea frappuchino... but it was so delicious, I forgot all about her earpiece/microphone/thick-rimmed glasses God-complex and just enjoyed my uniquely Japanese beverage.
I'm really sad they discontinued this drink in the states.
The rest of the building was pretty awesome as well. The first floor is the Busiest Starbucks in the world while the next 4 floors are DVD, CD, and TV show rental places where drinking and browsing are allowed.
In Japan, you do NOT drink or eat while you walk. You MUST sit down. Be it at a table, on some steps, in an alley, or on the sidewalk-- YOU SIT THE EFF DOWN. So, simultaneously eating and browsing inside of a store is a novelty and a privilege in every sense of the word. I used it to my full advantage, casually sipping my green frapp while I perused the isles of dramas and used CD's. Despite the huge signs that said, "DRINKING AND BROWSING...OK!" I still got a few scornful glances from some natives. Whatever, haters gon' hate. It's allowed!
**Other Cultural Note:
Eating, drinking, and talking (even while sitting) on the train are also HUGE no-no's. There are some girls at my dorm who completely ignore this fact. Every morning on the rush hour train, they munch and chug their breakfast while hee-ing and haw-ing like the loud, annoying American asses they are. Luckily, my classes don't start until after rush hour, so I don't have to endure their complete disregard for Japanese etiquette. My poor friends that can't avoid riding with them are forced to put in their headphones, grin and bear it-- but I think they should say something soon or else they're going to throw those stupid girls in front of the train...