Monday, August 11, 2014

What happens when you say “to go” at Starbucks Japan

So I was in Shimonoseki the other day, and after indulging in a delicious Coffee Jelly Frappuccino, I wanted a slice of cake for later.
So I go to the counter and order one slice of lemon coffee cake, and say the magic words “To go.” (mochikaeri in Japanese).
Now, considering that this cake was for myself, and I was planning on eating it in a few hours, I would have been happy if the barista handed the slice to me wrapped in a napkin, but because this is Japan, everything has to be presented in the form of an elaborate service.

Ten minutes later I am presented with this Starbucks shopping bag. When I open it, I find that my slice of cake has been wrapped so elaborately that I would not hesitate to present it to someone on stage at an award show.  

To some people this is a beautiful display of the art of packaging that the Japanese have so meticulously perfected. To others, this is an egregious waste of paper products.
You be the judge.


Starbucks bag
Paper cake pouch
Napkin wrapped in plastic
Plastic fork
Paper pouch for napkin and fork

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