Photo/IllutrationLights from the Starbucks Coffee outlet and illuminated cherry trees reflect on the canal at Toyama Kansui Park. (Yoshinori Mizuno)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

TOYAMA--It's hard to beat java, blooming cherry blossoms and snow-capped mountains when it comes to picking a coffee shop that can be called the "most beautiful in the world."

That's the hashtag found in social networking sites for the Starbucks Coffee outlet here on the banks of a canal in Kansui Park.

Snow-capped mountains of the Tateyama range of the Northern Japan Alps are visible from the interior of the glass-walled outlet.

And right outside the outlet along the canal is a row of cherry trees that have attracted "hanami" aficionados as well.

A recent visitor from Tokyo said he felt refreshed by the beautiful scenery as he took a photo with family members at the open-air deck of the outlet.

Even those working at the Starbucks outlet are unsure how the most beautiful label took hold. One thing that is certain is the outlet won the top prize in the store design competition held in fiscal 2008 by the U.S. head office of the globally famous coffee shop chain.

The one-story outlet is about 310 square meters wide and was designed by Keiichiro Tabuchi, 44, a Starbucks Coffee Japan Ltd. employee.

"I am honored that this outlet continues to be called 'the world's best' even though 10 years have passed and there are other outlets constructed by famous architects," he said.