Apple will open its first store in Kyoto, a cultural and technological hub for Japan, Saturday on Shijō Dori. It will be the company’s ninth retail outlet in the country.
The street on which it’s located is surrounded by many of Kyoto’s famous shrines and temples and has served as the city’s main shopping corridor since the 1600s.
Apple Kyoto’s architecture takes inspiration from local design and materials, with the upper levels clad in a translucent envelope inspired by Japanese lanterns. The use of lightweight timber frame and special paper on the upper facade also draw reference to the country’s traditional houses. The building is centered around a multi-level atrium that is also where the store will offer free Today at Apple sessions daily on photography, music, coding and more.
With the opening of the Kyoto store, Apple will have 504 retail stores in 25 countries and an online store available in 39 countries. Japan was home to the company’s first store outside the U.S., opening in Tokyo in 2003. Apple is in the midst of a retail expansion in the country, opening several new stores, and remodeling many others, in the coming years.