Apple will open its first store in Kyoto, a cultural and technological hub for Japan, Saturday on Shijō Dori. The street, surrounded by many of Kyoto’s famous shrines and temples, 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.
Japan was home to Apple’s first store outside the US, 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.