This picture taken on October 8, 2014 shows a barista of coffee shop Cafe de L'Ambre brewing a cup of coffee in Tokyo's fashion district Ginza. AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO
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Above the converging crowds at the famous Shibuya scramble crossing in Tokyo glows the unmissable bright green sign of Starbucks, a magnet that pulls in a steady stream of hip, young Japanese.The American coffee company is so popular in Japan that it recently announced plans to buy out its Japanese partner for $900 million and take full control of operations in its second largest market.A growing proportion is being sold in the country's plentiful convenience stores, where big chains like 7-11 and Lawsons are slugging it out for customers, offering 100 yen cups of freshly-ground coffee.Aroma opened 30 years ago in the glamour of Japan's boom period and, in line with many of Japan's local coffeehouses, hasn't changed much since -- round glass syphons bubble behind the counter of the mirrored beige saloon, which is decorated with pot plants and reproductions of old paintings.Whilst the blend at Aroma is no match for L'Ambre's smooth brew, Koshiba is adamant that the popularity of Starbucks and home-grown chains like Doutor and Caffe Veloce, won't spell the end of old fashioned cafes like hers.
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