AMBIRD, a roastery and cafe, opened in Kamisuwa, Nagano Prefecture, in October 2019. In recent years, the number of young emigrants opening stores in the Kamisuwa area has been on the rise, partly due to its easy access from the city center, just over two hours from Shinjuku by limited express train. We interviewed Mr. Nobuo Kurotori, the owner of AMBIRD, who moved from Tokyo and dared to choose Kamisuwa as the place to open his shop because “there was no cultural foundation for specialty coffee in Kamisuwa” . Shop that caters to each individual Many customers who visit AMBIRD are momentarily confused by the menu written only in English. At first glance, this may seem like an unfriendly service, but the owner, Kurotori, has a goal. “It’s a chance to communicate with customers and to learn what they are looking for”, he says. “I am often told that I am unique in that I never make recommendations to customers. Even if they look lost, I try to communicate with them and help them find the best coffee for themselves.” The reason why the shop offers not only coffee but also a wide range of other drinks such as green tea, hojicha, matcha latte and chai latte is to make it easier to find the best answer by offering more choices. Kurotori’s stance to meet the diverse needs of his customers is also evident in the fact that he keeps a wide variety of books in the shop from picture books to food, design and architecture magazines. “The selection of books is partly my own personal taste, but I also like to set books that will spark...

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