Japan’s Uji City opens shops in Taiwan selling its powder tea

Nobuya Yamanaka, vice chairman of Uji Chamber of Commerce and Industry (center), at an opening ceremony in Taipei on Thursday. Uji City near Japan’s ancient capital Kyoto is opening shops in Taiwan to sell its signature powder green tea, using the brand mascot Matcha Prince to tap into the local taste for things Japanese.

TAIPEI, NNA - Uji City near Japan’s ancient capital Kyoto is opening shops in Taiwan to sell its signature powder green tea.

The first shop opened on Thursday at the new Breeze Nanshan shopping plaza in central Taipei, using the brand mascot Matcha Prince to tap into the local taste for things Japanese.

A record 4.56 million Taiwanese visited Japan in 2017, the most recent annual date from the Japan National Tourism Organization showed. Taiwan came third on the list of tourists visiting Japan, after China with 7.36 million and South Korea with 7.14 million.

Uji’s local partner, Noah International Development Co., is investing 5 million New Taiwan dollars ($161,050) in the shop, aiming for annual revenue of NT$17 million, according to Simon Chen, general manager of the firm’s dining department.

“We will introduce Uji’s scenic spots and specialties in the store and enhance Taiwanese people’s knowledge of Uji matcha,” said Uji Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vice Chairman Nobuya Yamanaka.

Uji will open a second specialty store on Friday at Taiwan’s Sun Moon Lake. Locally grown Assam and Ruby black teas will be added to the retail product line.

Noah International is investing NT$4 million in the second shop and expects to see revenue of NT$120 million annually.

Uji is planning to open a shop in the western Chinese city of Chengdu later this month, and another in Kyoto at the end of March.

NNA Asia headlines

  • Toyota supplies fuel cell vehicle parts to China's Foton Motor and Beijing SinoHytec
  • Japan's Kokuyo sets up imported furniture sales unit in Indonesia with local firm Wadah Atelier
  • Sanyo Engineering to buy 24.18% stake in Vietnamese electrical engineering firm Searefico for 811 million yen ($7.25 million)
  • Taiwan March export orders post 5 straight months y/y drop, down 9% at $38.6 billion
  • Japan leasing firm Tokyo Century to buy 20% of auto leasing/sharing unit of Myanmar conglomerate Yoma Strategic for $26.6 million