Kyoto Showcases Artisanal Handicrafts on Tmall Global

Kyoto, long hailed as a treasure trove of Japanese culture, has begun offering some of its best-known handicrafts over Tmall Global, the Alibaba e-commerce platform said Thursday.

Japan’s ancient capital is a favored destination for Chinese travelers, who go to view its picturesque cherry blossoms, visit temples and teahouses and bring back elegant, handcrafted gifts. Now, in a themed event, Tmall Global is showcasing 12 Kyoto brands as part of a rev-up to Chinese New Year. The brands include Asahido, a craft shop established in 1870 and known for its pottery tea sets, as well as century-old store, Takaoka, which makes famous futons.

The event is aimed not only at offering high-end products from Kyoto to Chinese consumers, but also to showcase the city as an ideal vacation getaway for Chinese travelers, said Tmall Global.

In all, 30 “made-in-Kyoto” products are on Tmall Global, such as organic facial-care products, hand-sewn cushions, geisha-themed silk makeup bags and aromatic incense sticks. They’ll remain as featured products through the mid-February holiday.

“We hope to take this opportunity to bring the products made by professional Kyoto artisans to China,” said Keiji Yamada, the governor of Kyoto Prefecture in a statement. “And we sincerely welcome all to visit Kyoto.”

Tmall Global is China’s most popular and biggest cross-border e-commerce platform for shoppers and overseas vendors with a 25% market share. Established in 2014, its product offerings include 14,500 brands from 63 countries and regions.

The partnership with Kyoto is Tmall Global’s first collaboration with a local government to feature products from that area, underscoring the platform’s commitment to bringing more quality foreign, and 100% authentic, goods to Chinese consumers. The partnership also illustrates that international brands recognize Tmall Global’s ability to raise their overseas visibility.

Japanese brands and Japan-made products are among favorites of TMall Global shoppers.  For three years running, Japan has ranked as the number-one country of origin for products sold on the platform.

As a tourist destination, Japan also is extremely popular among Chinese travelers. In the first 11-months of 2017, Japan welcomed approximately 26.2 million visitors, and a quarter of them, or around 6.8 million, were from China, according to figures provided by Japan National Tourism Organization.