News 31.05.2018

Nordic summer takes over Japan – Finnish lifestyle and food on display at the Nordic fair in Osaka

Saana and Olli / Midsummer pole

Nordic fair, held in Hankyu Umeda Department Store in Osaka May 30th - June 5th, 2018, invites Japanese consumers to explore the Nordic summer lifestyle and brands from Finland.

In Japan, the Nordics are well known for clean-cut design, functionality, nature, and Arctic climate. Usually, the Nordic fares in Japan are held around Christmas. This time around, Hankyu Umeda Department store in Osaka wanted to focus on the natural splendor of the Nordic Midsummer instead of Santa Claus and the Northern Lights.

“In Japan, Nordic fairs are usually held in the winter time. However, summer is also a very pleasant season in the Nordic countries. I visited Finland for business during June and saw people enjoying the summer days and lifestyle. The Nordic lifestyle and the way to enjoy the summertime is something the Japanese have a lot to learn from. Especially the way in which people completely switch off from work while on holidays. We want the visitors to feel the wonderful Nordic summer through this event,” says Mr. Tsuyoshi Takahashi from Sales Promotion Department, Hankyu Department Store Umeda Main Store.

The fair is Hankyu’s first Nordic Fair held outside the Christmas & Winter season. In addition to Nordic midsummer, the fair focuses on ecological products, and Nordic food & sweets.  Finnish chef, Joona Lehto is preparing tastings of Finnish delicacies during the whole event week.

Hankyu Department Store started looking for Finnish lifestyle products to be showcased at the Nordic fair last year. Mr. Tsuyoshi Takahashi along with his colleagues from Hankyu Department Store visited Finland for inspiration and to meet with Finnish companies. During their trip to Finland, they met with a dozen Finnish food and lifestyle companies with help from Business Finland’s Lifestyle Finland and Food from Finland programs.

Finnish lifestyle and food brands on their way to the Japanese market

Hankyu Umeda Main Store in Osaka is one of the largest department stores in Japan, and a hub for fashion and lifestyle. The store has a nearly 42 million visitors per year and around 200 billion yen in sales.

Although this fair is about the Nordic countries in general, most of the companies presented are from Finland. In addition to lifestyle items, the fair showcases Finnish food & beverage companies. During the event, Business Finland’s Laura Kopilow and Masahiro Kimura will also host a speaking event about summer in Finland. Hankyu Umeda also organised a Nordic Design competition for designers to create special products for the fair. The winners were selected by famous Akira Minagawa, founder of Japanese brand Minä Perhonen. The winners were from Finland, Saana ja Olli and Tomi Leppänen.

30 Finnish brands at Hankyu Department Store’s Nordic Fair:

Further information 

For more information, please contact: sami.haikio (at) businessfinland.fi