More than 40 local brands are being showcased at the “Aloha Market powered by Mana Up” in Haneda Airport’s Terminal 1.
An estimated 60,000 people pass through that area of the terminal every day — both travelers and people who go to the airport to shop or eat.
“We love Hawaii,” said Roppongi resident Yoko Matsumoto. “We go to Hawaii twice a year, so I came to check it out. It’s overwhelming! Very popular with the Japanese people.”
“Having people know and recognize our products is a great feeling,” said Ruth Hashisaka, president of Kauai Kookie.
Since its debut on Nov. 15, the Aloha Market has broken the records for opening day sales and sales in the first week of any pop-up store ever opened at Haneda.
Noho Home is one of those companies making its debut in Japan.
Founder Jalene Kanani says she’s grateful for the chance to share her story and Hawaii-inspired home decor with the international community.
The market is an initiative that came from the state’s Japan Export Accelerator program — run by the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism. It helps both established and emerging brands with product development, marketing, and export logistics.
“It’s always a challenge to bring products here. The paperwork to get product to Japan it is quite a lot,” Hashisaka said.
With Hawaii’s Japanese visitor arrival numbers still struggling at around 38-percent of pre-pandemic levels, Gov. Josh Green hopes the market will inspire new and returning travelers to visit to the islands.
The Aloha Market will be open until November 30th. But because its already a huge success, state leaders say airport executives want to keep Hawaii at Haneda.
“They said we’re going to give you the permanent store so let’s start working on that now,” said Jimmy Tokioka, DBEDT director.
Copyright 2023 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.