Business / Corporate

Japan cafe Pronto to debut in Taiwan at Yokohama Hakkeijima aquarium

NNA/Kyodo

Cafe chain operator Pronto Corp. will open its first outlet in Taiwan in August, together with the opening of the island’s first urban aquarium run by a Japanese operator.

Xcafe by Pronto will debut on Aug. 7 at the Xpark aquarium in Taoyuan, northwestern Taiwan, near a station on a high-speed train line. The aquarium will be the first facility overseas for Japanese theme park operator Yokohama Hakkeijima Inc.

Taiwan will be the cafe chain’s third foreign market after China and Singapore. Yokohama Hakkeijima asked Pronto to open a cafe at the aquarium, said Hatsuki Monta, a Pronto corporate planning official, on Thursday.

Pronto hopes to raise brand awareness by launching a cafe at the aquarium as it draws the attention of local people, she added.

Customers will be able to see penguins swimming from inside the 158-seat cafe, a franchise outlet that will be run by a local aquarium-operating unit of Yokohama Hakkeijima, according to Pronto.

Reserved tickets are available on KKday, a travel-booking and e-commerce platform for Asian tourists. All tickets have been sold out for the first three days of business.

Nearly 40,000 tickets have been sold so far, according to KKday.

Pronto expects to draw 20 percent of the estimated 600,000 aquarium visitors in the first year, Monta said.

Yokohama Hakkeijima operates aquariums and a zoo in eastern Japan under diversified business group Seibu Holdings Inc.

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