Who better to advertise for you than the Internet’s most beloved furry animal?

With majestic ancient temples, beautiful natural shrines, and lots of delicious food, Kyoto doesn’t really have to work all that hard to promote itself as a tourist destination, especially since the city’s latest attractions include Ninja Run tours. But as far as its residential population goes, far fewer people choose to move to Kyoto than to Tokyo, and the city only ranks third on the list of the most appealing cities in Japan.

Perhaps that’s why the City of Kyoto has been working hard to advertise itself, most recently with a series of advertisements featuring a cute and furry tabby cat whose actions and words describe how nice it is to live in Kyoto. For example, one video shows the tabby lying on his back, saying (with subtitles), “The reason why I can show you my tummy is because life in Kyoto is so peaceful.”

▼ According to the ad, ambulance arrival times in Kyoto are much faster than the average in Japan.

The orange tabby is named Uni, and he lives in Kyoto Cat Apartment, a cat cafe that’s located in an old-style Japanese wooden home in Kyoto. Uni-chan just does ordinary cat things in each video, but the ads are craftily designed to look like he’s showing off many of the good things that the City of Kyoto has to offer its residents, such as the city’s efforts to reduce food waste.

“Aren’t you going to eat that? What a waste.” Even cats can help with the problem of edible food waste, says the City of Kyoto.

Uni-chan even strives to show off the city’s appeal for childcare professionals, especially nursery school teachers, who are often underpaid and yet in high demand. According to the ad, nursery school teachers are paid 1.4 times more in Kyoto than the national average. The video shows Uni, an apparently well-paid and satisfied nursery school teacher in Kyoto, looking through a drawer, wondering where he put a student’s daily report book.

“Report book…report book…Where did I put it?”

Many of the ads also feature the latest single by popular Japanese singer Mai Kuraki, “Hana Kotoba”, as background music, like in this video of Uni enjoying Kyoto’s clean, delicious water, which comes from canals and can be stockpiled for up to ten years in case of emergency. Mai Kuraki herself starred in the first round of commercials, which were titled Kyou wo, Subarashiku, or “Make today wonderful”, but Uni made an appearance in each one, too.

“I get that the water is delicious, but I don’t understand the world ‘Canal’.”

Using a cute cat doing ordinary things to show off your city is, undoubtedly, a clever advertising tactic on the part of the City of Kyoto, and I can’t deny that I want to move there simply for the chance to pet Uni. Hopefully it works, and more people move to Kyoto, because we wouldn’t want to see poor Uni out of a job!

Source: YouTube/City of Kyoto via Netlab
Top image: YouTube/City of Kyoto