Your teddy needs a holiday and you’re too busy to join him.
Not to worry, Unagi Travel, a travel agency for stuffed animals will take your favorite toyfriend on a whirlwind tour of Japan.
Teddy will join a tour group of other toyfriends from around the world to experience downtown Tokyo, rustic ryokans, overindulge on sushi and sake, and return with a CD full of envy-inducing photos. A form is sent to teddy owners ahead of the trip to find out the tourist’s name, if they are prone to car- or sea-sickness, and if they are allergic to any food. Owners are invited to give background info about teddy’s character, such as what their hobbies are and why they are joining the tour.
At first glance, this headline-making idea might seem silly, but after our research it turns out they may be on to something special. Here are three reasons you should send your stuffed animal to Japan:
1. THERE’S NOTHING STOPPING A STUFFED TOY FROM TRAVEL: Teddies aren’t human and avoid chronic illness or physical impairments. Using this to their advantage, past Unagi clients have gifted trips to friends or relatives with walking difficulties, anxiety, and depression; all who have been encouraged and inspired by their toyfriend’s vicarious visits.
2. YOU STILL GET THOSE “I WAS HERE” FACEBOOK PHOTOS: Warning: it takes mere seconds to get sucked into Unagi’s Facebook page, clicking through galleries of beaded eyes enjoying gorgeous shrines, steaming hot springs, and those all-important food snaps of chopsticks loaded with tasty treats. Every step of the tour is covered and you won’t miss a minute.
3. TAKE VIRTUAL EDUCATION ONE STEP FURTHER: For parents, educators, aunties, and cousins of children fascinated by Japan, the next best thing to an actual trip is sending a stuffed animal – and it’s far cheaper and easier than packing up the kids! Children tracking their toy will enjoy a rich experience of learning opportunities on Japan’s geography, history, transportation systems, heritage, clothing and food.
So, do you have a dear old toyfriend stuck in the closet? Let him out!