For about $45, your plush bear could be better traveled than you are.

Traveling around Japan requires money, energy, and days off work. If you can't afford to spare those things, maybe sending a beloved stuffed bear in your stead is the next best thing?

That's the theory behind Unagi Travel, a tour agency for stuffed animals. For $35 to $55 a pop, your plush toy can visit Japanese hot springs, temples, and beaches. You'll have to fund their trip to Japan, but Unaqi takes care of the return voyage. Your buddy will also receive a commemorative DVD filled with travel photos.

Already, 200 stuffed animals have "participated," and the agency is gearing up for trips to Tokyo and a "mystery" destination. It just shared a photo of new arrivals today. 

 


Admittedly, this whole thing sounds kind of silly. But 38-year-old founder Sonoe Azuma argues these tours can inspire reluctant travelers. Azuma points to one 51-year-old woman, whose illness made it difficult to walk. She was motivated to rehabilitate her legs after seeing her stuffed animal traveling.

Azuma says the tours have also cheered families who had recently lost a loved one, and helped prepare a child for independence from his stuffed animal upon starting school.

And as the following photos show, the tours are thoroughly planned and, well, heartwarming.

All images from Unagi Travel's Facebook page

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. An aerial photo of downtown Miami.
    Life

    The Fastest-Growing U.S. Cities Aren’t What You Think

    Looking at the population and job growth of large cities proper, rather than their metro areas, uncovers some surprises.

  2. a map of London Uber driver James Farrar's trip data.
    Transportation

    For Ride-Hailing Drivers, Data Is Power

    Uber drivers in Europe and the U.S. are fighting for access to their personal data. Whoever wins the lawsuit could get to reframe the terms of the gig economy.

  3. Smoke from the fires hangs over Brazil.
    Environment

    Why the Amazon Is on Fire

    The rash of wildfires now consuming the Amazon rainforest can be blamed on a host of human factors, from climate change to deforestation to Brazilian politics.

  4. Transportation

    When a Transit Agency Becomes a Suburban Developer

    The largest transit agency in the U.S. is building a mixed-use development next to a commuter rail station north of Manhattan.

  5. a photo of a BYD-built electric bus.
    Transportation

    A Car-Centric City Makes a Bid for a Better Bus System

    Indianapolis is set to unveil a potentially transformative all-electric bus rapid transit line, along with a host of major public transportation upgrades.

×