Has your teddy bear been stressed lately? Does he, or she, need a little vacation? Good news. You can send you teddy bear, or any stuffed animal, on vacation to Japan.
While most people are hosting teddy bear drives, other are sending them around the world.
“At one point she was blogging about her life and, rather than put her picture online, she used a stuffed eel (unagi) as an avatar. As a joke, friends would carry the eel with them on trips and take pictures of it near landmarks: Outside the Empire State Building, say, or the Eiffel Tower.”
Azuma thought to herself, “if I’m having fun, maybe people who can’t travel would enjoy this more.” And so, teddy, or rather unagi, vacations came into being.
Before Azuma gives a teddy bear a tour she sends a questionnaire to customers that they must fill out. She asks for a history of the stuffed animal, such as their hobbies or if they have any food allergies. Azuma said that a lot of teddy parents have strict dietary restrictions for their stuffed loved ones.
Colin Green, who lives in Hull, Massachusetts, sent his girlfriend Megan Small’s stuffed cat, Meggy Weggy, on a trip to Japan. (In case you are wondering, the cat is a vegetarian.)
“You’re vicariously living through your stuffed animal. Because Megan and I eventually want to go to Japan… now we have a tour guide we can bring. She scoped it out for us.”
Azuma takes pictures of your teddy with other animals who are also on the tour. They see the sights and eat lots of food. Many of the pictures end up on Unagi’s Tumblr or Facebook page, so owners can see exactly what their animal is doing on a certain day.
Small admits that it may be silly, “But it’s also really endearing.”
There are a number of tour packages to chose from. A mystery tour for your teddy bear is $35, and your stuffed animal can end up in a bunch of random places. There are set tours of Tokyo for $45, Onsen Hot Spring for $55, and Kamakura, also priced at $55.
You must pay shipping to Tokyo, and once your teddy bear arrives, it will take about a week before the tour begins. Overall, your animal will spend two-to-three weeks in the city.
Will you be sending your teddy bear on a Japanese vacation?
[Image via Unagi Travel]