Mon, Dec 09, 2013 - Page 12 News List

Have teddy, will travel

Unable to get to that must-see tourist site but can’t bear for your teddy to miss out? Then Japan has just the thing for you — a travel agency that takes stuffed toys on package tours and even provides the holiday snaps to prove it

By Miwa Suzuki  /  AFP, TOKYO

A satisfied customer in her 40s told AFP she did not think it was strange at all to send two cuddly companions on a mystery tour.

“I enjoyed the scenery or the food through their eyes, even if I was not physically there,” said the woman, who did not want to be named.

With digital photography, mocking up a picture of your bear at a tourist spot would be easy, concedes the woman, but that rather misses the point.

“I think it is very different when they go there physically by themselves and take pictures,” she said. “They must have their own fond memories of the travel.”

She acknowledges that to many non-Japanese people, the practice may seem a little strange.

“I would be a little more [circumspect] if a non-Japanese friend asks me if I would be interested in the service. But if I talk with my Japanese friends, it’s a very natural thing,” she said.

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