If You Can't Make It To Japan, Send Your Teddy Bear

Unagi Travel specializes in taking stuffed animals on excursions to various locations and landmarks. The service has proved beneficial for humans who can't travel themselves due to illness or other reasons.

What's the Latest Development?


For three years, Tokyo-based Unagi Travel has catered to a very specific type of clientele: For as little as US$35 (not including the cost of the trip to Japan) a person can send their favorite stuffed animal on a specially-designed tour, where it will join other stuffed animals on visits to various real-world destinations. For example, next month a $45 Tokyo tour will take visitors to the Shibuya shopping district and the historic Asakusa district, among other locations. Back at home, their human companions can follow along on the agency's Facebook page, and when they return, they'll be carrying a commemorative CD filled with pictures of their trip as a souvenir.

What's the Big Idea?

According to Unagi Travel owner Sonoe Azuma, the service she offers has proven therapeutic in a number of ways. Among the 40 percent of people she estimates are repeat clients is a wheelchair-bound woman who was encouraged to leave her house and visit Azuma after viewing her stuffed animal in individual and group photos. Another family said that seeing his stuffed animal travel helped encourage a young boy to become more independent. Both are examples of what Ochanomizu University professor Nario Ihara suggests is a helpful psychological "next step" for those inhibited by illness or other factors.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at The Japan News

European wind farms could meet global energy demand, researchers now say

A new study estimated the untapped potential of wind energy across Europe.

Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • A new report calculated how much electricity Europe could generate if it built onshore wind farms on all of its exploitable land.
  • The results indicated that European onshore wind farms could supply the whole world with electricity from now until 2050.
  • Wind farms come with a few complications, but the researchers noted that their study was meant to highlight the untapped potential of the renewable energy source in Europe.
Keep reading Show less

First solar roadway in France turned out to be a 'total disaster'

French newspapers report that the trial hasn't lived up to expectations.

Image source: Charly Triballeau / AFP / Getty Images
Technology & Innovation
  • The French government initially invested in a rural solar roadway in 2016.
  • French newspapers report that the trial hasn't lived up to expectations.
  • Solar panel "paved" roadways are proving to be inefficient and too expensive.
Keep reading Show less

New vaccine (for cats) nixes allergic reactions for humans

You want one. Now you may be able to survive one.


Photo credit: Jie Zhao
/ Getty contributor
Technology & Innovation
  • Cats live in a quarter of Western households.
  • Allergies to them are common and can be dangerous.
  • A new approach targets the primary trouble-causing allergen.
Keep reading Show less