Moving to Tokyo? Real estate agent picks five best neighborhoods for single residents

real estate

RocketNews 24 (by Preston Phro):

Tokyo is a big place, both in terms of population and area, and if you’re moving here from anywhere else, you might be at a bit of a loss in terms of where to look for an apartment. Obviously, a large part of that decisions is up to personal preference, but we do happen to have some advice for areas to look at if this will be your first time living alone!

These five areas were selected by a local real estate agent, so you know they must be good, right?

1. Nakano

Nakano_Oka1

For a lot of youngsters moving to (or already living in) Tokyo, Kichijoji is the place to be, but it’s also fairly expensive. So, our real estate friend said, “If you want to live in Kichijoji no matter what, I would definitely recommend the Nakano area, as it’s on the same train line as Kichijoji. The neighborhood gives you access to not only JR train lines but also subways, making it a really convenient place. It’s been popular with students for a long time, and there are a lot of treasures to be dug up if you look.

Rents in the Nakano area tend to range from quite high to extremely cheap, so you can be sure to find something that fits your budget. There are also plenty of shops and supermarkets in the area, making it all the more convenient. Similar places would be Koenji, Ogikubo, Asagaya, and Higashi-Nakano.

2. Komagome and Tabata

Komagome Station

Generally, living near the JR Yamanote Line, which circles the heart of downtown Tokyo, means paying a lot in rent, but the Komagome and Tabata areas are (relatively) inexpensive. People generally don’t think of either area when they think of the Yamanote Line, but they do, in fact, have stations on it. Also, they’re close to lively Shinjuku, making it easier to go out for a drink whenever you feel like!

Our real estate agent told us, “They’re not the most glamorous areas, but they have plenty of shops and supermarkets, so they’re by no means inconvenient. And they’re not too expensive either. Komagome in particular has green spaces like Rikugien and Kyu-Furukawa gardens, in addition to temples and shrines, making it a good place to take a stroll on your days off.”

3. Sumiyoshi

MA321765

Apparently people aren’t too familiar with the Sumiyoshi area, even people living in Tokyo. However, it has stations on both the Hanzomon and Shinjuku lines, so you can get wherever you want to go pretty easily. Even better, you can get to Otemachi, Shibuya, and Shinjuku without changing trains!

Like most of the places on this list, the Sumiyoshi area has supermarkets and shops, as well as lots of greenery in places like Sarueonshi Park. “It’s a popular area for families,” the real estate agent told us, “but there are also a variety of places for people living alone.” It’s apparently gotten a bit more expensive in the last few years as its popularity has grown, but it’s still reasonable and convenient.

4. Kamata

Kamata_Station_East_Entrance_Rotary

This area is kind of close to Kanagawa Prefecture (which is actually a plus if you’re keen to spend your weekends at the temples of Kamakura or seaside parks in Yokohama), but access to the Tokyo city center isn’t too bad. The area right around the station feels fairly busy but not so far away from it things are pretty quiet and rents aren’t too expensive. There are a lot of inexpensive but good restaurants around the station, so it’s pretty convenient for people living alone.

Access to the city center isn’t the best, but Ikegami and Hasunuma, which are accessible from Kamata on the Tokyu Ikegami line, are worth checking out. Due to the less-than-ideal public transportation options, rent is cheaper, so if you can’t find what you want in Kamata, these two areas might be worth a look.

5. Asakusa

Hozomon_and_pagoda,_Sensoji_Temple,_Asakusa,_Tokyo

People tend to think of Asakusa as a tourist area, but it does also have a lot of residences. As you might expect, rent around Sensoji temple and the station is expensive, but if you head towards Tawaramachi or Iriya, there are plenty of inexpensive places,” we were told. And, in addition to Sensoji and the shopping/dining area around it, there are also plenty of restaurants elsewhere in Asakusa, too.

Apparently there isn’t much in the north part of the Asakusa area, so if you want to make the most of living in Asakusa, our real estate friend told us that places close to Asakusa, Tawaramachi, Inaricho, and Iriya stations are highly recommended.

Final thoughts

Our real estate agent left us with some good general advice. While people moving to Tokyo probably want to live in the famous places they’ve already heard of, they’re also the most expensive. If your selected area has a mixture of JR lines and subway lines, it probably won’t be inconvenient at all to get to those glamorous high-rent districts for a day out (or a day in the office), and you will have an easier time living in the city when you rent isn’t through the roof.

Other recommended locations were: Kotake-mukaehara, Machiya, Koiwa, Akabane, and Kiba. Also, we were told that places like Nezu and Sendagi, which have a lot of history and older shops and temples, are places where you can enjoy putting down roots of your own.

Young Japanese artist crafts exquisite animal-shaped candy at his shop in Asakusa (Tokyo)

ameshin4

RocketNews 24:

Japan sure knows how to elevate its food to an unparalleled level of art, and today we’d like to introduce you to the works of another master Japanese craftsman of sweets. His life’s passion is creating exquisitely detailed animal-shaped candy, which are so astoundingly intricate that it probably won’t be long before a museum asks to put them on display!

Shinri Tezuka is the artist behind these incredible edible creations. Born in 1989 in Chiba Prefecture, Tezuka states that he loved to sculpt anything he could get his hands on from a very young age. That childhood passion translated into a full-time career for him, and he now spends his days traveling across Japan to participate in all sorts of events and parties, and also offers hands-on workshops to teach people of all ages about his craft. As a result of these expeditions, he’s been featured on numerous Japanese television shows to date. And get this–despite being only 25, he’s already taken on three apprentices who are eager to carry on his tradition!

▼ Shinri Tezuka, the man behind the craft

ameshin2

Since 2013, Tezuka has also overseen his own shop called Asakusa Amezaiku Ameshin (amezaiku refers to the art of making candy into human and animal-shaped forms). The shop is fittingly located in Tokyo’s traditional Asakusa district, only a short walk away from the popular tourist destination of Senso-ji Temple.

▼ Exterior and interior views of the shop

ameshin1

ameshin3

While browsing through some of his breathtaking creations, it’s easy to forget that they are indeed candy and are meant to be eaten. In fact, some people find the distinction between the art and food so fine that one of the questions in the Q&A section of Asakusa Amezaiku Ameshin’s official site asks, “Can I really eat this candy?”

The answer is a resounding “yes,” by the way. In addition, Tezuka uses only naturally occurring dyes to color his creations, so you can rest easy knowing that you’re not eating any artificial pigments.

Let’s take a look at some of his animal-shaped candy creations now:

▼ The caption says that these goldfish are the two most popular designs among shop customers.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 12.02.15 PM

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 12.02.57 PM

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 12.03.57 PM

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 12.04.14 PM

▼ These gorgeous cranes were crafted using real gold leaf on their wings.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 12.06.25 PM

▼ Here are some candy creations crafted in Tezuka’s Asakusa studio…

ameshin5

▼ …and here are some he created at various public demonstrations.

ameshin6

Tezuka does take orders for customized candy creations at his shop, but he is unable to accept requests for popular characters due to copyright laws. Guess we’ll just have to wait and hope for a deal to come through with Nintendo so that we can see Tezuka’s version of Pikachu in candy form!

Shop information
Ameshin / アメシン
Address: Tokyo-to, Taito-ku, Imado 1-4-3, 1st floor
東京都台東区今戸1-4-3 1F
Open 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Closed Thursdays
Website

Moving to Tokyo? Real estate agent picks five best neighborhoods for single residents

real estate

RocketNews 24:

Tokyo is a big place, both in terms of population and area, and if you’re moving here from anywhere else, you might be at a bit of a loss in terms of where to look for an apartment. Obviously, a large part of that decisions is up to personal preference, but we do happen to have some advice for areas to look at if this will be your first time living alone!

These five areas were selected by a local real estate agent, so you know they must be good, right?

1. Nakano

Nakano_Oka1

For a lot of youngsters moving to (or already living in) Tokyo, Kichijoji is the place to be, but it’s also fairly expensive. So, our real estate friend said, “If you want to live in Kichijoji no matter what, I would definitely recommend the Nakano area, as it’s on the same train line as Kichijoji. The neighborhood gives you access to not only JR train lines but also subways, making it a really convenient place. It’s been popular with students for a long time, and there are a lot of treasures to be dug up if you look.”

Rents in the Nakano area tend to range from quite high to extremely cheap, so you can be sure to find something that fits your budget. There are also plenty of shops and supermarkets in the area, making it all the more convenient. Similar places would be Koenji, Ogikubo, Asagaya, and Higashi-nakano.

2. Komagome and Tabata

Komagome Station

Generally, living near the JR Yamanote Line, which circles the heart of downtown Tokyo, means paying a lot in rent, but the Komagome and Tabata areas are (relatively) inexpensive. People generally don’t think of either area when they think of the Yamanote Line, but they do, in fact, have stations on it. Also, they’re close to lively Shinjuku, making it easier to go out for a drink whenever you feel like!

Our real estate agent told us, “They’re not the most glamorous areas, but they have plenty of shops and supermarkets, so they’re by no means inconvenient. And they’re not too expensive either. Komagome in particular has green spaces like Rikugien and Kyu-Furukawa gardens, in addition to temples and shrines, making it a good place to take a stroll on your days off.”

3. Sumiyoshi

MA321765

Apparently people aren’t too familiar with the Sumiyoshi area, even people living in Tokyo. However, it has stations on both the Hanzomon and Shinjuku lines, so you can get wherever you want to go pretty easily. Even better, you can get to Otemachi, Shibuya, and Shinjuku without changing trains!

Like most of the places on this list, the Sumiyoshi area has supermarkets and shops, as well as lots of greenery in places like Sarueonshi Park. “It’s a popular area for families,” the real estate agent told us, “but there are also a variety of places for people living alone.”

It’s apparently gotten a bit more expensive in the last few years as its popularity has grown, but it’s still reasonable and convenient.

4. Kamata

Kamata_Station_East_Entrance_Rotary

This area is kind of close to Kanagawa Prefecture (which is actually a plus if you’re keen to spend your weekends at the temples of Kamakura or seaside parks in Yokohama), but access to the Tokyo city center isn’t too bad. The area right around the station feels fairly busy but not so far away from it things are pretty quiet and rents aren’t too expensive. There are a lot of inexpensive but good restaurants around the station, so it’s pretty convenient for people living alone.

Access to the city center isn’t the best, but Ikegami and Hasunuma, which are accessible from Kamata on the Tokyu Ikegami line, are worth checking out. Due to the less-than-ideal public transportation options, rent is cheaper, so if you can’t find what you want in Kamata, these two areas might be worth a look.

5. Asakusa

Hozomon_and_pagoda,_Sensoji_Temple,_Asakusa,_Tokyo

People tend to think of Asakusa as a tourist area, but it does also have a lot of residences. As you might expect, rent around Sensoji temple and the station is expensive, but if you head towards Tawaramachi or Iriya, there are plenty of inexpensive places,” we were told. And, in addition to Sensoji and the shopping/dining area around it, there are also plenty of restaurants elsewhere in Asakusa, too.

Apparently there isn’t much in the north part of the Asakusa area, so if you want to make the most of living in Asakusa, our real estate friend told us that places close to Asakusa, Tawaramachi, Inaricho, and Iriya stations are highly recommended.

Final thoughts

Our real estate agent left us with some good general advice. While people moving to Tokyo probably want to live in the famous places they’ve already heard of, they’re also the most expensive. If your selected area has a mixture of JR lines and subway lines, it probably won’t be inconvenient at all to get to those glamorous high-rent districts for a day out (or a day in the office), and you will have an easier time living in the city when you rent isn’t through the roof.

Other recommended locations were: Kotake-mukaehara, Machiya, Koiwa, Akabane, and Kiba. Also, we were told that places like Nezu and Sendagi, which have a lot of history and older shops and temples, are places where you can enjoy putting down roots of your own.

Link

Japan’s 30 best travel destinations, as chosen by overseas visitors

 

TA 32

 

RocketNews 24:

 

It’s time once again for travel website Trip Advisor’s list of the best places in Japan, as chosen by overseas visitors to the country. One of the things that makes Japan such a fascinated place to travel is its extreme mix of historical and modern attractions, both of which are represented in the top 30 which includes shrines, sharks, and super-sized robots.

 

30. Shinsaibashi – Osaka

TA 1

Starting things off, Osaka’s Shinsaibashi shopping district has something for just about everyone (as you can see by this photo that shows what appears to be everyone in the city browsing along its covered pedestrian walkway).

 

29. Nishiki Market – Kyoto

TA 2

Also known as “Kyoto’s Kitchen,” you might not find much in the way of souvenirs here, but it’s a great place to pick up ingredients for dinner or soak up the local atmosphere.

 

28. Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology – Aichi

TA 3

We suppose they could have just called it the “Toyota Museum,” but then people might think the focus is just on cars, and not the broader theme of technology and innovation in general.

 

27. Video Game Bar Space Station – Osaka

TA 4

There’s a certain simple, pure fun to hanging out with some friends, sitting on your couch, and knocking back a couple of cold ones as you play some old school games. Unless your couch is old and lumpy, you sold off your old consoles, or you’re out of beer. Thankfully, this Osaka bar is here to help.

 

26. Kaiyukan – Osaka

TA 5

Rather not kill time in Osaka by killing zombies? The local aquarium, the Kaiyukan, is an awesome way to spend an afternoon. Don’t miss feeding time for the facility’s massive yet tranquil whale shark.

 

25. Sensoji – Tokyo

TA 6

Tokyo’s most famous temple, located in the Asakusa neighborhood, remains one of the best ways to see Japan’s traditional side while staying in the capital.

 

24. Centar Gai – Tokyo

TA 7

Sensoji too sedate for you? The collection of shops and restaurants known as Center Gai, right across the street from the famous Shibuya Scramble intersection, is a chance to experience Tokyo’s cacophony at its most colorful.

 

23. Dotonbori – Osaka

TA 8

Osaka’s foremost entertainment district is at its most dazzling after dark, where the light from the towering walls of neon signage reflect off the canal and enwraps you in its glow from all angles.

 

22. Nara Park – Nara

TA 9

The spacious Nara Park is one of two places in Japan where visitors can mingle with freely roaming packs of deer (the other being Hiroshima Prefecture’s Miyajima Island).

 

21. Jigokudani Yean Park – Nagano

TA 10

It’s important to read things all the way through. For example, Jigokudani (Hell Valley) sounds like a terrible place to visit. Tack Yaen (wild monkey) on the end though, and you’ve got Trip Advisor’s 21st most popular destination.

 

20. Meiji Shrine – Tokyo

TA 11

The Shinto counterpart to Buddhist Sensoji, the structure itself may not be the most impressive shrine in Japan, but the gorgeous forest path that leads up to it will make you forget just how close you are to the heart of the busiest city in the world.

 

19. Mori Art Museum – Tokyo

TA 12

Even if you’re got only a passing interest in high art, the vires from the attached observation deck, high above the Roppongi Hills entertainment complex, is a great way to get a grasp of the massive scale of Tokyo.

 

18. Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum – Nagasaki

TA 13

As the second city to be devastated by a nuclear bomb, Nagasaki’s Atomic Bomb Museum is a grim reminder of the horrors of war.

 

17. Nijo Castle – Kyoto

TA 14

Instead of for protection, this Kyoto landmark was created to show the wealth and power of the shogun, and as such has a lower structure and more expansive gardens than other castles in Japan.

 

16. Robot Restaurant – Tokyo

TA 15

Modern decadence, on the other hand, is perhaps best encapsulated at this Shinjuku eatery where food is delivered to your table by bikini-clad waitresses piloting bikini-clad giant robots.

 

15. Kenrokuen Garden – Ishikawa

TA 16

Decidedly more refined is Kenrokuen, long considered one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan.

 

14. Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama – Kyoto

TA 17

We’re not sure why Iwatayama ranked higher than Jigokudani Yaen, but we’re guessing it might have something to do with its closer proximity to the already attractive tourist destination of Japan’s previous capital. Whatever the reason, though, can you ever really have too many monkey parks?

 

13. Sanjusangendo Temple – Kyoto

TA 18

Too hyped up from the monkey park? This temple, with its one thousand statues of Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy, ought to calm you down.

 

12. Matsumoto Castle – Nagano

TA 19

One of Japan’s most impressive original wooden fortresses, Matsumoto Castle’s location in the middle of Matsumoto City makes it an easy visit for those also looking to hike in the mountains of nearby Kamikochi.

 

11. Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium – Okinawa

TA 20

More whale sharks also means more votes for tropical Okinawa’s showcase of aquatic life.

 

10. Shinshoji Temple / Naritasan – Chiba

TA 21

We’re happy to see Naritsan make the list, since we’re big fans ourselves.

 

9. Hakone Open-Air Museum – Kanagawa

TA 22

This outdoor collection of sculpture also happens to be near some of Japan’s finest hot springs and most beautiful views of Mt. Fuji.

 

8. Shinjuku Gyoen Park – Tokyo

TA 23

One more reason why you shouldn’t believe people who tell you, “There’s no greenery in central Tokyo!”

 

7. Kiyomizu Temple – Kyoto

TA 24

Some people complain about this hillside temple being crowded. It is, but that’s only because of how incredibly beautiful and awesome it is.

 

6. Mt. Takao / Okunoin Temple – Tokyo

TA 25

With hiking courses, beautiful foliage, and tales of tengu raven spirits, Mt. Takao is worth a visit for anyone into fitness, nature, or folklore.

 

5. Todaiji Temple – Nara

TA 26

In contrast to the cute deer running around outside in Nara Park, Todaiji houses the solemn 15-meter (49-foot) Great Buddha.

 

4. Kinkakuji – Kyoto

TA 27

Kyoto’s famous Golden Pavilion continues to attract visitors year-round.

 

3. Miyajima Island / Itsukushima Shrine – Hiroshima

TA 28

Miyajima’s torii gate rising out of the sea is something you’ll only see in Japan, and is the reason why it’s been gracing the covers of travel guides for decades. Add in the appeal of the deer that wander around town, the hiking trails that lead to the top of the island’s Mt. Misen, and the amazing views one you get there, and you’ve got Trip Advisor’s number-three choice.

 

2. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum / Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

TA 29

Less than an hour away from Miyajima, Peace Memorial Park includes the A-Bomb Dome, Children’s Peace Monument, and the Peace Flame.

 

1. Fushimi Inari Shrine – Kyoto

TA 30

The top spot went to Fushimi Inari Shrine, and the seemingly endless tunnels of torii gates that cover the hillside it’s built on. Long overlooked due to its distance from other Kyoto attractions it’s still just a short train ride away from Kyoto Station, and one of the most unique experiences travelers can have in Japan.

 

TA 31

 

Source: Trip AdvisorIT Media

 

Check out this link:

 Japan’s 30 best travel destinations, as chosen by overseas visitors

Link

Learning Edo-era blade polishing techniques from a Japanese master

2014.01.11 sharpening 9

RocketNews 24:

We recently visited Tokyo Polishing Master Craftsmen Institution in the Asakusa area of Tokyo where they are celebrating their 20th year. The school has seen more than 700 graduates go through the program to become professional sharpeners in their own right.

The president of the school, 83-year-old Kosho Fujiami, is the very definition of a sharpening master, having practiced the craft since he was 5 years old. He learned polishing styles that people have been using since the Edo period when the art form was mainly used by samurai to sharpen their swords.

2014.01.11 sharpening 1

Fujiami told us that samurai took great care to learn how to sharpen their swords and keep them polished. Their swords were one of their most important tools and had to be kept in the best of shape. For people now, cooking knives are one of the most important things we use on an everyday basis, he said. So this ancient practice of blade sharpening is still very relevant to the modern world.

There used to be lots of professional blade sharpeners in Tokyo during the Edo period and even in the early Showa era. Now there are hardly any left and this school is one of the few places to learn techniques that have been practiced for over 300 years.

We asked Fujiami about the skills required to polish a blade. “The act itself is very simple. You hold the blade to the sharpening stone at a certain angle and scrape it against the stone…that’s it,” he told us.

But to truly master this skill, Fujiami stressed that you need to practice it over and over again.

2014.01.11 sharpening 4

There are three kinds of polishing stones and which one you use depends on the type of blade you want to sharpen. After figuring out which stone to use, you then have to figure out what the original angle of the blade was. Taking that angle into account, you firmly grasp the handle of the blade with your right hand and place the face of the blade onto the polishing stone. Put a lot of pressure onto the blade as you grind it on the stone away from your body, then ease up when you slide it back towards you. Repeat this motion slowly and carefully to gradually polish the blade back to its original sharpness.

▼Some of the polishing stones

2014.01.11 sharpening 3

▼Practice blades

2014.01.11 sharpening 5

People from all walks of life, from housewives to white-collar workers to students, have gone through the school. The course takes about 300 to 400 hours and most people complete it in under a year.

We met one graduate of the school who is now practicing the skill in Los Angeles. Fujiami told the student that since Japanese cuisine is all the rage around the world, there might be a big demand for blade polishing since many Japanese foods require fine knife work with the sharpest of blades. The graduate opened up a speciality knife shop in L.A. and apparently is doing quite well.

Although courses are only available in Japanese, this school welcomes anyone who wants to learn the art of polishing. Fujiami said he would love to spread this Japanese art to other countries. And from 10 AM to 4 PM on everyday except Mondays, they invite you to come and watch them work their magic. If you’re interested, check out the school’s website and directions:

Tokyo Polishing Master Craftsmen Institution
Address: 3rd Floor 2-29-15 Asakusa bashi, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Less than 5 minutes walk from JR or Toei subway Asakusabashi stations

▼A look at the school from the street

2014.01.11 sharpening 6

 

Check out this link:

Learning Edo-era blade polishing techniques from a Japanese master

Link

HAVEN Interviews Ryo Kashiwazaki of Hender Scheme

HS-Intel-1

In a recent trip to Japan this fall, Canadian retailers HAVEN made their way to the base of Hender Schemein Tokyo’s Asakusa district to discuss creativity and inspiration with Ryo Kashiwazaki. Sharing everything from the first impressions of the Hender Scheme atelier to the design ethos that guides and pushes the footwear brand, the interview also reveals the importance of handcrafted goods and the desire to create a product that is both durable and timeless.
Head to HAVEN to read the interview in full.

There has been an increasing interest in the market for high-end/luxury sneakers like yours; what are your thoughts on these current trends? Has this affected your approach to design?

I think that the most important thing is to express what we want to make and represent that honestly, so the products that we make are not affected by the current trends. Of course trends affect sales in the market. However, we try not to follow the trend and rather design what we feel, so there is no particular desire to change our business philosophy. I work with a small and skillful team using the minimum amount of staff necessary.

What are some of your favorite places to travel for work, play, or to be inspired?

I like Tokyo very much, it is the city that I reside in and it’s very exciting. It has a mixed culture with various different subcultures. The culture changes over time and even evolves, so it is messy in a good and fun way. Asakusa has traces of Shitamachi (traditional) culture; in contrast, Shibuya and Shinjuku are chaotic, but all these areas are within Tokyo. It is very profound; I feel it is important for me to be in Tokyo.

Check out this link:
Image of HAVEN Interviews Ryo Kashiwazaki of Hender Scheme
Image of HAVEN Interviews Ryo Kashiwazaki of Hender Scheme
Image of HAVEN Interviews Ryo Kashiwazaki of Hender Scheme
Image of HAVEN Interviews Ryo Kashiwazaki of Hender Scheme
Link

Tokyo company takes your stuffed animals on vacation … without you

buddha_visit

For the last three years, Sonoe Azuma, 38, of Unagi Travel has been organizing stuffed animal tours throughout Japan, Europe and the United States.

The upcoming November Tokyo tour for plush toys includes visits to Shibuya, historic Asakusa and Tokyo Tower. There’s also an onsen (hot spring) tour.

The cost of the Tokyo tour is $45, while the onsen trip is $55, and it’s up to the client to foot the cost of shipping their stuffed toys to Tokyo, but Unagi will cover the return flight. (Sorry, no overweight toys allowed.)

According to Unagi rules, furry friends must be lighter than 250 grams/0.55 pounds. Also, Azuma has an English-language site that accepts bookings, giving even more people the chance to travel vicariously through their cuddle toys.

Easy as it is to mock Azuma’s clients as victims of a fiberfill-fueled ruse, it seems there’s actually a therapeutic benefit to her service. According to the Japan News, one woman became reclusive after it became difficult for her to walk due to illness.

That changed after she saw the photos of her stuffed animal on one of Azuma’s tours. She worked to rehabilitate her legs and visited a neighboring prefecture for the first time in several years.

Seeing my stuffed animal traveling encouraged me,” said the woman. “I began to think that I should do what I can do, instead of lamenting over things that I can’t.

Other clients reported that seeing their toy on tour cheered them up after a family death, or inspired them to do things they normally wouldn’t. A wheelchair-restricted woman is a regular client.

If Azuma’s service gives people the courage to get out and see the world themselves, or comfort when they can’t, it’s hard to fault her for what at first seems to be a ridiculous enterprise.

Check out this link:

Tokyo company takes your stuffed animals on vacation … without you

austraia_bear