It's a little early in the year to declare the cutest tour guides of 2014, but we're willing to place our bets on this duo.
— にゃらん (@nyalan_jalan) July 13, 2012
Meet Nyalan and Deshi, two mascots who've turned into pseudo-tour guides for Jalan, a Japanese travel site.
でし、です。こにょまえ ししょー におごってもらった しぇるきー おいしかった にょです。おもいで 宝もにょ なにょです。 pic.twitter.com/QIO35W6s
— にゃらん (@nyalan_jalan) September 17, 2012
Aside from being insanely adorable, these two are tasked with showcasing and attracting visitors to the Land of the Rising Sun throughout the year. The idea, according to Design Taxi, is to show off what locals do during each season, only instead of people, the agency uses cats.
— にゃらん (@nyalan_jalan) July 17, 2012
スペシャルにゃ 駅弁を 用意しました にょだ！ pic.twitter.com/qc9WMszg
— にゃらん (@nyalan_jalan) February 17, 2013
ししょー… はやく こいで くださいにゃ… pic.twitter.com/Gi1z2o04
— にゃらん (@nyalan_jalan) November 29, 2012
Adorned with matching suitcase collars, photographers have captured the pair flying kites (well, as best as someone with paws can fly a kite), relaxing before crawling into an onsen, a Japanese hot spring, or grabbing a bite to eat at Yakiniku (Japanese BBQ).
— にゃらん (@nyalan_jalan) March 3, 2013
— にゃらん (@nyalan_jalan) January 5, 2014
まだ、お団子 冷めてにゃいでしょうか？ pic.twitter.com/pvug6zBaL6
— にゃらん (@nyalan_jalan) June 25, 2013
The duo have been in TV commercials for years now, but it's Nyalan (which is Japanese for "meow" according to Kotaku) and his Twitter account that's put the two in the spotlight once again. You can follow more of their travels here.
だんご なにょです！ pic.twitter.com/bIwaFtAnN0
— にゃらん (@nyalan_jalan) April 11, 2013
It's may seem like an unorthodox approach to promoting tourism, but given Japan's feline fixation involving cat cafes and an island nicknamed Cat Heaven Island for its population that outnumbers human inhabitants, maybe it's just a matter of time before the rest of the world catches on.
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