Home / Funny / Animals / Tokyo Man Takes His Giant Pet Tortoise Out For Walks In Tokyo Streets


Dog owners know how important it is to walk their puppies regularly. It's not uncommon for people to take their cats for walks these days. But it's not every day that you come across a turtle walking down the street. Hisao Mitani, a Japanese man, has become a household name in Tokyo's Tsukishima, where he can often be seen strolling around town with his African tortoises. Affectionately called "Bon-chan," his 26-year-old turtle usually wears cute clothes such as hats and accessories made by his kind neighbour. Mitani explains that when she first got Bonchan, the reptile was about the size of a palm. But as time went on, the turtle got bigger than expected.

When Bonchan was 10 years old, she experienced rapid growth. Mitani is now estimated to weigh about 155 pounds. She accompanies Bonchan on walks around the city several times weekly to ensure she gets enough exercise. Their usual route may not be far, but it will still take them an hour or two to get home. This is mainly because Bonchan makes many pit stops for the fans.

“Bon-chan knows the route by heart and is very strong-minded, so it is more me that follows him, than the other way around,” Mitani says. “We walk the neighbourhood and we are pretty famous around here.” African tortoises can live up to 150 years old, so Bon-chan is still in the prime of his life with energy to spare. “I try to take him out whenever I have the time,” Mitani adds. “I think it helps to relieve his stress from being cooped up.”

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