Much of the fun has been stripped out of travel over the last year, with widespread restrictions and numerous hoops to jump through for admin-weary travellers.
Japanese carrier Peach Aviation is stocking flights to unknown destinations in gachapon, the country’s capsule vending machines that hold a variety of unusual objects, such as toy figurines, hand sanitiser and certified pearls.
All mystery flights are for domestic destinations in Japan, departing from Tokyo's Narita Airport, and capsules cost just 5,000 yen (£32).
Travellers won’t know where they’re going until after they’ve purchased their capsule, in which they will receive a code that gives them 6,000 yen’s-worth of mileage points that can only be used to travel to a certain destination.
Inside the capsule there’s also a pin badge and a “mission” they can choose to complete once in their destination.
One Twitter user shared a picture of their capsule, writing: “The other day I tried the 5000 yen Peach Airlines gachapon vending machine at Parco Shinsaibashi 4F. My destination is Kagoshima!”
Another satisfied customer, 19-year-old student Mao Otani, told VICE he was off to Kushiro in Hokkaido.
“I've never been there and I have no idea what I'll do, but I'm excited anyway,” he said.
The concept of mystery flights has gained popularity for domestic travel during the pandemic.
Qantas launched its own version in March 2021, with trips departing from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.
The packages included a flight to an unknown destination no more than two hours away, plus an experience on the ground before the return flight.
Experiences included winemaking, a gourmet lunch or snorkelling off a tropical island, while the Boeing 737 flight itself performed low-altitude flybys to enable sightseeing of famous landmarks.
“As well as helping bring more of our people back to work, these mystery flights are another way to support tourism operators in regional areas especially, who have been hit particularly hard by several waves of travel restrictions,” Qantas Group Chief Customer Officer Stephanie Tully told traveller.com.au.
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