Japanese people, just like many others, are obsessed with cats, and they have developed an entire culture around them. From funny costumes and hats to weird accessories and devices, including the popular cat water bowl, there are millions of things you can buy to make your cat’s life more pleasant.
The Japanese affection for cats may also derive from the fact that most people live in small, one-bedroom, one-person condos with limited space. People of all ages spend most of their time at work, and, between that and the fact that their apartments are small, raising a dog isn’t feasible in the long term.
On the other hand, cats are independent creatures, and they rarely long for their owner’s affection. They also occupy less space and spend most of their time sleeping, which makes them far better companions for Japanese people with busy work schedules.
And, for those who cannot afford to look after a pet but still want to feel its affection once in a while, the Japanese people came up with a brilliant business concept – the cat cafe.
These places have become incredibly popular in just a few years, while the concept was exported all over the Asian continent, Europe, and America. So, let’s take a look at some of the most famous similar locations in Japan where you can hang out, drink your favorite cup of tea or coffee, and pet freely these adorable cats.
Mipig Cafe, Meguro
We know we talked about cat cafes, but Japanese people already passed by the cat hype and added new creatures to their bizarre animal preferences and hang-out places. Apart from cats, hedgehogs, and even owls, Tokyo has now become the home of the first piggy cafe in the world. The place is located in the Meguro district and allows you to cuddle and play with miniature pigs in a cheerful ambiance.
The cafe is displayed on three different floors, and animal access is free on the premises. As with many other similar venues, you are required to purchase at least one drink that starts from $5.50 to have access inside for half an hour.
Cat Cafe Calico, Shinjuku
The largest cat venue in Tokyo houses over 50 cats in a two-story facility and is located in the vibrant Kabukicho district in the area of Shinjuku. While most similar cafes house up to 10-12 cats at once, this one allows you to make up to 50 new friends and play with them as much as you want.
The cafe is open daily from 10 AM to 10 PM, and prices start from $9.20 – $11 for one-hour access. Obviously, prices go even higher on weekends and public holidays and, even so, expect the place to be crowded with people of all ages.
What makes this venue more and more popular is the vibe of the building. Entering inside, you feel more like getting back to your childhood bedroom instead of a real cafe. Originally, the place used to be a Japanese home that was later converted into a true cat mansion. It offers more space and a large playground for these animals, as well as other places to sit, relax, and pet the cats.
All 12 cats wander freely and are quite friendly, so expect them to keep you company while drinking your favorite cup of coffee or tea. And, speaking of, there is a wide array of beverages to choose from, as well as some delicious snacks, so you can easily turn Cat Cafe Nyanny into your favorite weekend spot for brunch. Prices are similar to the above-mentioned location, meaning they start from $11 on weekends and public holidays.
Forget about secluded locations or small venues with a couple of tables and a flimsy drink menu. MoCHA is a chain of designer cat cafes, meaning each location has a unique design. The interiors are specifically made to look pretty to the eye and also be convenient and friendly for the furry animals.
The Shibuya location welcomes you with a chic and contemporary design where you can relax after you’re done shopping in the famous district. The place is open every day of the week, and prices start at $1.85 for 10 minutes. As it is one of the most famous and fashionable cat cafes in Tokyo, expect the place to be crowded all the times, meaning you won’t get to spend hours relaxing and sipping from just one beverage.
Small but full of charm and heart, this cat cafe stands out for one particular reason – all the precious cats found inside are rehabilitated stray cats that are up for adoption, meaning you can actually get to take one of the cats home with you. The owner has been rescuing stray animals for more than seven years now, and the cafe is the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of the phenomenon and even receive donations to continue the charity work.
As opposed to other cafes that focus more on style, aesthetics, and the comfort of humans, this tiny establishment tries to save as many animals as possible, meaning it’s less of a commercial venue. Therefore, don’t expect the cafe to be stylish or provide the perfect picture for your Instagram account.
Nevertheless, it is an awesome place to meet new people, form friendships, and help saving as many stray cats as possible by adopting them and offering them a better future. The cafe is open Monday to Sunday from 11 AM to 9 PM but is closed on Tuesdays. You’ll have to pay about $7.50 to enter the cafe for an hour, but we say it’s worth it.
Found in the Taito neighborhood in Tokyo, this place was named one of the best five cat cafes in the world. It exceeds expectations in everything, starting with the friendly staff and ending with its great facilities, and delicious menu. It goes without saying that the cats found in this establishment are also amongst the most beautiful, including breeds like Bengal, Russian Blue or Somali.