Animal cafes are all over Japan, of course, but as most of our animal cafe excursions took place in Tokyo and on our day trip to Kamakura, I’ve focused on those.
Our trip to Japan took us to three (yes, three) different animal cafes. Depending on the cafe, photo opportunities are limited (either by virtue of the crowds of tourists or the policies of the cafe (some of which are there to understandably benefit the critters).
Before we get into the actual animal cafes we visited, it is important to note upfront that animal conditions within the animal cafes should be a consideration you make, should you visit. Our cat and dog cafe visits were rather impromptu, and I can’t vouch for what the conditions are like for those critters when customers aren’t around. Our owl cafe was researched ahead of time, required a reservation, limited the number of people allowed in per hour, and made certain owls off limits (i.e., you were instructed to let them sleep). TLDR: I wish we’d made more concerted research on animal condition-friendly critter cafes before our sojourn to Japan.
That said, animal cafes can still be a good place to take pictures and make memories, as evidenced by the following:
Presented in no particular order:
Nekomachi Cafe; Location: 〒248-0005 鎌倉 市 雪ノ下 1-6-2, Yukinoshita, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture 248-0005, Japan
Nekomachi is, perhaps predictably a cat cafe. It wasn’t the typical bright, cheery environment you might expect in a cat cafe, and we kind of had our pick of the litter (word play intended) as we were the first customers of the day. Perhaps not the best cat cafe experience out there, but it was plenty entertaining and the kitties seemed playful and content. And very judgmental.
Mameshiba-inu Cafe – Kamakura
Along the same street as the cat cafe was a mame-shiba inu cafe. Sadly, the Googz was not able to locate this particular shop, so my apologies, but no maps to this one. “Mame” in Japanese means “bean”… so these are basically bean shaped shiba dogs. The interior was a lot brighter. The dogs were relatively friendly, all things considered. But the space felt kind of tight for the amount of pooch per square meter.
Akiba Fukurou Cafe; Location: 67 Kanda Neribeicho, Chiyoda, Tokyo 101-0022, Japan
This was our one cafe that was reservation required, everyone spoke in whispered tones, and the handlers were the only ones really moving the owls to or from a particular location. Quiet Mozart music is used to counter the din of the streets of Akihabara outside. Pictures were permitted, but obviously without flash or shutter sound.
This fat one goes by the name “Takoyaki”, or octopus ball. He was off limits, and sleeping.
All in all, with a little preparation to ensure your yen are going towards humane treatment of animals, Japan’s animal cafes can be a welcome excursion along your travels.