Visiting a Cat Cafe in Tokyo

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Following a day of cycling and exploring Tokyo we decided to hunt down a Cat Café near our accommodation in the neighbourhood of Shimokitazawa( try saying that really fast!).

While finding well known tourist landmarks and train stations is relatively easy in Tokyo, on the flip side locating a specific address we found required more of an effort, and a pinch of patience too. I always say, keep your travels in Tokyo loosely planned and drink plenty of sake followed by plenty of karaoke! We eventually located the cafe, spotting a large neon sign, one we passed a few times unknowingly.

The concept we discovered behind a cat café is providing a relaxed environment where patrons can spend time in a room full of cuddly furry kitties. It’s famously popular in the densely populated city of Tokyo and it wasn’t until our visit to Japan that I understood why.

As we walked through the entrance, the staff greeted us with much enthusiasm, perhaps because we were the only westerners in the room. They begin to upsell a range of options however we just want to have a look and opt for a 10 minute slot. Once the formalities are done, we slide off our shoes before entering the closed section where the cats are lazying around. We were asked to wash our hands before and after the visit with the cats. The room was homely decorated and most of the cats were snugly curled up in boxes or standing to be the centre of attention on scratching posts. The cats were gorgeous, quite a few big fluffy ones and they all appeared healthy and strong.

While we can’t help but wonder how they became cat cafe kitties I do like to think that life is better for them at the Cat Café. The cats did seem to be a bit docile in personality, but then again they are warm and well fed and have a steady flow of loyal visitors. I assume they are probably quite comfortable in the routine and wearing those ridiculously adorable hats are just part of life in the cafe.

As we wandered around from cat to cat I noticed a school girl quietly reading a book with a very content kitty snoozing on her lap. There’s always a lap kitty in amongst the group! My heart melted a little because it reminded me of the special bond between a pet and a child. As I scanned the room, the children were incredibly gentle with the cats and grateful for being able to pat them. And for this I thought the Cat Cafe was a cool concept!

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Posted in - Asia & Japan & Travelling Me on September 1st 2016

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