Calico Cat Cafe: Tokyo


First up: cats are not on the menu. No, the theory behind the cat cafes here in Japan is that you pay an hourly fee to spend time with the furry felines sans obligations. Since most people live in pet free apartments, it can be hard for people to get that furry lovin they need, and what better way to experience it than with a hot chocolate in hand and someone else to clean up the poopies? Cats are my favourite animal. There was no way I was going to pass up the opportunity for a cuddle, even if it would send W into a sneezing fit the size of the ‘cats versus dogs’ argument.

Through a narrow hallway and a suspect elevator ride we reach the 6th floor and arrive at what smells like a vet. We are greeted in English and are led through the rules of the game. Don’t wake the sleeping cats. Don’t pick up the cats. Only feed the cats the specified cat food purchased from the menu. Easy. We remove our shoes and slide into slippers to be worn throughout the cafe. We wash our hands at the designated sink and wear our lanyards displaying out customer number and time of entry around our necks. We are ready to enter the cafe section. The door softly slides open across the blue carpet.

I can honestly see almost 20 cats in various stages of sleep and awake in the small room. Hiding in boxes, perched on the TV, lying on the counter, roaming, playing, sleeping or feigning disinterest in the foreigners. They are everywhere. This is the top level, and more await us in the lower level cafe section. Down the feline laden stair case and out into a much larger room. Here is where the real party starts. Cats swarm around patrons offering cooked chicken slices. A group of young Japanese girls are in fits of giggles as one cat gingerly steps onto their laps. An older gentleman has woed a particularly flat faced cat to his lap and both are napping. Another pair of girls fastidiously divide their chicken purchases, handing out chicken in strict rations so as to keep the glaring that has formed around them interested for as long as possible. These girls are pros.

An introspective clowder sit on the windowsill and overlook the thriving Shinjuku street below. People leave them be. I ask the lady how many cats they have and she replies that there are 40 out in the cafe at the moment, while many others rest. All cats get rotated every few hours to get some peace and quiet, while those out on the floor are treated with a timidness bordering on reverence.

We finish our drinks and return our lanyards. The hustle and bustle is swamping after the calm company of the previous hour. What a break, and as they say “I spend the time with cute cat”.



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Categories: C U L T U R E, P H O T O G R A P H Y

Author:Elli Agars

Adelaidian with a love of fashion, music, culture and life.


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3 Comments on “Calico Cat Cafe: Tokyo”

  1. April 4, 2013 at 3:48 am #

    I’m totally going to start charging my friends to hang with my cat, Teddy. This place sounds like an over abundance of cuteness!

    • April 4, 2013 at 8:32 am #

      Ohhhh you should!! I think Teddy would like the special attention! And then he would never be lonely either! Yes, it was so much cuteness 🙂


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