We've been to a couple cat cafes in Japan and it is both bizarre and awesome! Crystal visited a cat cafe in Kyoto and Candy went to one in Tokyo.
Crystal's Experience: Neko Cafe Time
I wasn't looking to stop by a cat cafe while visiting Kyoto, but as we were walking back to the train station after visiting Fushimi Inari Taisha, I came across a cat cafe sign. I heard about these from a friend, but I didn't think they were real. I had to check this out.
We walked upstairs to the entrance and a woman comes out to greet us and asks how long we'd like to stay. We chose the 20-minute option for 500 yen, which is pretty cheap, considering Candy had to pay a lot more. They also offered drinks and snacks, but we weren't really hungry, so we passed. Before we walked in, the woman sprayed some sanitizer on our hands and made these anime-like sound effects, "pyu, pyu!". I wanted to die laughing.
The room was pretty tiny with about 10 cats and we had the room all to ourselves. We tried to play with some cats, but most of them were sleeping and didn't care to play. There was one cool cat we particularly loved, which was Bob. He was so chill and friendly.
We really loved reading the cat profiles. The descriptions were hilarious! For example, Bob's profile said that he's a beautiful cat, but Peko still doesn't like him. I appreciated the small details of every cat.
There were also fun toys and props for the humans to play with like the cat paws and ears. I had fun with those.
As we were leaving, we saw a board with everyone voting which cat was their favorite and Bob was the clear winner. We weren't the only ones who loved him!
Such a fun experience and I'm glad we stopped by. Want to visit this cat cafe? Here's some additional info:
ADDRESS: 〒612-0012 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Fushimi-ku, Fukakusa Ichinotsubochō, 12−2 Hisayasu bldg 2F
DIRECTIONS: Located between Keihan Main Line Fushimi Inari station and JR Inari station. You'll pass right by it as you're walking to Fushimi Inari Taisha from the Keihan Main Line.
HOURS: Every day 10:30AM-07:00PM (April 1st to September 30th) & 10:30AM-06:00PM (October 1st to April 30th)
Candy's Experience: Hapineko
My experience, on the other hand, was quite different. The location was about a 5 minute walk from the Hachiko exit, which is where the famous Shibuya crossing is located.
My friend and I got to the entrance and it was super tiny. We didn't see anyone, but then a lady from the other side opened up a sliding window and handed us a pricing menu. I was a bit surprised that they were charging foreigners double what they were charging their Japanese customers. Although I am half Japanese, I was charged the foreign price of 1,050 yen for 30 minutes.
We took off our shoes to enter and were directed to wash our hands. Then we were given another list of instructions that stated not to touch the cats with certain colored collars. They had a system where they rotated cats to give them resting hours.
It was a very small room and we sat down and were served juice and crackers. This was included in the fee. The vibe was a bit strange. It was so quiet and it was like the few people that were in there were being so cautious about every movement they were making. Most of the cats were sleeping and weren't particularly friendly. I just couldn't wait to leave. And it's not because I don't like cats. I grew up with seven cats! My friend; however, seemed to be enjoying it.
When I heard about Crystal's experience, I wish I had gone to the one that she went to! Seemed like a much more relaxing and fun environment.
Cat Cafe Info:
ADDRESS: 〒150-0043 Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Degenzaka 2-28-3, Kuratosu Bldg 3F
DIRECTIONS: Hapineko is a 5 minute walk from the Hachiko exit in Shibuya. Walk pass the famous 109 department store and it is the 5th building down. Keep an eye out for their neon light sign out front.
HOURS: Every day of the year. Weekdays 11:00AM-11:00PM (Last entrance at 10PM) & Weekends 11:00AM-9:00PM (Last entrance at 10PM).
Have you been to a cat cafe? What was your experience like?