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A black cat sitting in one of the cat cafes in Japan

Cat Cafes In Japan: Learn More About The Best Cat Cafés In Tokyo

Have you ever heard of cat cafés in Tokyo? If not, then it's time to delve into this article and learn more about this neko cafe that's so popular in this city. Pet and play with amazing feline friends and get more information about cat cafes in Japan. Who knows, you might even get to visit them someday!

A Brief History Of Cat Cafes In Japan

Cat cafes have a long and illustrious history, especially in Asia. The first ever establishment of this type was opened in Taipei with the name Cat Flower Garden, an apt name for what would eventually become a global tourist destination.

While the idea originated in Taiwan, it was Japan that took the scheme and made it wildly popular. Perhaps there’s just more feline fans here in general, but eventually, the first cat café in the country was finally opened in Osaka in 2004. Its name was Cat’s Store.

From thereon, the idea spread like wildfire, and more cat cafes began opening up left and right. This is because many residents live in small apartments which do not allow pets within their premises, thus putting a tight restriction upon people who want to own cats.

The concept is to have a cozy environment filled with kitty goodness while enjoying a nice cup of coffee, tea, or whatever the café offers. For those who can’t afford the requirements of pet ownership but still want to have the companionship of cats, these cafes are a perfectly viable option.

These places are perhaps the best haunts for cat lovers like ourselves and should be on a checklist for any animal lover’s bucket list. That said, here are a few of the best neko cafés this fantastic country has to offer!

Cat Cafe Calico Shinjuku

Cat sleeping under a table

This amazing café is found in Shinjuku, Tokyo, and prides itself as being the largest of its kind in the city. Due to this, it enjoys popularity among locals and visitors alike. As such, it is fair to expect a fair amount of people when you visit.

The entrance fee for this café is a thousand yen per hour, which is certainly competitive pricing considering the area. It also has about thirty cats for visitors to pet and cuddle, which is quite a fair amount. Also, unlike their name, they do not offer purely calico cats, which adds to the variety of the place.

Their drinks are also cheap and delicious, with a café latte costing only about Y200. They also have other food such as cakes, omelet rice, and pasta.

Additionally, ordering food such as chicken to lure the cats to you is also an option. There are also other entertainment options, such as manga, books, and a TV.

But honestly, who’s going to need those when you have a herd of cats to make friends with? Visit their website here!

Temari No Ouchi

If you’re expecting this to be your average cat café, then think again. The owners of this shop seek to go beyond the normal neko experience, providing a kitty wonderland for cats and humans alike.

The interior is particularly famous for its dream-like tree house design, complete with miniature trees and some platforms for the fur babies to hop on. If you’re looking for a cat village, then this is definitely it.

Due perhaps to the extra focus on atmosphere and environment, the fee for this café is a bit higher than others, going at Y1540 on the weekdays and Y1980 on the weekends. This is a per-hour rate, so remember to keep your wallets stocked if you’re also planning to avail some of their drinks and dishes.

There are also fewer kitties here than in Calico, which might not be enjoyable for those who want to play with the cats personally. Still, the experience itself is worth the fee, as well as seeing the adorable babies here race around and play with each other!


Priding itself as one of the oldest cat cafes in Japan, this establishment has proved its worth through the times and continues to serve patrons from all ages and walks of life. Their history dates back to 2008, which you can watch from a slideshow presentation inside the store.

The establishment is quite small compared to the others, and this becomes quite obvious when it’s peak season or just busy hours in general. They also have a higher rate than others, which is at Y1100 for the first hours, according to a review on TripAdvisor. They have a fee of Y250 for each additional fifteen minutes.

Due to the size limitations, there are also quite fewer cats here, although many of them are still interesting with their own distinct personalities. They also offer complimentary drinks for people, which is a nice bonus to the package.

Another thing that sets this apart from others is that it allows children inside. Some cafes like Calico don’t allow anyone people under certain ages, making Nekorobi a positive option for parents.

What To Expect At Cat Cafés In Tokyo

MOCHA cat cafe in Shibuku

If you're planning to visit one of these places, here's what you can expect:

Sanitation and Orderliness

Cleanliness is of utmost importance to these establishments in order to keep their fur babies healthy and happy. Considering how many people go through these cafes in a day, it’s only common decency to wash and disinfect your hands before petting any of the felines.

You will also be asked to remove footwear and wear slippers provided by the café. This is normal, and they will keep your things in a secure locker for safekeeping.

Afterward, most patrons will be directed to a seating area, where you can order food and drinks from the menu. You will also be given certain instructions on how to interact with the cats.

Types Of Cats

Many cafes invest in having purebred kitties like the Maine Coon or a Siamese, as many people find them prettier to look at. Other places, however, are also open to having mixed breeds, such as the Ekoneko, which only takes shelter cats.

In any case, be assured to enjoy a diversity of furry friends to admire and play with!

Common Rules and Etiquettes

Due to the sensitivity of cats, it is essential that certain rules need to be kept in order to ensure that they stay relaxed and happy. Some of these may be obvious, such as not using flash when taking pictures.

On the other hand, some rules may be a dealbreaker for people, such as not being allowed to feed or pick up the cats. As already mentioned, other cafes may also have age restrictions.

With that being said, don't be afraid to walk up to these cafes in your favorite cat lover shirt. Just remember to be respectful and to always be mindful of your actions.


Are cat cafes in Japan ethical?

Although there is still an ongoing debate regarding the ethics of keeping so many cats in a single room and being exposed to too many people, Japan has a strict animal welfare law that these establishments follow.

How many cat cafes are in Tokyo?

Although there are no current studies to suggest what the current numbers are regarding cat cafes in the capital, an article from Vice writes that approximately 79 cat cafes have popped up in Japan between 2004 to 2009.

Why are cat cafes popular in Japan?

These places are famous for their relaxing ambiance as well as the adorable presence of their furry residents.

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