If you ever want to feel rejected and unloved, go to a cat cafe. It’s no secret Japan favors these cute fluffy felines, i.e. Hello Kitty. So I guess it should be no surprise that cat cafes are quite popular here. I researched some sites in Tokyo where I found a handy list of animal cafes and was shocked at the diversity. From rabbits, to birds, snakes, and goats, these cafes exist. Wow, who knew it was a thing to catch up with your friends with an ice mocha while a snake accompanies your table. While that thought is tempting… I opted for the cat list instead.
Skimming through the list I noticed the words, “forest of wondrous cats and fairy tale decor.” I’m sorry, did you just say fairy tale? DONE. Prissy princess over here. Anyways, off to the subway we went towards Tokyo in the area of Kichijoji. After an hour commute, we arrived at the town which was livelier than expected with many familiar brands and chains. The day was so cold though, so we breezed through the commercial streets to the cafe ten minutes away. A narrow staircase led upwards to a miniature patio with logs as seats and a painted door with cat windows.
We were so excited and immediately took our shoes off to stand in line. I was already hanging up my coat when the fiancé turned to me with disappointing news. Apparently there wasn’t availability until 3 pm. Sigh, if only we knew reservations were necessary. Since we traveled all the way to Tokyo, we decided to kill the two hours with some delicious ramen. And donuts.
Coming back to the cat cafe, there was a different girl at the register where we struggled to explain our reservations existed. The line grew behind us in that narrow hallway, thankfully Google Translate came to our rescue. There was a $16 cover charge and a list of simple rules such as sanitizing hands and no feeding or carrying cats. When we entered the cafe, it really was a fairy tale book. A ceiling of clouds, chandeliers covered in vines, and a log house centered the space. This whimsical scene was home to 17 cats and we quickly realized how scattered they were. After being shown to our seats we explored the space, cruising by a bucket of toys and passing through hiding spaces. Most cats were sleeping or lounging, no active motion whatsoever. The instant a cat made a move, a crowd of squealing girls would circle around for photos to capture any sudden flash of cuteness. It was probably the most entertaining highlight.
The majority of our half hour there was spent hunting around to pet cats nearby while they snubbed us and hurried off.We lingered in jealousy, eyeing the lucky ones who’s tables were deemed worthy enough for the cats to lounge by. Ah we were so sad, disappointed we left deflated. Yet we couldn’t help but laugh, amused at how we just let those cats validate our self-esteem. Embarrassing. We mutually agreed to visit a puppy cafe next time.