I feel very much like putting off blogging more but I will try to be responsible haha, and I will also begin commenting your blogs again starting this evening. I miss reading all your lovely blogs the most when I am away from the net hehe^^
Interior of Nekorobi
If you are in Tokyo, but don't have the time or resources for a relaxing day outside the city, there are plenty of things to do downtown that are calming and non-hectic! One of my favorite way to chill out for an afternoon (and now escape the summer heat too) is to visit a cat cafe! One of those unique fixtures of Japan for sure XD
The first cat cafe was opened in Ikebukuro several years ago, and proved popular enough to be replicated by many different companies in various locations all over Tokyo. Now you can also find cafes for other animals, I know there is a rabbit cafe, and it's possible to rent a dog for short-term walk in Odaiba.
Kitty in a pretty blue bowl
People, especially from areas that have plenty of living space, may be puzzled or even scoff at the idea of spending money just to hang around with animals. But these cafes serve a real and useful service in cramped Tokyo! In a city where most people live in apartments that are too small to comfortably house a pet (if they are even permitted) cat cafes are a great way to enjoy the company of companion animals without having to worry where the litter box will go haha!
I've been to a couple cat cafes now, so I think I have the basic rules and operations understood. Most cafes seem to run the same way, so these tips should help you if you decide to visit one during your trip, travel or stay^^/ I will be talking mostly about my trip to cat cafe Nekorobi, located in Ikebukuro.
Most of them are sleepy like this
But some are awake too!
Cat cafes run by the hour, which means the cost you pay as you enter is for an hour. There is fee for going over the hour limit, so if you feel like you want more time to chill out, be sure to order more time before entering (that's cheaper). After paying, you will then remove your shoes and put on some provided slippers. Your shoes will be stowed in a locker and your bag may go in too, or there may be separate lockers for bags. Either way they are free.
Next you will wash your hands as they instructed you during the payment. This is for the cats protection, and I think its a good idea to wash your hands again after you finish for your own sake. After you've washed your hands you are now free to play with the cats for the next hour!
Cat packed fresh in a barrel haha!!
I Table with cat photo albums, journals and snacks
If you've gone to a smaller, less known cafe it's likely you will get free drinks and small snack included with the entry fee. However cat cafes in prime locations are going to make you pay for that luxury. Nekorobi had self serve vending machines for the drinks, and a small basket of crackers, cookies and candies out on the table.
Most of the cats at Nekorobi were sleeping, sluggish or just uninterested in playing. You can't pick the cats up, only pet them, so you may get bored of just petting them eventually. You are in luck haha! Nekorobi also had a Wii game system for your entertainment, or if you want to keep the cat vibe going you can write about your cat cafe experience/feelings in the provided public journal.
Watching the Wii
I personally had a great time at cat cafe Nekorobi! I like cats very much, and I didn't mind if they were sleepy it was easier to photograph them haha! Obviously people with short attention spans or dislike of cats/animals will not enjoy a cat cafe. But I think this is the best sort of cafe! Drinks, a very relaxing atmosphere and some very softy kittys to pet!
Actually Nekorobi is a great option if you are going out for an afternoon with friends as well. If you are going to a Starbucks for a chat you're already spending like 600 yen for a drink, so why not pay a bit more (1000 yen for 1 hour) for some friendly cats and Wii gameplay?
About as lively as they get haha
3F Tact T.O Building
Higashi-Ikebukuro, Toyoshima-ku, Tokyo
BTW: It didn't stink at all inside, and they have the liter box hidden from view!