Owning an animal in Tokyo is expensive, to say the least. Many apartments will not let you own anything other than a fish (and even those are debatable) or, if they do let you keep a furry creature, you have to pay between 2000 and 8000yen ($20 – $80) extra a month for that privilege.
Added to the fact that buying a kitten or puppy can already put you back upwards of $2000 and the incredibly long working hours that prevent owners from being able to properly walk, groom, and care for a furry friend, means that many people choose not to own a pet.
Instead, they go to animal cafes.
1. Cat Cafe Calico in Shinjuku
Cat cafes are, by far, the most common animal cafe in Japan. Many cat cafes take in rescues from the streets, training and acculturating them to human touch. Some also allow you to buy your favorite cat and take it home with you. In that way, they operate more like a cat shelter where you can play with the cats than a full-out “Cat Cafe.”
Calico is one of the most popular cat cafes in Tokyo, due to its central location, cheap prices, and ample English-speaking staff. It costs 1000yen ($10) per hour to play with the cats. It also operates as a cafe, so you can order food and drinks.
Most of the cats are purebreds or expensive brands, rather than rescues.
Address: 新宿区歌舞伎町1-16-2 富士ビルディング6F
Hours of Operation: 10：00～22：00, seven days a week
2. Rabbit Cafe Ohisama in Shimokitazawa
This rabbit cafe is located in the “hippie town” of Tokyo. The staff is friendly and the rabbits are adorable. You can also rent out the area for private birthday parties and other gatherings with the bunnies.
Unlike some of the other rabbit cafes in Tokyo, this place lets you have more than one rabbit out on the floor.
Prices vary. None of the staff speaks English.
Address: 〒155-0031 東京都世田谷区北沢２−１８−５ 下北沢Neビル２F
Hour of Operation: 12:00 – 20:00, seven days a week.
3. Goat Cafe Sakuragaoka in Shibuya
The Goat Cafe in Shibuya is a regular cafe… with two goats sitting in a large cage near the front door. If you ask the staff politely, they will give you a cup full of hay to feed the goats.
The cafe is a cafe first and home for the goats second. The menu is suburb and varies depending on the time of day. It is also a popular drinking spot for after-hour business hours.
The goats are a fairly recent addition to the Sakuragaoka cafe, in an attempt to make it more popular. Needless to say, it worked.
Address: 〒150-0031 東京都渋谷区桜丘町２３−３ 篠田ビル
Hours of Operation: 8am – 4am, seven days a week.
4. Owl Cafe Fukuro No Mise
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any crazier, yes there is an owl cafe in Tokyo. Actually, there are two of them.
This cafe is the newest on this list and is incredibly difficult to get into. You get to sip on a sugary caffeinated drink while petting and playing with any of a dozen live owls. Don’t worry about rampant owls; all of the fluffy birds are attached to the perch via a string on their leg.
Fukuro No Mise doesn’t allow advanced registration; you just have to show up the day of, wait in line for the opening, and sign up for a spot in the future. Even if you show up two hours early, you might be stuck with a “time” later that evening.
Address: Seven Star Mansion 1F, 2-6-7 Kiba, Koto-ku, Tokyo
Hours of Operation: Sun 12-6pm, Weds and Thurs 2-6pm, Fri 2-9pm, Sat 12-9pm. Closed Mon and Tues. English speaking staff every Friday.