Animal Cafes – the photos!
Following my recent post about animal cafes, some more images to help set the scene…
Cats line up as they realize food is being handed out by a cafe customer.
Crowds on a busy day at a Tokyo Cat Cafe
The notice board shows profiles of all the resident cats as one enters a Cat Cafe. Details include their name, age, favourite foods, character and personality traits.
A staff member shows a chart of all the dogs available to rent at a local Dog Cafe. Those currently on hire are marked with a cross.
A Quiet Cat Cafe
This small 10-cat cafe in Harajuku provided a calm refuge from the shopping madness in the streets outside on a busy holiday morning.
Cats in the cafes are free to play, wander or sleep whenever they like. There is a set of rules displayed for customers at every cafe, one of which is always that sleeping cats be left alone and not picked up or prodded to wake them.
Some first-time customers photograph one of the cats…
…while another plays with a cat using one of many toys provided at the cafe.
And this one slept the entire time.
One winter evening this year I ran into a girl walking a rabbit in the street and handing out flyers for a local Usagi (rabbit) cafe. After mentioning this to the producers of a popular TV program, Cool Japan, they decided to film my visit to the cafe for a segment on the show.
We met the cafe manager on the street, walking one of the rabbits.
Taking the rabbit’s lead and walking him around the local area, he stopped and began eating some flowers and leaves in a flower bed.
Inside the cafe is a bank of cages where the bunnies live when not running around on the floor.
A wide variety of rabbits are available, and the customer chooses what kind of rabbits he or she would like to mingle with while sipping a drink.
Of course rabbits being rabbits, there are often babies at the cafe.
The rabbits fall into 2 categories: “Staff Rabbits” are permanent residents whereas non-staff rabbits are for sale.
This is a really good idea as prospective owners can give various rabbits a trial run, playing with them, feeding them and stroking them before choosing which to buy.
Selections made, the chosen rabbits are taken from their cages and set loose on the floor where they frolic around, nibbling on cushions and table legs while avoiding being stepped on by the crew.
They leave a trail of “raisins” on the floor which are picked up at regular intervals by cafe staff.
One lovely thing is being able to feed various bunnies small vegetables and fruit from a bowl provided by the manager for a small fee.
Once aware that I have food the rabbits converge and crawl on me, which is obviously a delightful thing for customers.
The monster was let loose.
Mittsu, a staff rabbit, is the size of a small dog and weighs over 6kg. He makes huge thumping noises as he jumps around.
Initially chewing on the walls and cushions (see the bare patches around the walls in the photograph), he was quickly provided with a bowl full of vegetables into which he immediately thrust his head and devoured the lot in seconds.
An interview with the manager.
Every evening a chosen rabbit is taken out as pedestrian bait.
Passing girls squeal “kawaiiii!” and stop to stroke the rabbit while being given flyers for the cafe. Great promotion!
On colder nights the bunny wears a little coat (also for sale at the cafe), guaranteeing even more attention from local women.
You Want Goats? We Got Goats!
Sakuragaoka Cafe in Shibuya is renowned for its resident goats, Sakura and Chocola. They live at the front of the cafe acting as magnets for passing trade.
Their names and profile information are displayed on plaques at the front of their pen.
Because they live in their pen, the goats don’t wander freely around interacting with customers in the same way cats and rabbits do at their respective cafes.
However they can look in through the front windows and be petted from all sides through the open bars of their pen.
Customers stroke them and feed them tidbits of expensive cafe food.
And the goats are gawked at and photographed by an almost continuous procession of people walking past the front of the cafe.
More information and links to various animal cafes can be found on the previous post:
All You Ever Wanted to Know About Animal Cafes