Cat cafes (and animal cafes in general) are still thriving in Tokyo. Local friends told me they started because most residents can’t have pets of their own, but still crave the companionship of a furry friend. As someone who misses my animals when I go down the street, I am so grateful that places like this exist where I can have a cup of tea and pet all of the cats. But how do you choose which Tokyo cat cafe to visit? Easy: I did it for you. Check out my very favorite, Cat Cafe Temari no Ouchi.
Cat Cafe Temari no Ouchi is located in one of my favorite neighborhoods, Kichijōji. Stroll through the boutiques, eat some delicious food, and then go hang out with some cats, because why not? The cat cafe itself is something out of a fairytale, with a painted sky and storybook houses fit for David the Gnome. Except in this fairytale, there are no gnomes (unless they’re hiding? It’s possible) — just cats, and lots of them — and the cats are treated like absolute royalty.
When you arrive, you’re asked to remove your shoes and wash your hands for the safety and health of the cats. They’ll seat you at a table with instructions on how you can and cannot interact with the cats (pretty common sense stuff, but rules are there for a reason!) and a menu with specialty drinks and small bites. Note: Ring the bell to place your order! We ordered coffees and scones, which were decorated with a tiny cat. Everything is adorable, here. Everything.
There are lots of regulars who hang out with the cats, drink coffee or tea, and work on their computers. You can tell who the regulars are, because they’re likely to be surrounded by cats. One young lady was blessed with cats galore (above, and on her lap out of frame). However, the cats are generally curious and friendly, and you are welcome to move about in search for a cat’s attention.
Feeding time is — I can’t overstate this — pure magic. The employees come out with dishes for every cat, name tag in place to make sure every single one is fed. If one is relaxing / in need of a break, they’ll bring them breakfast in bed. However, most of them come running when dinner is announced!
Most of the cats were very friendly and therefore interacted with us (unless they were sleeping, of course). In short, it was a wonderful experience: the staff was kind and so lovely with the cats, the atmosphere was warm and inviting, and the cats were highly entertaining. I was missing my animals something fierce, and this made me feel a little better.
Before leaving, you can buy a souvenir resident cat button from a machine (I think it was 200 or 300 Yen, a little under $2 or $3), or one of their pricier offerings. I’m such a sucker for those toy machines, so naturally I had to buy a button. Money well spent! Add Cat Cafe Temari no Ouchi to your next Tokyo trip, and let me know how you like it.
Cat Cafe Temari no Ouchi
Address: Japan, 〒180-0004 Tokyo, Musashino, 吉祥寺本町2 Chome−13−14
Admission fee: Weekdays ¥1,200 / weekends & holidays ¥1,600