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Winter 2019

Japanese Animal Cafe: an Introvert's Paradise

Have you ever wanted to be surrounded by hooting owls or stared at by sleepy felines? The Japanese certainly have, and like any good enterprising individual, they have worked to make their dreams a reality.

When I went to Japan last year, I had the wonderful experience of going to a cat café. I spent two hours coexisting with cats, happy as I’d ever been. The fact that Japan had cat cafés—a place with manga and computers for the humans and high perches and toys for the cats—blew my mind. As I talked to my Japanese friend about it, she said, “It’s great, isn’t it? Next time we should go to an owl café!”

Photo by Daniel Pouliot. License CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.As it turns out, the cat café (and even the owl café) is just the beginning. Japan has hamster cafés, bunny cafés, snake cafés—basically every kind of café for any kind of individual. If you are an animal lover, go to Japan and spend some time in the company of your favorite pets.

It’s inexpensive, too—the cat café we visited cost 1000 yen an hour (which roughly translates to ten dollars an hour), up to a limit of 5000 yen. After that, the time we spent there was free. Keep in mind that this café also has full access to the internet, massage chairs, and books. Lots of books.

As an introvert, I was in heaven. It was the perfect mix of animals, activities, and a calming atmosphere.

The next time you are in Japan, consider adding an animal café to your list of potential locations. Truly, it is a paradise for all animal-loving introverts.

—by Sarah Birdsall
Cover Photo by Like_the_Grand_Canyon. License CC BY-NC 2.0.