Cat Cafes. I never knew what the big fuss was about cat cafes so I went to one in Omiya, Saitama. The idea to go was actually my colleagues suggestion. We headed to a cafe that was close by Omiya Station. For what was considered a weird suggestion turned into an interesting experience.
The cafe was called Nekoya. We arrived at the cat cafe with a group of about 9 people. There was a lady who met up us at the front desk. When I say front desk, it seemed more like a ticketbox-like counter with a little gap opening that allowed you to give the lady cash and for her to give you change if necessary. The lady informed us that the charge was on an hourly basis. It would cost 1000 yen per hour. We all agreed that we would stay for one hour.
Before proceeding we way into the cat cafe, we were told about some of the ground rules when it came to handling the cats in the cafe. Some rules included:
1) Do not pick up the cats
2) Do not forcefully take the cats out of their cage
3) Gently touch the cat
4) For cats with a specific sign (that she showed us), only pat its head and not the body.
After being told the rules, we had to wash our hands. We were also given a tag which indicated the time we started so we could keep track of time, otherwise we would be charged 200 yen for each following 10 or 15 minutes.
Once all the logistics were done, we walked in and it was quite magical. Indeed, there was no waiter to serve us coffee, apart from what was available in the fridge which cost 100 yen, but I never thought a cat cafe would be so soothing. I was never a cat person, but it was very enjoyable to be in a cafe with cute fluffy cats lying around. There were cats of all shapes and sizes. We got to pat them, if they were close and allowed us to. It was pretty interesting to see how other people were there sitting on comfy seats and reading manga. Yes, the cat cafe had manga.
During the hour we were there, the front desk lady used props to dress up the cats to make it look drunk due to sake and make it more interesting. We saw a cat with pants on and a tiny cat and slept in a huge cup. It was the most adorable thing ever. We were also lucky enough to experience what was known as “snack time” for the cats. The cafe staff gave me fish paste and we were able to feed the cats. One particular cat’s, Sasuke, came up to me and practically eat all the fish paste that I had.
Not long after, our hour was up and we had to leave. We paid our hour and the front desk lady gave us each a discount where we got to choose the front picture of the card. There was a few designs to choose from such as a cat in a Totoro costume, cat in a bowl and such. I choose the design that had Sasuke on it. This beautiful grey and white cat had a lovely red tie around his neck. It was the sweetest thing ever.
I do hope to go back another time and would recommend it to anyone. At least give it a go and see for yourself. Its Japan. Why not!
Here are some shots I took while I was visiting the cafe.