Japanese are animal lovers, in Tokyo there are different cafes where people can pet an animal, while having a cup of coffee or tea. There are cat cafes, owls cafes, birds(parrots,canaries,lovebir
ds) cafes, bunnies cafes, dog cafes, goat cafes and even snake cafes.
We just visit a cat cafe, it was an experience. First the cafe was located in the 5 and 6th floor, the elevator was small and slow, so we climbed the stairs to the fifth floor, but the entrance was not there, it was on the sixth, so we kept climbing, at our arrival we manage to ask the price and the lady gave a full page written in English explaining what to do and not to do and the price for one hour.
After reading we moved faces up/down accepting, then she showed in our wrist watches the time. We followed all the instructions: remove shoes in the entrance , place then in a locker inside, take slippers according to size from a rack , wash hands with warm water and soap, dry and spray alcohol,go inside, place belongings in locker , sit and wait for the cats to come. The place look like a living room with pillows in the floor and chairs like the ones to play video games.
We were lucky it was food time for the cats, so we were given small plates with small portions and the cats came to eat, some allowed to be pet, others moved to the next person with food, all different in color, ages and sizes. In the place there were toys and cat towers, shelves and little houses so after a while some cats placed himself/herself in one of them while others ran to the floor below, we followed, this was a bigger space with tables and chairs and shelves all around and in the center cat towers and little houses, people were drinking coffee or tea talking, petting the cats that came to them, some cats were going around legs like deciding who they would allowed to pet them, in the shelves there were manga books, magazines and dvds, also there were a couple of areas behind windows where people were watching the films or reading. We just waited for the cats so settle in the cat towers or houses and pet them.
My husband found a couple of cats in the stairs where he pet them until they fell asleep, by then our hour was up, so we headed up to pick our things, pay, leave the place and to follow the rest of the instructions: Wash hand with warm water and soap, leave slippers in the bin for used slippers, go to the locker and pick up shoes, exit to the entrance to put shoes. That was the end of our adventure in the Calico Cat cafe.
By now it was dark and the street looked very different from when we arrived to the cafe, so google map helped us to find the Shinjuku station, when we arrived we noticed that it looked different. When we first arrived we noticed a bakery on our way out of the station and now it was no longer there, fortunately, we knew that we had to take the Yamanote Line, so we started reading all the panels for directions, which are in japanese and English, after a while we found the bakery and we knew we were close to the right Line.
Let me explain, when we figured out what happened, we learned that the Yamanote Line arrives in Shinjuku West and the place google took us was Shinjuku East, same big station different area. Several of the Stations are hubs to trains to towns outside Tokyo as well as subway stations, one has to be vigilant not to get lost. Also these stations are like big malls with restaurants, convenient stores, cafe places, bakeries, souvenir stores. We were lucky to have seen the bakery and have it as reference, so we found our way back. We bought sweet bread and after taking our train back to Ikebukuro we bought milk in the Lawson convenience store one block away from the airbnb and had a nice light supper with bread, milk and tea we prepared(we brought our favorites tea from Houston, chamomile, decaf green tea and Earl Gray)
If you are interested to know the 10 best animal cafes in Tokyo here is the link:
Again the poster of the Calico Cat cafe: