Tokyo is full of baffling attractions. Even more mind-bending is that most of them actually make perfect sense when you stop to think about it. Part of the fun of visiting Tokyo is tuning into the city’s unique sense of “normal”, so consider some of these unusual must-sees and get into a Tokyo frame of mind. [Read more...]
Though the first cat café, named Cat Flower Garden, opened in Taipei, Taiwan in 1998, the concept blossomed in Japan, where nearly 150 such spots have opened in the past decade, mostly in the country’s capital of Tokyo. Visiting with kitties does not come cheap, however. At Calico, one of Tokyo’s most popular cat cafes, one hour of cuddling costs 900 yen, with 200 yen for each additional 15 minutes. Drinks cost an extra 200 yen each, but are slightly cheaper than the 400 yen grande lattes available at the feline-free Starbucks.
Cat Café Nekorobi, also in Tokyo, charges by the hour as well (up to 1,200 yen on weekends or holidays), but throws in free vending machine drinks and snacks, as well as cat-free forms of entertainment like a Wii and board games. Cat Magic, in Nagoya in south central Japan, offers an extensive set menu (complete with beer and sake) priced to include some built-in playtime. Since Japan treats cat cafés as exhibition facilities like zoos and aquariums, there are fewer regulations regarding the serving of food and drink as there might be at traditional restaurants.
The establishments, which house anywhere from 12 to 24 mixed breed or purebred cats, do have strict rules regarding how the animals are handled. Guests are not allowed to wake any sleeping cats, hold any clearly unhappy cat or take photos of the cats with a flash camera (many who visit spend their time taking pictures or drawing the cats).
The cats manage to drag in their fair share of felinophiles the rest of the day, keeping business purring along.
Source: BBC Travel
Image: Info Barrel