Nyankoto cat cafe

Like many members of generation Y, most of my dreams are pretty unrealistic. Publish a novel, release an album, meet Kate Bush, buy a house in zone 3, be verified on twitter… So it’s pretty nice when I have a dream that can come true for ¥800 an hour: go to a cat cafe.

NyankotoOn hearing that I had achieved this modest life goal, my Mum said she had filed cat cafes under “Zany things you read about Japan in newspapers, but don’t quite believe are real.” In fact there are many establishments in Tokyo where you can go to pet cute animals, not just cats but owls and even penguins! (Have to say I feel slightly uncomfortable about the animal welfare implications of the latter, but I will reserve judgement until I know more…) It makes sense in a city where working hours are long and living space is small, making pet ownership difficult. We chose to leave the Studio Ghibli-esqe Temari no Uchi cat cafe for another day and instead head to the Nyankoto cat cafe in Takadanobaba. This lovely establishment has a homely, chilled atmosphere and is  one of the best value for money cat cafes in Tokyo. I had a tonne of fun going with friends, but it’s also the kind of place that would be good for relaxing alone; they have free wifi and ample plug sockets so I could really picture myself writing a blog post there, stopping for frequent kitty love breaks. For now, ladies and gentlemen, let me present to you the furry stars of the Nyankoto Cat Cafe!

For our first half an hour at the cafe we were unsure whether this was actually a cat or a bundle of coarse fur in a basket...
For our first half an hour at the cafe we were unsure whether this was actually a cat or a bundle of coarse fur in a basket…
However he did eventually rear his extremely ugly head... It became clear that this bastard, who we named 'Demon Sheep Cat' due to his coarse fur and EVIL eyes, was the overlord of the cat cafe.
However he did eventually rear his extremely ugly head… It became clear that this big bastard, who we named ‘Demon Sheep Cat’ due to his coarse fur and EVIL eyes, was the overlord of the cat cafe.
“I have you now my pretty!” Demon Sheep Cat occasionally had to assert his authority by terrorising Perpetually Worried Looking Cat. Selective breeding has somehow left this gorgeous bundle of kitten fluff with unbelievably soulful eyes that tilt upwards, in the way I would try to depict sad looking things when I was drawing aged 10.
Perpetually Worried Looking Cat would find relief from this terrorizing by playing with his imaginary friend.
Perpetually Worried Looking Cat would find relief from this Demon Sheep Cat’s evil rule by playing with his imaginary friend.
But look how terrified he looks! Those eyes are SLITS.
But look how terrified he looks! Those eyes are SLITS.
My adopted fury baby for the day was a curious grumpy looking kitten called Bell. I have a soft spot ugly/grumpy cats.
My adopted fury baby for the day was a curious grumpy looking kitten called Rin (I think). I have a soft spot ugly/grumpy cats.
My boyfriend was so impressed with Bell chan he wanted to immortalise her through art...
My boyfriend was so impressed with Rin chan he wanted to immortalise her through art…
...but she was unimpressed with his artistic ability.
…but she was unimpressed with his artistic ability.
Of the other characters at the cat cafe, this guy really liked his box and had an amazing colouring I've never seen before
Of the other characters at the cat cafe, this guy really liked his box and had an amazing fur colouring I’ve never seen before
and this dude was so keen to get his food he used one of the staff as a ladder.
and this dude was so keen to get his food he used one of the staff as a ladder. Lucky thing.

For those who are worried about the well-being of the cats, they seemed well cared for and happy. I’ve heard that animal welfare laws in Japan forbid animals from ‘working’ for more than four hours at a time so the cats must be brought out in shifts – this was the case at Nyankoto as there were far more profiles of cats on the wall than cats I actually saw. I had a wonderful time and I would recommend Nyankoto for anyone who wants to experience a cat cafe on a budget, or just enjoy the relaxed, welcoming atmosphere.

Next stop, owl cafe!

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