Animal cafés have exploded in popularity worldwide, from Tokyo to New York. These venues let you dine alongside cute critters and furry friends, creating a fun, welcoming space for diners looking to relax.
Japan is perhaps the most famous animal café destination worldwide. Tokyo is the epicenter of this culture – from cats and dogs to hedgehogs and owls, there are dozens of fantastic animal cafés in Tokyo just waiting for you.
Follow this guide to learn about the types of animal café in Tokyo, how to choose a good one, and what you should know before visiting. We also provide a guide to our top 10 animal cafés in Tokyo below – let’s get stuck in!
What Types of Animal Cafés are There in Tokyo?
Tokyo has 14m people and some of the most exciting retail and hospitality districts worldwide. Its animal cafés are no exception to this. The city boasts cafés themed around cats, dogs, birds, rabbits, micropigs, fish, and even hedgehogs!
These are the most common types of animal café in Tokyo.
The cat café is the original and best-loved theme. They’re enduringly popular as the cats are very well-fed and don’t tend to intrude on the dining experience – they typically stay off the tables but are happy to come up for a snuggle or sit in a customer’s lap. Cat cafés in Tokyo often have dozens of friendly felines wandering around the tables, saying hello to diners, and minding their own business.
Like any animal café in Tokyo, there are strict cat feeding rules. The most prominent rule is: don’t unless you’re provided with cat food by the staff!
The cats receive plenty of cat-friendly food and would become unhealthy if this was constantly supplemented with morsels of food meant for human consumption.
Some cat cafés allow more interaction with the cats than others. It’s best to inquire with the owner if you’re unsure how to interact with the cats.
Dogs have been a welcome fixture in cafés, taverns, and pubs for time immemorial. An owner’s dog might come and say hello to visitors, and some places welcome visitors’ dogs as long as they’re well-behaved.
A dog café in Tokyo is a little different.
The main difference is the number of dogs! There will be a lot of dogs at any given animal café in Tokyo that caters to dog lovers. Big dogs, small dogs, native species, foreign breeds – there are so many dog cafés in Tokyo that you can find almost every breed somewhere. Ask the owner if you’re looking to meet a particular breed!
Good dog cafés ensure that their canines are well-exercised and healthy. As with cat cafés, the #1 rule is not to feed the dogs unless explicitly permitted by the owner – human food isn’t good for our canine friends, and they’ll be well-fed anyway! So don’t believe those puppy eyes as you tuck into some delicious local food.
Bird / Owl Cafés
Bird cafés may sound slightly chaotic, but many birds are incredibly responsive to training and know how to behave. You’re more likely to find a café specializing in owls and other birds of prey than pigeons (the pigeon café is literally every street in Tokyo).
Many cafés let you interact with the birds! Owl cafe is a popular choice. They’re less intimate than dogs or cats, but many people find their presence soothing. Likewise, birds of prey are common because of their excellent behavior and inquisitive nature.
Rabbits are cute, cuddly, and highly social animals. Rabbit cafés in Tokyo are pretty standard, although watch your feet as you navigate these venues – rabbits are extremely lively and inquisitive! They’ll want to come and say hello.
Many rabbit cafés allow the bunnies to roam free, and these are generally your best choice. While it’s common for rabbits to spend some time in a hutch or even a large cage, it’s much more pleasant to dine with rabbits that get to run around and interact than spend all day in a cage.
Again, you should avoid feeding the rabbits – they get plenty of food from their owners! Most rabbits aren’t too good at remembering the rules (or they just like breaking them), so you may have to move the bunny away from your food or put it down if it gets curious.
Micropigs are perhaps the cutest animals known to humankind. For this reason alone, it’s no surprise that there’s an animal café in Tokyo where you can dine surrounded by micropigs (see below for details!)
These adorable creatures will come up to say hello, snuggle in your lap, and are more than happy to fall asleep on you, given a chance. Micropig cafés are one of the more niche options, but it’s an unforgettable experience.
It’s common for cafés and restaurants to have an aesthetic fish tank or a small aquarium. Fish cafés in Tokyo take it to the next level – every wall features exotic, beautiful fish in spacious tanks, gliding around and providing a calming backdrop for diners.
If you’re unsure about the intimacy of dining surrounded by animals, this is a great place to start. There’s no risk of morsels being stolen from your plate by an inquisitive critter, and fish are incredibly soothing to watch.
Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Animal cafés in Tokyo have it all.
Hedgehogs are surprisingly cuddly when they’re accustomed to humans. You’re less likely to find hedgehogs roaming around the floor than dogs or cats, but the staff at hedgehog cafés will happily let you interact with these lovely animals (one person at a time).
Hedgehog cafés may also feature other small mammals, such as hamsters, meerkats, and gophers. This is the place for you if you’re a fan of all things small and cuddly.
Finding the Perfect Animals Café in Tokyo for You
An animal café can be a daunting experience if it’s your first visit. Here’s a guide to help you choose an animal café in Tokyo that will make you feel comfortable, welcome, and safe.
Pretty obvious – if you or anyone you’re with don’t like a particular animal, don’t visit the café! Or if they’re allergic! It’s no fun dragging a friend along to a rabbit café if they’re going to be uncomfortable the whole time.
If you prefer a less hands-on experience, a fish/aquarium café or a hedgehog café is probably your best bet. A bird café may also suit your tastes. However, dogs and cats (and micropigs) are great choices if you want to get up close and personal.
Many cafés charge per half hour. Some of the most exclusive cafés have fairly steep pricing – ask about pricing before you reserve a table. And you will have to reserve a table at virtually all animal cafés in Tokyo! They’re extremely popular.
Remember that the cost covers pet welfare as well as coffee and cake. It’s not cheap taking care of 20-30 cats or dogs; they need regular exercise, tons of food, and space to sleep.
Some cafés that offer a more hands-on experience serve a somewhat limited menu. This is because pets don’t always understand where to draw the line, and customers are only too happy to oblige when a cute animal asks for a treat.
Coffee, tea, donuts, and cakes are common refreshments. These can be consumed within the short timeframe that some cafés offer, and they’re less tempting to the animals. If you’re looking for a more extensive menu, it’s probably best to visit an aquarium café.
Before visiting any animal café in Tokyo, it’s worth discovering how they treat their animals. Dining around cuddly pets is delightful, but only if the pets are having a good time.
Research a café before visiting and find out how the animals are treated. Customer reviews are another great way to find out if an establishment holds itself to high animal welfare standards.
Some cafés are very relaxed about letting their animals roam and greet customers. Others have strict contact rules, and animals can only be handled when a staff member approves. This may be for the animals’ good – too much handling can stress some pets out.
Be sure you understand and abide by the contact rules when you visit any animal café. Be respectful to the animals and staff members.
Top 10 Animal Cafés in Tokyo
These are our top picks for fun, relaxing day out surrounded by beautiful animals in Tokyo!
1. Temari No Ouchi, Kichijoji – Cats italian cat
One of the best things about Temari No Ouchi Cat cafe is that there’s no time limit on your stay. You can cuddle cats and enjoy coffee and snacks all day!
It’s also located relatively close to the Studio Ghibli Museum, and the same aesthetic inspires its decor. An excellent place for cat lovers in Tokyo.
2. Dog Heart, Tomigaya – Dogs
The 16 dogs here are always delighted to meet a new face! It’s a lively, bustling café where you can enjoy coffee while snuggling dogs to your heart’s content.
You can also volunteer to take a dog out for a walk in the nearby park – we love this feature!
3. Capyneko Café, Kichijoji – Cats Plus One Capybara
This lovely space is home to Tawashi, a cuddly capybara! He lives alongside numerous cats in one of Tokyo’s most famous cat cafés.
Recline on soft furnishings and play with the residents while enjoying a relaxing cup of tea—an underrated gem.
4. Mipig Café, Meguro – Micropigs
The Mipig Micro Pig House has several locations across Japan. This branch in Meguro, Tokyo, is a wonderful place to meet healthy adult micropigs – you’ll be amazed at how cute they are!
The tiny pigs are friendly and curious. They love nothing better than to snuggle and fall asleep on your lap. It’s a wonderful place, although note that visits are booked in 30-minute sessions.
5. Mimi, Ikebukuro – Rabbits
This rabbit café in Tokyo is relaxed, welcoming, and a great place to de-stress after a day wandering around Tokyo. The expert staff takes excellent care of the rabbits, and you’ll never be short of a friend here!
6. Moff Rell, Akihabara – Rabbits
Moff Rell is another great rabbit café. The bunnies here love to be petted and snuggled on your lap as you enjoy a coffee. Located in the lively Akihabara district, it’s a family-friendly venue.
7. Chiku Chiku Café, Shibuya – Hedgehogs
They’re only prickly on the outside! The hedgehogs at Chiku Chiku Café in Tokyo’s famous Shibuya region are soft and friendly and will be delighted to make your acquaintance.
8. Akiba Fukorou Owl Café, Akihabara – Owls
Bird lovers will be delighted to meet the fantastic variety of owls at Akiba Fukurou Owl Café. The birds are well-cared for, and the staff will happily introduce you if you wish!
9. Kingyozaka, Bunkyo – Fish
Kingykozaka is a soothing experience. Enjoy delicious food and drinks while surrounded by tranquil goldfish swimming in an enchanting, softly lit space—the perfect introduction for those looking to try out an animal café in Tokyo.
10. Nekoya, Omiya – Cats
Nekoya is a famous cat café with the largest cat room in the region. Guests can recline in comfortable massage chairs while the friendly felines doze off in their lap.
Staff is happy to provide guests with cat food to feed the pets during feeding hours.
Animals Café in Tokyo: Where to Begin
Visiting an animal café is an experience unlike any other. They love to snuggle, but let them come to you rather than chase them around! The golden rule is to be mindful of the animals’ welfare and happiness – follow the staff members’ instructions and don’t overcrowd the pets.
Whether you’re looking for a tranquil evening dining among aquarium tanks or a fun frolic with dogs while you enjoy a coffee, the animal cafés of Tokyo have something for everyone. Check out our recommendations and book your visit!
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