Smile Articles


Many of us have experienced the frustration of trying to find a rental property that allows pets, however the problem here is miniscule when compared to the same situation in a city like Tokyo Japan, where the size of an entire rental apartment is often smaller than the average living room here in Australia.

Many people in Japan simply have to give in to the fact that they are never going to be able to have a pet, and it is from this sad fact that an entirely new industry has developed in the land of the rising sun! Welcome to the new era of the CAT CAFÉ.

For the equivalent of around 15 Australian dollars you get to spend one hour of quality time surrounded by adorable felines and as it is a café they even throw in a cup of your favourite brew.

The first thing that really stands out when you visit any of these cafés is the amazing cleanliness of not only the premises but also the cats. When it comes to cleanliness I've always found Japanese people can be almost obsessive and these places are no exception. before you even walk in the door it's shoes off and house slippers on and as you will see in the photos and videos below if you were to accidentally drop your complimentary biscuit served with your coffee on the floor you'd just pick it back up and put it right back on your plate. ( Much to the horror of the Japanese staff and patrons! ) But seriously, these places are spotless and would put many other cafés around the world that aren't even inhabited by dozens of cats to shame.

Each café has its own set of rules for patrons to abide by in order to reduce any possible stress to the feline inhabitants. An abundance of staff are also on hand to monitor both patrons and cats to ensure that everyone involved gets the most from their visit.

If you are new to the concept then the following video shot by two foreigners visiting a café in Tokyo will quickly bring you up to speed.

The café in the above video is called Calico Café and it is in a building in Shibuya in Tokyo, but if you are after an even more relaxing and tranquil experience then Happy Cat Café, which is also in Shibuya may be more to your liking.


Tokyo Shibuya-ku dōgenzaka 2 - 28 - 3

happy cat cafe shibuya 1

happy cat cafe shibuya 2

happy cat cafe shibuya 3

happy cat cafe shibuya 4

Opening Times:   11am to 11pm
Holidays:   Open every day of the year
Price:   30 minutes 525yen
Number of Cats:   14
Cat Treats:   105yen

Undoubtedly a cat lover's heaven and we are told (unconfirmed) that the trend has also started to take off in European countries.

I may be wrong but it doesn't seem like something that will find its way to Australia. What do you think?

In the interim, if you are a cat lover and need to get a bit of this feline action then a quick trip to Tokyo is just what you need. I am sure any good travel agent would be able to include this in your itinerary and as the Calico Café in the video above had an English translation of the house rules it may be just the right spot to make as your first port of call.


Since this article was first written we have received information about a new café in Tokyo that is showcasing cats from rescue organisations that are looking for their forever home. Suddenly, what at first seemed like just another crazy idea out of Japan, has turned into something that could really make a difference. Imagine being able to relax in a café style atmosphere and take your time to get to know your new potential feline partner before making the decision to adopt.

We think it is a superb idea and it is now something that we would love to see take off here in Australia too. Good on the Japanese for their innovative idea!

Team Pet Adoption Finder