The Wonderful World of the Japanese Cuddle Cafe
Pay to Snuggle at a Japanese Cuddle Cafe
Japan is home to some of the most unique and wonderful things in the world including the Japanese Cuddle Cafe, and yes, it’s exactly as it sounds. The Human Cuddle Café concept is relatively new to the Japanese Cuddle Café scene with the first one only being opened in 2012.
But why has this never been thought of before? Imagine if you have had a bad day at work or are just feeling lonely and fancy a cuddle, well if you happen to be in Japan, then you can go and have one, for a fee of course. A Human Cuddle Café may be relatively new but the idea surrounding animal cuddle cafés have been around for over a decade now!
Cat Cuddle Café
Contrary to popular belief, the first cat café was actually open in Taiwan in 1998 however the concept only really took off when it was brought to Japan. The first Japanese Cat Café was called Cat’s Time and was opened in 2004 in Osaka. Since then there has been an eruption of cat cafes appearing throughout Japan, with there being over 100 cat cafes in Tokyo alone. As with many animals, everybody has a favourite breed and the Japanese have noted this, creating some cafes which home specific types of cat such as black cats, ex-stray cats and even fat cats!
In Japan, the Maneki Neko also known as the Fortune Cat or Lucky Cat is considered a lucky charm amongst Japanese Culture so this could be why Japan loves cat cafes so much. Another interesting fact is that in Tokyo, many residents live in small accommodation where pets including cats are not allowed to live so people choose to go to cat cafes to experience the affection which pets provide.
Cat Cafes are not just there to take your money though, many of the establishments are ethically focused by providing high standards to ensure the cats are not disturbed too much and to keep them in a healthy environment and also donate to cat welfare charities.
Bunny Cuddle Café
As many Japanese living in cities are not allowed pets in their flat, animal cuddle cafes are popping up everywhere. A popular alternative to Cat Cafes are Bunny Cafes, where that’s right, it’s filled with lots of fluffy bunnies. These cafes are not just designed for you to surround yourself with your favourite pet animals but too allow you to relax.
Cafes are decorated with photos of the occupants and some even have rabbit shaped meals for you two eat such as a curry with the rice shaped like a little rabbit. Another fun feature with bunny cafes is that some allow you to BYOB, yes you guessed it, Bring Your Own Bunny. If you are lucky enough to have your own place where pets are allowed then bring your companion with you and he can make some new friends also. Please check that the cafes allows you to BYOB before you do!
If you’re looking for something a little different then why not visit an Owl Café. Owls are different to the previous pets mentioned in the sense that these are not pets and they are rarely seen never mind petted. An Owl Café would be suitable if you want to visit an animal themed café but want to try something off the beaten track. The first Owl Café opened in the Tsukishima region in 2013.
Owl Cafes are seen as more controversial as they are not house pets and should be living wild. However the establishments are still receiving a lot of attention from customers with people queuing for hours to spend time with an owl.
In early 2015, a ‘pop up’ Owl café appeared in London and was open for a week before it closed. Whether or not Owl Cafes will return to England is a mystery but Cat Cafes and Bunny Cafes have already made their way over here and by the welcoming response of the residents, we think they’re here to stay.
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