My trip to a cat cafe
The other day I finally got around to visiting a place that I’ve wanted to check out for some time: a cat cafe.
No, there’s no relationship to maid cafes or anything like that. It’s not even really a place to get a cup of coffee (though they do offer a small selection food and drinks). It’s a “cafe” more in the sense of an internet cafe and the usage system is almost identical, except instead of a room full of computers you buy time to go into a room full of cats.
Meow, as a cat lover this was purrfectly right up my alley (sorry, but I wanted to get all the puns out of the way early), so I went to check it out one morning.
Everyone gets an introductory tour on their first visit, so I guess that would be a good place for me to start the blog too.
Reception Area (left). Private rooms (right).
This is the first floor. You enter the cat cafe, take off your shoes and put on slippers, then you get your time slip that records when you entered the cafe and whether you asked for any of the hourly package plans (you can get a special deal for 1 or 2 hour blocks). Then, you proceed to the handwash area (so you don’t give your germs to kitty).
Right next to the handwash room are all the private rooms. If you choose to pay for a private room you get to choose your room/cat and you have them all to yourself for as long as you are in the room. Not sure if all that includes a guarantee that the cat will be playful/awake or not…
Anyway, I didn’t elect for a private session so let’s go upstairs toward the play room.
Stairwell (left). Relaxation area for drinking and reading–humans only (right).
The cafe has a really nice atmosphere, that stairwell especially makes you feel like you’re in someone’s house rather than at a business. In fact, I’m pretty sure this place IS a renovated part of the owner’s house.
At last! The playroom (careful, the cats don’t miss a chance to run out the room when you open the door)!
I got here right as the cafe opened, and it looks like some of the staff were just recovering from a hard night of… whatever it is cats do at night.
Yawning (left). Hung over (middle). Sleeping in (right).
What? Okay, well… here’s more pictures of cats!
Cats in their natural habitat (left). Tom (right).
I was at the cafe for around 50 minutes and payed just under 1000 yen when I left. I didn’t order any drinks or snacks or anything but I did get a soda from the drink bar (which you are required to pay for even if you don’t use). All in all it was a refreshing and relaxing time and a new experience.
The cats were rather subdued (in all fairness however, cats are almost always very calm) but there was some ball chasing action in the play room. I’m sure the cats would be very excited if you brought them one of the treats which are sold in the ガチャポン (gachapon : coin operated capsule toy machines) outside the play room and downstairs.
I will probably go back and may even go for a 2 hour pack! I love cats, and apparently the boy cat team and girl cat team take turns in the play room every hour or so, so if I went back I could see even more adorable little critters. If you love cats, you might enjoy a cat cafe too!
There are actually four cat cafes altogether in Nagoya (see links at the bottom of the post), but judging by the websites I have seen, the one I visited (Neko Manma) seems to be the best put together (I haven’t tried any of the others, so I don’t know for sure though), and it’s in a more residential area so it’s not crowded with people. Their website claims that they are Nagoya’s 最大級 (saidaikyuu) cat cafe, which means the largest.
Storefront (left). Cat-related reading materials (middle). The secret cat area (right).
And now, to fulfill my lifelong dream of authoring my very own lolcats!
Neko Manma Cafe
If you’re in Nagoya and you like cats, go check this place out! It’s about a 10 minute walk from Gokiso station (kind of in the Seiyu direction, for those of you who know where that is already). Be sure to check out Neko Manma Cafe’s official website too. Here’s a google map for anyone interested.
Links to Cat Cafes in Nagoya
- 猫まんま (Neko Manma). Station: 御器所/Gokiso
- なーごなーご (Na-go Na-go). Station: 御器所/Gokiso
- キャットストリート (Cat Street). Station: 栄/Sakae
- 猫のまほう (Neko no Mahou). Station: 伏見/Fushimi