Monday, July 25, 2011

Visiting a Japanese Cat Cafe and Hello Kitty's Kawaii Paradise (Reader Submitted)

(Click images to enlarge)

Catsparella reader Kathy, who has also shared her daughter's fabulous cat-themed birthday party with us, along with her trip to Cornwall's Cat Rock, just sent me an email about a recent visit to Japan, where she and her family were fortunate enough to visit a Cat Cafe in Kyoto, along with Hello Kitty's Kawaii Paradise in Odaiba.

She writes:

We were lucky enough to visit Japan two weeks ago for eight days. It is a fascinating place and we enjoyed ourselves very much.

One of the places we stumbled onto in the arcades of Kyoto was a Cat Cafe. I had to think of you right away (Editor's note: Aww, thank you!). The thing with the Cat Cafe is that it is a cafe where you can stroke cats (yes, real live cats!). My husband & our daughter went in for half an hour and they were given something to drink and were able to frolic with sixteen cats.

It was a totally surreal place and I am not really sure how I feel about places like this. We also saw one in Tokyo. The cats were of all different types, colours & sizes and they all looked healthy, cared for & not freaked-out at all. There were many toys present and lots of different platforms for them to sit on, jump up to & walk on.

Needless to say, our girl got a brilliant cat-fix.

Japan is a cat-lover's paradise. Virtually every shop has a Maneki Neko (the knocking cat who is supposed to beckon customers into the shops). There are many cat-related charms for your phone or handbag and of course there is Hello Kitty. We didn't go to Puroland (Editor's note: You can read about my trip to Sanrio Puroland here) but we did see 'Hello Kitty's Kawaii Paradise' in Venus Fort shopping centre.

It was total cuteness overload. My eyes took some time to adjust after being in all that PINK. We also went to the Ghibli Museum where there was a life-size Cat Bus (from the Totoro film). Unfortunately we were not able to take any photos inside the museum, but if you are not familiar with the film, here is a link to the Cat Bus
(I really suggest you have a look at the film, "My Neighbour Totoro", it is beautiful).


Wow! Special thanks to Kathy for sharing her kitty-related travels with us! It looks like a wonderful time was had by all, and I'm excited to see that her daughter is well on her way to becoming a full-fledged cat correspondent!

If you'd like to learn more about cat cafes, check out this post of images from a Hong Kong cat cafe, last month.

Have you visited any cat-friendly tourist destinations? Drop me a line at if you'd like to share your story!



Fluffy and Heather said...

Hi there! Fluffy and I came across your blog thanks to the Pet's blog hop. It seems like a really neat way of meeting cats and cat lovers alike!
I have been to Japan three times, and spent over a total of two years there, but never came across this cafe. (To be fair, I was only in Kyoto once!) I am sure that these cats are very well taken care of, and probably enjoy all the attention. If I ever head back, I'll be sure to check it out!

Cat and DOG Chat With Caren said...

This was amazing! It is so nice that Japan seems to love the kitties the way that they do, also it was wonderful of kathy to take the time to send you the email and photographs, how cool!

Anonymous said...

Aaawww! I'm jealous! I want to go to Japan and visit those places. Is it required for me to learn the Japanese language before I can come and tour those places in Japan? What happened to the cat cafe since the earthquake?

Catsparella said...

No, when I visited I didn't really know any Japanese at all, but it was fine, and I ended up being surprised by the amount of English I encountered there. Fortunately, these pictures were taken after the earthquake, so the cats are just fine!

DebbieDancer said...

My husband is Japanese, I am American...he took me to Japan in October 2010 to meet his family in Osaka, and first we spent a week in Tokyo. We didn't know then, about the cat cafe's. When I found out recently, I couldn't believe that I missed the chance to go to them there! At first it sounded a bit odd to me, but now I think it is a good idea for both the people and the cats. As long as the cats are taken good care of on a daily basis, which they look to be, and they can be given time to sleep and relax, then it seems to be working out for everyone. I saw a travel show on Animal Planet last week, with a guy who went to all the cat places in Japan! I could have gone on the cat train near Osaka too - darn it. If only I had known, I would have loved the cat places of Japan. Well, maybe I will be back and then we will go and take lots of pictures with the Japanese cats - NEKO!

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