Cats cafes are a great place to take a break from Tokyo‘s hectic pace. What better way to spend an afternoon than relaxing with a purring kitten while sipping a creamy cappuccino? In need of some ‘cat therapy’, we got away from the hustle and bustle of Shinjuku and headed to the famous Cat Cafe Calico, one of Tokyo’s most popular cat cafes.
Did you know the world’s first ever cat cafe, Cat Flower Garden, opened in Taipei (Taiwan) in 1998? After the big success in Taiwan, kitty hangouts spread quickly to the Land Of The Rising Sun, where there are more “neko” (cat) cafes today than anywhere else in the world.
Apparently, it´s not that easy to have pets in Japan. Due to the strict no-pets policy mandated in most Japanese rental apparments, the shockingly small size of them and the long hours at work, it’s no wonder why the cat cafe concept has become a craze in a cuteness-loving country like this.
Cat Cafe Calico
Hidden away on the fifth and sixth floor of an inconspicuous building in Shinjuku´s vibrant Kabuchiko district, Cat Cafe Calico is the largest cat cafe in Tokyo with a total of 50 cats. The spacious, long-established cafe provides a safe and happy environment for kitties. The cleanliness is absolutely impeccable. The felines roam the space freely. They have baskets to hide in, kitty tree houses, feathery toys, nip and of course, cardboard boxes.
The entry to the lounge-like café costs around 1,000 yen for one hour (after that, 150 yen for each additional 15 minutes). As it cats weren´t enough, Cat Calico Cafe displays an array of pastries and desserts as well as a typical café menu.
Too Cute To Be True
There were many exotic breeds including the Birman, Himalayan, Russian blues, Singapuran, Siamese, Ragamuffins, Abyssinians, Scottish Folds and Charteux. The colony of cats captured our hearts from the very beginning. Upon entering to the lounge, some of them were jumping on people trying to get a tasty treat. Others were sprawled out across a chair or curled up in cozy, high perches. Their cuteness was utterly unbearable!
Although the cafe was full of comfy couches, we preferred to sit on the floor. We were sipping our coffees and reading an album showing the name, personality and fun facts about each cat when a bunch of kitties came around and lovingly rubbed up against us. In a matter of seconds, we found ourselves surrounded by felines. A colony of cats curled up beside us which truly made us purrrrr with delight!!
With its low-lit interior, Calico Cat Cafe was truly an oasis of calm and tranquility. Spending some time with our new furry comrades had definitely a comforting effect on us.
Cat Cafe Calico has strict rules regarding how to treat the animals. We were requested to sanitize our hands with alcohol-based sanitizer when entering the store, and then invited to remove our shoes (a pair of comfortable slippers were provided). In order to ensure a positive experience for both visitors and their cats some simple rules must be followed:
- Don´t wake up sleeping cats, or behave in a noisy manner while at the venue.
- In order to minimize their stress, never attempt to pick up a kitty.
- Taking pictures is permitted but obviously without using the flash. Flash photography can damage cat’s eyes.
Cat Cafe Calico
6F Fuji Building
1-16-2 Kabuchiko, Shinjuku
Cat Cafe Calico located just 5-minutes walk from Shinjuku Station
Monday to Sunday 10.00 AM-10 PM