One of my favorite exports from Japan is the cat cafe, quaint little coffee and tea houses densely populated by adorable felines. Cat lovers of the world seek out these select cities in Japan for a unique experience unlike any you’ll find back in the States.
So how does the whole thing work? Customers typically pay by the hour. Roughly the equivalent of 10 US dollars gets you a solid hour of ‘petting time’ — those who want to make an afternoon of it can double their admission for unlimited time and a free drink. Considering some of that purchase goes toward supporting the cats, it makes for a feel good purchase.
Some of the cats at the cafes are absolutely beautiful too, provided you’re a cat person and free of allergies. There’s a variety of different and rare breeds to spend time with, some of them won’t even mind if you pick them up to give them a few extra scratches.
Kyoto, Japan in particular is home to one of the more recognizable cat cafes in the entire region. Popular among locals for providing a different kind of sanctuary, cat cafes have rocketed in popularity – even spreading internationally as the idea was recently exported to the UK.
Many Japanese citizens can’t actually own such cats given their conservative living arrangements, traditional settings prohibiting them. Cat cafes provide feline fanciers perhaps their only opportunity to get cozy with their furry friends — and a delicious drink to warm them up.