Big cities in Japan are known for their vibrant energy, but sometimes residents and tourists want a break from all this activity. In response, cat cafés have been popping up all over the country. These are much like regular coffee shops but there are cats wandering around freely for patrons to pet and play with.
Although there are many cat cafés throughout Kansai, they can be difficult to find, especially since they tend to be hidden away on the upper floors in buildings. It is also important to know where the best cat cafés are as you’ll be uncomfortable if you visit a place where the staff are less than dedicated to keeping the place clean.
Cat Cafe Nyanny is a lesser-known option, making it ideal for spending some quality time with cats. It’s also a great place for watching cats play and frolic — the coffee shop is packed with toys for cats. The main feature is a plexiglass walkway up near the ceiling.
Neko no Jikan has historical significance. In 2004, it became the first cat café to open in all of Japan. It is also one of the more elegant cat cafés, decorated in a traditional style. There are two rooms, both of which are open to the cats. One has tatami mats on the floor; the other is a bar with seating and tables. In both, the atmosphere is serene and quiet. Perfect for relaxing.
Cat Apartment Coffee is a beautiful venue. The interior is just like a Japanese home and mixes modern with traditional elements to form a minimalist design. The cats live upstairs and the coffee bar is downstairs.
The rules of this café are slightly different from some of the others. Patrons are asked to refrain from touching the cats, although they are allowed to pet cats that climb on them. This policy was implemented to stop people from trying to pick up the cats as the potential for the cats to become anxious is there. As a result of the policy, the cats at Cat Apartment Coffee are extra friendly.
Save Cat Cafe takes the concept of cat café a step further: all the cats are rescues and most were found living on the streets. It is one of the few cat cafés to rescue felines in all of Japan.
Most of the cats are social, affectionate, and willing to interact with visitors who sit on the floor with them. There are no tables and chairs, but you receive a blanket to have cats on your lap. Only a limited number of people are allowed inside at one time, which ensures everyone has a cat to play with. However, there is a separate room for ordering beverages and snacks. Here, you can look through the window at the cats and wait your turn to play.
Whether you’re a cat lover or you just want to explore another (albeit quite modern) facet of Japanese culture, visiting at least one cat café while you’re in Kansai is a must.