Early last April I came back from a trip to Japan with my family, and while the trip was short (2 and a half days!), it was utterly amazing and the experiences that were definitely worth repeating. Which I did, in a way–I came back to Japan in late April to enjoy it all over again with a few close friends! Best April ever.
While I got to explore the more cultural and otaku side of Japan with my friends, there were plenty of experiences I was able to enjoy with my family too. One of them was a visit to the kind of cafe I only ever read about, where you can play with amazingly fluffy fluffballs of purrfection.
That cafe was Shinjuku’s Calico Cat Cafe, the largest cat cafe in Tokyo!
Luckily enough, Calico Cat Cafe isn’t too far from the mall we found ourselves in (it was connected to the train station we got off at). The information desk wasn’t familiar with Calico in particular—but thanks to a bit of research ahead, I found out that it was next to Don Quixote, which is a popular place for souvenirs. Because it’s so well-known, we got directions for it in no time.
Can you spot Don Quixote?
Getting to Calico was a challenge—not so much because it was hard to find, but because getting around Tokyo was something of a continuous challenge already. We relied so much on Google Maps that one of the catchphrases we coined during the trip was ‘Is it moving?’ in reference to that blessed blue arrow telling us where we were (or were actually not) going.
Luckily, we were able to find Don Quixote after I recognized the characters for it on a huge building as I stared from an overpass o A o)9! It was pretty easy to find Calico Cat Cafe after!
Outside and inside Calico Cat Cafe
I’d spend the rest of the post talking about how pretty everything looks, but it’s also worth mentioning that the staff were very pleasant and patient with us foreigners who speak little Japanese. They told us that though we can pet the cats, carrying them is not allowed. You also can’t feed cats that have red scarves (because they have health problems). They also kindly explained that the entrance fee covers you for one hour, and every additional 5 minutes costs Y150.
Once we’ve paid the Y1300 entrance fee, we took off your shoes and stored them along with our bags in lockers.
Ready for fluff heaven? Off with your shoes!
The moment of fluffy truth
Once we got inside, we immediately got acquainted with the first of Calico’s army of soft–
They were all so beautiful and well-cared for, I had to remember that picking them up wasn’t allowed! Heck, Butler Kay would have to be restrained in order to not run off with one of these adorably pudgy fluffy friends. Thankfully, Butler Kay was not available for the trip. Next time, friend. Next time.
The whole cafe had two floors. Visitors entered at the 6th floor, and can go into the wider area in the 5th floor where the actual cafe was located.
For those who are curious, there were at least 50 cats in the cafe, but we only saw around 20. Most of them were just lazing around like fat little catloafs. Then again, they do need their beauty sleep! After all–
Cats do sleep at least 16 hours a day.
A tip from yours truly! If you want the cats to love you, you can buy chicken for Y300 from the staff. No, really. They’ll love you. The cats flock to the scent of the chicken.
There were also free toys around that you can try enticing the cats with–I just couldn’t stop trying to take as many good pics of cats as I can!
“Who has the chicken?”
People all around us were either as mesmerized with the cats as we were, or just hanging out at the cafe area. There’s even a library you can choose any book from to chill with.
Food and drinks
We didn’t get any food nor drinks while we were there, but we did get coupons for free drinks at our next visit. Unfortunately, we wouldn’t be able to avail of them because we weren’t coming back before December of this year.
It won’t stop me from dropping by the next time I’m in Shinjuku though! I wasn’t able to check out the cat-themed merchandise, but I would much rather bring home one of those deliciously cute catloafs!
But I’m still aiming to visit Swallowtail Butler Cafe. 😉