We won’t lie, it does feel a bit odd patting a goat’s head in the middle of Shibuya. It’s the kind of thing you’d imagine doing out on a farm somewhere, as opposed to in between sips of a café latte while cars whizz by. But Sakura and Chocolat, the resident goats at Sakuragaoka café – aka ‘Shibuyagi’ (‘Shibuya’s goats’) – seem happy enough with their lot.
During the hour we spent observing their antics, they huddled together like happy BFFs in their little wooden cabin, then took turns coming out to greet us, skilfully slipping their heads through the gaps in the cage (you try doing that with horns). They’ve clearly developed mini celebrity status amongst locals as several adults and kids walked by, calling out their names or stopping for a quick hello. And we were happy to see the big block of pink Himalayan crystal hanging in one corner of their cage, serving as a mineral-rich salt lick and just generally giving off good vibes.
The goats get taken for daily walks by the staff members and you can call and reserve your own walking session on Mondays and Wednesdays. Most of the staff speak English so you shouldn’t have any trouble making arrangements. The café is open until 4am, after which the goats are ‘put to bed’ by covering their cage with a noise-cancelling sheet. Apparently goats only need up to about five hours sleep per night, so you don’t have to worry they’re not getting enough shut-eye.
Unlike most animal cafés in Tokyo, Sakuragaoka is actually a more-than-decent spot to visit for lunch, dinner or just afternoon coffee. The décor has an antique, arty feel to it and they offer a sizeable menu including a delicious Coconut Milk Shrimp Curry (¥1,000 for a lunch set, includes salad and a drink) and the oh-so-creamy Matcha Milk (¥750).
|Venue name:||Sakuragaoka Café|
Shinoda Bldg. 1F, 23-3 Sakuragaokacho, Shibuya-ku
|Opening hours:||8.30am-4am (Sun until 12midnight)|