Harajuku Mame-Shiba Cafe

Best animal and pet cafés in Tokyo

Because sometimes you just need a furry friend – or an animal you can watch

Written by
Time Out Tokyo Editors
Advertising

Tokyo is famous for its many animal cafés. The original concept started with cat cafés, but has slowly expanded to accommodate a wide range of pets and other animals. It’s reasonable to have ethical concerns about these places, so we’ve filled our list only with cafés that prioritise the well-being of the animals, with no (or very few) cages and enough space for the critters to move around. Other important factors in our selection were whether the animals seemed stressed out by their surroundings and whether they were given break time without people petting them. 

Here’s a list of our top spots around the city, ranging from the ubiquitous cats to reptiles and owls.

Note: venues either have a cover charge or require one drink order.

RECOMMENDED: Best zoos and aquariums in Tokyo

Tokyo's top animal cafés

Capyneko Cafe
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Kichijoji

Meet the resident capybara Tawashi and his feline friends at this peculiar animal cafe located just a minute walk away from Kichijoji station’s south exit. The South American native animal is here to bring overloading cuteness and unlimited cuddles with eight or nine other cats to your stressful day. Many of the cats here are adoptable, so let the staff know if you’re interested in giving them a permanent home.

¥2,200/hour (primary school students ¥1,100); ¥1,100 for additional 30 mins (¥550); reservations recommended

  • Restaurants
  • Meguro

After its range of cats, owls and hedgehogs, Tokyo came up with an even more bizarre addition to its super popular series of animal cafés. At this new spot in Meguro, you can now cuddle with adorable miniature piggies in a cheerful and homely ambience. Pet and play with the tiny cuties on three different floors while sipping on a cup of tea or coffee (one drink order required, from ¥660).

Cover charge: ¥880/30min (¥550 for additional 30 mins; free for primary school students and younger children); one drink order required
Tickets have to be booked in advance.

Advertising
Harajuku Mame-Shiba Café
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Harajuku

Located on Harajuku's iconic Takeshita-dori, this café is home to Mame Shiba Inu, a smaller version of Japan's popular Shiba Inu dogs. The homely, traditional atmosphere of the café, with tatami flooring and low dining tables, makes this experience even more unique, since it feels like playing with these tiny cuties in a regular  Japanese home instead of a café located on one of Tokyo's most bustling streets. The entry fee covers entrance, a drink and a time slot of 30 minutes with your favourite furry friend. Get there early to avoid long queues. 

Cover charge: ¥900/30min, primary school students ¥700/30min (one drink included)

ChikuChiku Cafe
  • Things to do
  • Shibuya

Relaxing with little hedgehogs is high on many a traveller's Tokyo must-do list, and this new Shibuya spot adds to the selection of cafés offering that very opportunity. At ChikuChiku Cafe you can feed, touch and take photos with the little cuties under the guidance of the staff. The furry friends totter around in environments modelled on bathrooms, classrooms and Japanese-style tatami rooms – it's like a collection of doll houses for hedgehogs.

Cover charge: ¥1,430/30min, ¥2,640/60min

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Kichijoji

This charming cat café introduces you to a whole new level of cuteness. Located within the themed shopping and food ‘village’ Kichijouji Petit Mura, the facade looks like the castle of a magical cat­-kingdom straight from a book of fairy tales. A selection of 19 cats are on hand to be cuddled, and offer highly Instagrammable photo opportunities, especially at feeding time. When it comes to snacks, the smart money’s on the tasty parfaits garnished with cute cat­-shaped cookies.

Cover charge: ¥1,540; from 7pm ¥1,100 (children aged 10 and younger ¥1,100; from 7pm ¥770), Sat, Sun & hols ¥1980; from 7pm ¥1,320 (¥1,430; from 7pm ¥990)

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Yoyogi-Hachiman
  • price 2 of 4

You should only visit a dog café if you truly love dogs. You need to love that they will climb on your lap and lick your iPhone and make your hands smell like dog and fight over bones and possibly do their business on the floor right in front of you. If you’re visiting Dog Heart, in particular, you should also love toy poodles since they make up the majority of the pups here (there was also one beagle in the mix when we visited).

Like many animal cafés, the café section is not a big feature of the place – it’s hidden at the back and only as we were leaving did we notice the table and chairs peeking out. But that’s okay, since your main reason for visiting will be to make friends with Ribon, who has clearly mastered the art of dominating attention by charging for your lap the minute you sit down and not budging, no matter what histrionics play out around you. We only stayed for 30 minutes, but you can also rent one of the dogs for an hour and take them for a walk to nearby Yoyogi Park. Either way, it’s bound to lift your mood, as dogs do.

Cover charge: ¥1,200 (primary school students ¥950)/30 min, ¥1,500 (¥1,250)/45 min, ¥1,800 (¥1,550)/60 min, one-hour dog rental ¥3,600

Advertising
Kotori Café Ueno
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Ikenohata
  • price 2 of 4

A very colourful, flapping affair greets you when you walk up to the entrance of Kotori Café in Ueno. There's no cover charge, but you'll be expected to order at least one drink, and your visit will be limited to an hour when it's busy.

The birds are chirping away while you sip your coffee, and are of a startling variety: everything from the slightly larger white cuckatoo named Taichi and a mid-sized parrot to rosy-faced lovebirds and technicoloured canaries make an appearance. For those who want a small petting session, the café offers five-minute options as well (¥550).

No cover charge but a drink (all ¥715) has to be ordered

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Shibuya
  • price 2 of 4

Lovers of small, cute cats, beware: you might not want to leave this place. We wandered around for over an hour and still didn't want to leave the little ones. Opened in 2015, MoCHA's interior looks as if it was designed with the cats' well-being in mind, with lots of perches, hideouts and even small alcoves through which they can run to the staffroom if the attention just gets a bit too much.

We went there on an early Thursday afternoon, and although there were a reasonable amount of people, the two floors and ample seating space meant it was never cramped. With the ¥220 per 10 minutes price tag, the flow of people also changes – office workers popping by for half an hour during their lunch break and locals who just want to while away the afternoon. Nab a seat in one of the hanging chairs or on one of the couches downstairs for some of the best petting action.

Cover charge: ¥220/10min

Advertising
Tokyo Snake Center
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Harajuku

Housed on the eighth floor of a Harajuku multi-use building is Tokyo's latest addition to the already long list of animal cafés. The Snake Center is home to a slithering collection of serpents, all very well trained and non-poisonous. Pay ¥1,100 at the counter for entrance, one drink and the right to pick out a snake of your choice to hang out with, and spend a few hours nibbling on cake and sipping coffee while your reptilian friend observes you from the safety of its transparent box.

Cover charge: ¥1,100 (incl one drink)

Temari no Ouchi
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Kichijoji
  • price 2 of 4

Even just arriving at Temari no Ouchi, it's clear that this isn't your average cat café. The doors are shaped in a fairytale-esque arch, and as soon as you step inside you're transported into a cat-filled world. There's plenty of space for the cats to run around or nap, and they can always retreat to the back of the room, where there's a (cage-less) staff section. The menu features a variety of drinks (everything from coffee to cocktails) and food – the snacks and cakes are quite popular.

Cover charge: ¥1,540; from 7pm ¥1,100 (children aged 10 and younger ¥1,100; from 7pm ¥770), Sat, Sun & hols ¥1980; from 7pm ¥1,320 (¥1,430; from 7pm ¥990)

Advertising
  • Things to do
  • Higashi-Shinjuku

This rather bizarre café in Shinjuku’s Kabukicho neighbourhood lets you meet and greet a number of reptiles, including different species of monitor lizards as well as wind scorpions, iguana, turtles, snakes and anteaters. There are 100 different animals at the café, including a range of insects and bugs. You can not only touch and hold the animals, but also feed some of them and take photos together. You can even take your favourite creature home, as they’re available for purchase. Staff will teach you everything you’ll need to know to take care of a reptile, and you can also pick up reptile food and breeding supplies.

¥500/10min; ¥2,000/60min (one drink included); feeding experience ¥500

More things to do in Tokyo

Advertising
Recommended
    You may also like
      Advertising