You’re in Japan: you’ve already bought gifts and souvenirs for your family, stocked up on the country’s best liquor and even scored some cool kitchenware at Kappabashi. You’ve got souvenirs for everyone on your list, but what about your four-legged friend waiting patiently for you at home? Luckily, animal-loving Japan has plenty of pet-friendly goods for dogs, cats and other animal pals. Here are some of the cutest and wackiest pet products you can only find in Japan.
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Treat your pet
Pet Paradise is a popular and affordable store for cats and dogs, with a major location on Harajuku’s Takeshita-dori. There’s the usual pet stuff here, including leashes and collars, but you can also pick up Japan-specific merch like this happi coat, traditionally worn by humans at summer festivals, or this ladylike yukata for a classy lapdog. Larger pups will enjoy Japanese food- and drink-shaped toys, such as this ramen bowl or beer. For the felines, this kotatsu table-shaped cat bed, complete with decorative ‘snacks’, will make a cosy home in winter.
Locations in Harajuku, Shinjuku and throughout Japan.
Kitan Club, known for stocking gachapon capsule machines with quirky feline-themed products like figurines of a kitty stuck in a tissue box, are best known for these cat hats that are just ¥400 each. Every machine has a different theme; seasonal hats like Halloween pumpkins and Valentine’s Day hearts are especially popular, while the fruit and veggie hats are downright hilarious. Grab a few of these for your favourite feline back home – they definitely won’t thank you.
Don’t be fooled – these are pet-friendly versions of classic Japanese snacks. Tamago bolo (pictured right), the soft egg biscuits popular with children, get the dog-friendly treatment in a selection of flavours including blueberry and veggie (pictured middle). Whole dried sardines, eyeballs and all, are a common snack in schoolyards and izakaya alike – and even cats and dogs enjoy the animal-friendly version (pictured left).
Available at Pet Paradise, most drugstores and other retailers.
Hedgehogs, locally known as harinezumi (needle mouse), are all the rage right now in Tokyo with copious hedgehog and other animal cafés. If all that café-hopping makes you miss your favourite hedgehog at home, spoil the little one with this Totoro house – it’s the perfect size for a hedgehog or chinchilla to curl up in. If your ‘hog is more active, take it out for a walk with this hedgehog-sized leash, complete with angel wings.
Once your pet has a weird costume and a pile of snacks, there’s just one more thing they need. This fleece blanket from Nitori lets you spend quality time with your best animal friend – just what your pet needs after your long vacation. Your beloved feline or canine can sit inside the blanket’s front pocket while you relax on the couch, so the two of you can have maximum snuggles.
From ¥1,105 at Nitori.
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