Public cats of Tokyo: Magenta Magenta, Harajuku

Which came first, the cat or the shop? Magenta reigns supreme at his namesake shop in Harajuku
Public Cats of Tokyo: Magenta Magenta | Time Out Tokyo
By Shiori Kotaki |

Found in the backstreets of Harajuku, Magenta Magenta is stacked to the roof with bags, handkerchiefs, picture books and more, all related to cats. Considering pretty much every single thing in this shop has some sort of cat motif, it’s essentially cat-lover heaven.

However, feline aficionados have more to smile about here than just the cat-themed merchandise – for one, the rather fluffy, purring advertisement running around the shop. Magenta regularly pops out from between the shelves as if to ask how he can help. Always one to put the customer first, this wily shop manager was indeed there to welcome us on our recent visit, as our latest named and shamed Public cat.


Meet Magenta, one year and four months old. Beautiful eyes, a black pattern on his hind legs and a long tail are his main charms, while rolling around the shop is one of his favourite activities. He keeps going on (and off) a diet... 


Magenta Magenta's owner stumbled upon the cat when it was only two months old, and was immediately swayed by its big eyes. The then-tiny Magenta, who now occasionally lends a paw at the Sakura Fleur hotel in Minami-Aoyama as well, eventually became quite nifty at helping out.

Although his name – after the M-shaped pattern on his forehead – and appearance often lead people to mistake him for a female, Magenta is very much a (slightly messy) male.


Little Magenta


As the curious kitty he is, Magenta loves exploring. When we visited – but before we even noticed – he had trotted outside and was playing around by sticking his head between the gaps in the stairs. He also apparently has the habit of going into the narrow alleyways around the shop, which are quite literally Magenta-width.



Although like most cats, Magenta might perk up a bit when he hears a bird’s cry, what really gets him into action mode is the rustling sound of a bag filled with food. Only the slightest inkling of this sound will set him off and leave him sprinting towards the prize.


Reaching out for bait on two legs

Unsurprisingly, this charismatic kitty is quite popular in the neighbourhood, with passers-by calling out his name while shopping in Harajuku. As the busy business mind he is, Magenta is constantly switching between the Sakura Fleur Hotel and Magenta Magenta, so you might miss him at the shop – if you’d like to witness him swishing his long tail in the flesh, we recommend checking out the shop's Twitter feed or giving them a call in advance to check. 


Photos by Kisa Toyoshima 


Suspect file

Magenta (male), 16 months old

Daily work schedule:

1pm (ish) – arrive at the store as it opens (in winter, you might spot him with a hat to keep warm)

Leave when the store closes
(Check Magenta's attendance by phoning ahead or checking their Twitter feed, as the store is closed irregularly)

Place of employment

icon-location-pin Harajuku
Magenta Magenta

Magenta Magenta in the backstreets of Harajuku is stocked to the roof with bags, handkerchiefs, picturebooks and more – all with a cat theme. Besides all the non-animate feline objects, you'll probably spot a more lively version darting between the goods on offer...

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