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Wednesday, 5th March 2014
In Japan Entertainment News,

Cat Cafes in Japan

Last weekend saw Lady Dinah's Cat Cafe open in London  to so much excitement that the hordes of people flooding the website promptly crashed the booking system. However, cat cafes are old hat in Japan, and you can find them in many of its larger cities.

Because of the crowd-funded nature of the London establishment, those who put in cash to get it off the ground will get first dibs on securing a table. Due to its popularity, there's a realistic chance you won't get one until May.

So why not instead fly off to Tokyo or Osaka and experience the cat cafe phenomenon in the country that made it famous? The cosmopolitan wards of Shinjuku and Shibuya host around 40 of the establishments between them, their popularity enhanced by the fact many apartments ban pets altogether.

You can wander the streets until you find them, but we've highlighted a couple you should visit if you get the chance. Neko no Mise claims to be the oldest cat cafe in the Kanto region, having been running for five years. It's located in the heart of Tokyo, the moggies are friendly and the hourly rates are reasonable.

In Kyoto, Nekokaigi is a popular venue that has featured on Japanese television. Its 13 charismatic felines charm the locals and tourists alike on a daily basis. Osaka was the birthplace of the Cat Cafe scene in Japan, and there's no better place to experience it than at Neko no Jikan. There are around 15 cats and it's competitively priced at just 1,000 yen (£8.50) for an hour with its 15 cats.

No matter which establishment you choose to visit, it is important to be mindful of the rules and respectful towards the creatures. Many also offer free Wi-Fi and you can get food and drink for both yourself and the furry companions.

Related news stories:
Japan celebrates its annual Cat Day (22nd February 2016)
New cat follows in Tama's stationmaster footsteps (12th August 2015)
Japan's stationmaster cat dies at 16 (25th June 2015)