Thursday, July 02, 2015
Visit to the cat cafe
Here is a very Japanese thing we did in Kyoto.
While researching where to go knitting and craft shopping, I had heard that Tokyu Hands department store in Ikebukuro features a 'cat house' floor. I thought that would be interesting to see, but we ended up going to the Shinjuku branch instead.
Apparently the cat cafe concept isn't original to Japan but has really taken off there, partly because many people live in small apartments not really suitable for keeping pets. It's clear that cats are pretty important and well loved in Japan and we encountered friendly cats in some public places like the garden at the Hotel New Otani, plus of course cat motifs and cute cat merchandise everywhere (not limited to Hello Kitty).
At my sister's urging we did try one cafe several floors up a high rise in Shinjuku, but it was booked out for the next few hours.
A few days later in Kyoto, we just happened to wander past this one. We went in and paid a modest fee for half an hour, and we had the place to ourselves.
There were plenty of cats in the room, most of them lounging or sleeping in baskets and cardboard cylinder beds (what is it with cats and cardboard?)
hanging out up high
studiously ignoring us (probably hoping the next visitor would bring food)
This one stayed here under the sink the whole time.
There was some interest when my coffee arrived and I added milk.
and finally our little favourite, with tiny ears, climbed onto my lap when I sat down on the floor. And now, just this week, look at the news in my hometown:
Capital Cat Cafe Canberra hopes to features cats named in honour of former parliamentarians.
I think Julia Gillard is an excellent name for a cat.