MoCHA Cat Cafe, Harajuku

Travelling as a group, whether that be family or friends, ultimately involves compromise. When in Tokyo, my travel group were desperate to go to a cat cafe - and although I was not initially keen, I went with in an open mind (and came out with a burnt hand - my own stupid fault!). Before visiting the cafe, I wasn't really a cat person, however I am now more fond of the creatures and the experience was one of my highlights of the entire trip.

Getting there
The cafe is conveniently located opposite Harajuku train station, Tokyo, and just a few hundred meters from the Meiji Shrine. It is easy to spot due to the large cat print on the windows (just look up as you leave the station!). The cafe is then accessible via a lift.

How much is it?
The cost of your visit depends on how long you are in the cafe for. For every ten minutes, you can expect to pay ¥200 (roughly £1.36 or $1.76). An hour long visit would therefore cost ¥1200 (£8.20 or $10.59). This to me is a very reasonable cost for the experience. Unlimited drinks are just ¥350, you serve yourself from from a vending-style machine, there was a wide selection of hot and cold drinks.
Each day at each store, a limited number of people can pay an extra ¥500 to give the kitties their favorite treats - I wish I had known about this before my visit! This is only available between 11am and 6pm.
Be aware that you can only pay in cash.

When to visit?
We visited at around 3pm after visiting the Meiji Shrine. This was a great time to give our feet a rest and recharge our batteries, as well as a nice break between dinner and lunch.
If you want to see the cats fed, mealtimes are at 10:30 and 7:30.
Stores are open from 10am to 10pm and last entry is at 9:30 - I believe store times vary slightly by location so make sure you check before you go if you aim to visit early or late.

What do you actually do?
Drink a drink, pet the cats and simply relax. After 20+ travel hours, spending time in a cat cafe  is just what I needed. Cat toys are provided also. Take lots of photos if you wish - great for your Instagram feed.

Is it ethical?
This was a concern of mine before i visited. However through my own experience and online reviews I believe that the cats are well looked after and have plenty of space to run/play hide out of reach and or sight of humans. There are a number of enforced hygiene rules: for example sanitizing on arrival and departure, not being able to wear your shoes inside the cafe etc.... To keep the cats happy you are asked not to pick them up or chase them around the cafe. They may also be kept out of the cafe so keep them happy and healthy.

Although I visited the Harajuku store there are multiple other MoCHA cat cafes located around the city. If cats aren't your thing, there are lots of themed cafes in the city from robot to rabbits - just make sure to do your research before you go! I would happily go back to Japan just to try all the wonderful eateries out!

For more detailed info and to see the cats names in each store click here.

Have you ever been to a cat cafe?


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