Cat Cafe!

Tokyo was one of my favorite parts of tour last month, not only is it a city that I love, my sister, Stephanie, was able to pop over from Korea to hang out with me for the week. She referred to it as "take your sibling to work week". Stephanie has been teaching in Korea for the past few years, she hadn't been to a Macklemore & Ryan Lewis show or met any of our "tour family" as we call them. I love that she got a chance to experience a bit of our unique life.

One of the best things Stephanie and I did in Tokyo was checking out a cat cafe. Really, a cafe with cats, I'm not making it up! In Tokyo, where many people are living in cramped quarters and working long hours, owning a pet isn't an option. As a result, cafes, where you can pay by the hour to relax in a living room-esque setting, sipping on a coffee and petting a cat, have become quite popular.

Our hotel concierge recommended Hapineko Cafe in Shabuya, explaining to us that "neko" means cat in Japanese. The cafe is located just a couple of blocks from the busy Shabuya Crossing in a sunlight filled third floor space overlooking the busy street below. Walking in I felt like I was coming into a spa, the vibe was totally relaxed and after washing and sanitizing our hands, we were offered slippers and ushered in to find a cozy spot to sip our hot beverages and enjoy the cats. I had green tea, Stephanie had a latte, which she said was made wonderfully.

I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical before going to Hapineko, I wondered if the cats could genuinely be happy being bothered by strangers all day. My concerns were quickly put to rest, before we were allowed into the same room as the cats, we had to read a 5 page pamphlet that included appropriate cat handling, discouraged people who were sick from entering, and instructed us not to pet any cats wearing pink collars as they were injured or ill and needed to be left to rest. After all of that, and seeing how calm and happy the cats were in their very clean cafe environment, I felt like they were in good hands. They had high perches where you weren't supposed to bother them, lots of other cats to play with and even had a little door into another room where they were left alone.

After being away from my cat for the month, spending an hour at Happineko was a great way to get a cat fix. I'm pretty sure I'd be a regular if I was living pet-less in Toyko. I definitely recommend it if you find yourself in Tokyo. 

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