Cat cafes – overseas edition by Rebecca
Asakusa district is the historic centre of Tokyo, home to ancient Buddhist temples, geishas, traditional arts and crafts – and a fantastic cat cafe!
As you come out of Tobu Asakusa station, you should see a sign on your right pointing down the street, saying ‘Cat cafe’. A short walk will bring you to the building shown in the above photo. There’s also a billboard outside, which only the most hardhearted cat lover could resist.
After bribing my companion (not a cat lover), we headed up to the 8th floor. The lift doors open onto a small lobby, with shelves for you to put your shoes, and slippers to change into. We were greeted at the door by the manager, who let us in (while holding back an enthusiastic cat which had also come to greet us) and gave us a menu detailing prices in both English and Japanese. You can pay just to spend time with the cats (which we did), or you can also order drinks and cakes. The menu also gives a few rules: visitors are welcome to bring their own toys for the cats to play with, but should only feed them with snacks provided by the cat cafe. We were advised that the cats do not like to be picked up by strangers, but are very friendly and will come over to people. The manager then showed us a place to store our bags, gave us a hot towel for our hands followed by some hand sanitizer, and let us loose on the place!
The cafe is bright, clean and comfortable, with a very relaxing atmosphere. High above the general hubbub of Tokyo, it is an ideal place to get away from it all.
Visitors can choose from sofas or low cushions on the floor, or simply crawl about on the rugs (this is what I did). We were also provided with a picture book which shows all the cats, and gives their name, breed, and date of birth.
All the cats are pure breeds, including a breed I had never heard of before: the Munchkin.
As you can see by looking at the dates of birth, this cat cafe can more accurately be called a kitten cafe. Every cat was born in 2014. And, being kittens, as soon as they realized they had visitors, they began to show off (translation: fight!).
But they calmed down after a while.
My boyfriend is not what you would call a cat lover, and had been hanging back during the Fight Club. Once the cats had settled down, he sat down as well, and was quickly and enthusiastically greeted by the Norwegian forest cat. He changed his seat fairly quickly, but to no avail. Cats have an uncanny ability to seek out the person who least wishes to be their friend.
But even he was powerless to resist the charms of the Russian Blue!
My personal favourite was this orange cat (breed? I missed their photo in the cat calendar), who was also the friendliest.
Cafe Monta is open every day from 11am to 8pm (last orders at 7.30pm). The manager spoke good English, and the menu is in both Japanese and English. A great place to spend a lazy afternoon!