The last 2 times we visited Japan we have been to Nekobukuro in Tokyu Hands and while that is worth seeing it just doesn’t compare to Calico Cat Cafe in Shinjuku.
It is located on the 5th and 6th floors in a building on Yasukuni Dori and the entrance, like so many Japanese businesses, looks really ropy. You need to look up to see the brown and white paw prints to get the right building and once you have made your way down a grubby corridor and up in a tiny lift to the 6th floor you enter a different world.
As you step in one of the attendants will great you an explain the rules.
No lifting the cats
No waking sleeping cats
No flash photography
Stoke the cats gent ally from head to toe
Then you take off your shoes and get given some slippers, wash and disinfect your hands, get assigned a customer number which you wear round your neck and stash you bag and coats in one of the lockers inside (shoes you in a separate little locker outside). Once I stepped in I was a little overwhelmed by the sheer number and size of cats. There are many breeds and there is a little cat profile book on every table which tells you all about each ones. The other things that amazed me was how active all the kitties were, fair enough there were a fair few napping but when we went to Nekobukkuro all of the cats were sleeping.
This is however because we visited on a weekend. Weekends and holidays are special at Calico Cat Cafe because guests are allowed to purchase a small container of chicken meat to feed the cats, I only cost 300 Yen (about 3 quid) and it is limited to one per guest per hour. So when you order your drinks the cats know what is coming next, with every new guest they are looking out for the little box a chicken meat that comes with them and are more than happy to give you a little bit of attention in exchange for some tasty treats.
There are plenty of places to sit, there is a whole shelf of books and magazines you can read, numerous toys you and your feline friends can play with and upstairs there is even an iPad and a wiiU you can use. Nobody seems particularly bothered by this though the cats are the main attraction. We had iced coffees both time we went and they were far from the worst we had on our trip.
All in all this is an excellent place to go chill out for an hour or two ( it costs 1300 yen for the first hour which is the minimum and then I think it was 500 for every additional 15 minutes) if you are missing your pet back at home or you want to experience some Japanese craziness then this is worth visiting.