Get Your Cute Fix at One of Tokyo’s Rabbit Cafes
If you are not a cat person but would still like the chance to cuddle with a furry friend, do not despair. In 2011 (the year of the rabbit) a few rabbit cafes (or usagi cafes in Japanese) opened in Japan, and since then even more have joined their ranks. A rabbit cafe is a place where you pay for 30 to 60 minutes of playtime with bunnies while enjoying a coffee or a tea. Sounds like it could be fun, right? Read on for details.
Rabbit cafes are still a rarity compared to cat cafes. But considering how expensive it can be to own a pet in Tokyo—not to mention the fact that most people don’t have space or time to keep and care for one—animal-themed cafes have taken off and are showing no sign of slowing down (see Savvy’s review of Tokyo’s goat cafe here). Rabbits are less common in Japan than cats, but rabbit cafes provide the opportunity to be the master of a cute bunny for a short time. People go to these cafes for different reasons, such as to get affection, to relax, or to enjoy a funny moment. It’s a really good way to unwind after a hard working day.
But perhaps you may ask, why rabbits? Contrary to cats, who can overreact or suddenly become aggressive, rabbits tend to be peaceful, quiet animals (silent, in fact). They don’t insist on having their way, and are terribly cute (and everybody knows that Japan has a fixation on cuteness). In rabbit cafes, bunnies are absolutely not shy and they can easily come over to your knees for a big hug.
There are rabbits of all varieties available, and you can play with whichever you desire, as long as you pay. No money, no bunny is the rule, and I concede it’s less charming to know this bunny is not yours and that you need to pay to have his company. The bunny is the king.
In some places, the rabbits and the cafe section are separated, but each cafe is different. Some have cushions for sitting on the floor, allowing the rabbits to run around you. The smell of these places is alright and the cages are clean, which is always appreciated.
If you want to try the rabbit cafe experience, here are the rules:
- First take off your shoes before entering (slippers are usually provided) and put your personal belongings out of reach of the bunnies (you never know).
- You can drink as much coffee/tea as you want while you play with the rabbits.
- Be gentle with the pets; they aren’t toys and rabbits are fragile.
- You can switch a rabbit out with another one as often as you want.
- Photos are allowed.
- Don’t forget to clean your hands afterward.
- If you want to feed a rabbit, some cafes (but not all) sell rabbit food for this purpose.
A visit to a rabbit cafe can be a very relaxing experience and a nice break from the stress of city life, and you are sure to create some fun memories. If you find that you enjoy rabbits’ company, you should also visit Okunoshima, Japan’s “Bunny Island.”
Address: 3F Maison Harajuku, Jingumae 6-14-15, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Open: Mon–Thu, 12–7 p.m.; Sat, Sun and hols, 11 a.m.–7:30 p.m.; closed Fri
Price: ¥600 for the first 30 minutes
Address: 5F Jiyugaoka Masumoto Building, 1-26-3 Jiyugaoka, Meguro-ku, Tokyo
Open: Mon–Wed, Fri, 12–7 p.m.; Sat, Sun and hols, 11 a.m.–7:30 p.m.; closed Thu
Price: ¥600 for the first 30 minutes or ¥1,000 fot the first hour, plus ¥500 for each additional 30 minutes.
Usagi no Ehon
Address: 2F K Building, Kitazawa 3-30-1, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
Open: Tue, Wed, Fri 2–7 p.m.; Sat, Sun and hols 1–6 p.m.; closed Mon and Thu
Price: ¥150 per 30 minutes, plus one order from the set menu
Usagi Cafe Ohisama
Address: 2F, 2-18-5 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
Open: Daily, 12–8 p.m.
Price: ¥1,000 for 30 minutes