One of our globe-trotting friends always finds the coolest, most random out-of-the way travel destinations - and this week was no exception when she sent us a note about the crazy Cat Cafes she found throughout the city of Tokyo.
Cat cafes you ask? Don't worry ... they aren't serving up Cat au Gratin like some of Japan's less evolved neighbors out east, but instead the cat is celebrated and honored in these unique cafes."I'd like a decaf-capp, add one cat please" In the densely populated and hustling city of Tokyo – where residents not only long work hours but tight and expensive real estate limit pet ownership – cat cafes are a cultural trend. There are at least seven of them operating in Tokyo, packing customers in at fees varying from $8 to $12 an hour. Given the busy lifestyles of Japanese people dearly longing for a moment of peace and comfort, these cat cafes offer them a dose of kitty calm and serenity along with their tea ... and they don't seem to mind the staff dipping their whiskers in their tea or pouncing on their fur coat. (Of note, word is that in Cafe Calico, an upholstered reception chair no longer looks like itself.) Vacuums are ever-present, everyone going in must wash their hands and use liquid sanitizers. Shoes must be removed (a Japanese custom in homes but not normally in public places). Of the seven cat cafes in operation in Tokyo, the globe-trotters over at Spot Cool Stuff Travel have sniffed out the top three cafes, which according to them are: The Calico Cat Cafe, Neko JaLaLa (means 'cat' in Japanese) and Nekorobi. Check out Spot Cool Stuff Travel for locations and details.