Maid, Cat, Neko & Butler Cafes
Nekobukuro in… Ikebukuro
- Maid & Cat – Akihabara
- Butler – Ikebukuro (Swallowtail & B-Lily Rose)
- Cat – Everywhere (JaLaLa in Takadanobaba & Akihabara now)
- Etiquette – no pictures EXCEPT at Neko Cafe, language barriers
Jalala in Takadanobaba is my favourite neko cafe
This little one was just precious
Maid cafes are mainly in Akihabara, with butler cafes mainly in Ikebukuro. Akihabara also has a cat cafe (Cafe With Cat at the Toranoana), where the girls are outfitted with adorable cat tails and ears. Language can be a huge barrier. If you speak some Japanese, this will definitely assist you in having a more enjoyable time. But do not be discouraged if you do not speak Japanese — just be respectful.
Maid, cat and butler cafes do not permit photos. Do not even try. Most have programs where you if you spend a certain amount of money or visit a specific number of times, you will earn the right to have your photo taken with one of the girls or gents. Respect this.
Neko cafes, on the other hand, encourage photography with their furry residents. HOWEVER, do not use your flash! First, let’s cover some ground rules. Take your shoes off. You will see a getabako at the entrance; use it. Again, language can be a barrier, although some neko cafes provide their rules and instructions in English as well as Japanese. But the gist is: wash your hands first (look around for a sink or sanitizing station), engage the cats (do not manhandle), don’t annoy the cats and so on.
You will pay an entry fee and then may pay an additional charge for refreshments or refreshments may be included in the entry fee. Your entry fee covers about one hour of play time with the cats (if you overextend your stay, you will be kindly told that your time is up). Toys are provided with which you may use to engage the cats, or you can simply sit back and observe. Take notice of how other adults are handling the cats and follow suit.
The best time to visit neko cafes is in the morning. By the end of the day they are overstimulated — mind, so will you be, so maybe you can commisserate. JaLaLa is my favourite neko cafe, but I’m keen to explore others I have not been to yet.