There are many cat cafes in Japan (check out this guide of 9 best cat cafes in Tokyo.) But one of the incentives to visit Cat Cafe Mocha is that it is a 3-minute walk from Shibuya Crossing. So you can visit Shibuya Crossing and Hachiko statue before coming here.
So after the Shibuya Crossing and the Hachiko statue, we visited the cat cafe. It was an amazing experience because Shibuya Crossing was extremely intense and energetic, constantly in a frenzy state. And we walked the busy, crowded streets behind Shibuya, filled with clothing shops, and entered a haven at the cat cafe. The cafe is just 8 storeys up the street, but it was a different world, a peaceful world. I felt like I could finally breathe properly.
Before entering the 2-storey cat cafe, you have to sanitize your hands (they provide alcohol rub). You also have to remove your shoes to wear slippers that they also provide; make sure you wear clean socks.
At the entrance, the receptionist will show you a set of rules to follow. Although I do find the rules stringent, it’s great for the cats because the rules are not to stress the cats. For example, you cannot chase, hug, feed the cats. No flash photography, and do not speak loudly. I love this ethical treatment of cats.
The cafe is priced at ￥200/10 minutes and the receptionist also asks you if you’d like freeflow of drinks (￥350/pax). The drinks are self-serviced, dispensed from vending machines.
The cafe is surprisingly spacious, considering how scarce land is in Tokyo; it is decorated tastefully in warm colors, very cosy with lots of cushions. The windows are full paneled from ceiling to floor, so light softly streams in. There are “trees” and hanging “cages” for the 15-20 cats to play.
The space is also very, very clean. I expected cat hair everywhere and the stench of cat piss hanging in the air. But no. I think they employ germophobes for their staff; the space is even cleaner than a NASA shuttle.
I also truly appreciate how quiet the Japanese are; they really respect personal space. Many of them came alone, some came as lovers, some came as a group of girlfriends. Some of them were reading, some were just lazing on sofas, and some were looking at the cats. Except for the soothing music, it was quiet and very peaceful.
The cats are gorgeous. It was the first time I saw a British shortfur in real life–I’ve seen it in movies and photos–and it took my breath away.
However, I thought the cats were sedated; I’ve not seen cats so docile before. I had a Maine Coon who was rather playful, but these cats seemed to lose the joie de vivre. Perhaps it was because they de-clawed the cats. Not quite sure how I felt about that; it’s good that the cats couldn’t scratch the customers, but…
In any case, it is definitely worth taking a pit-stop and resting here for a while. Most people stay for about an hour, but I wanted to stay here for the rest of the day.
Fact sheet for the cafe:
Cat Cafe 猫カフェ MoCHA
There are various locations including 2 at Harajuku, and one at Akihabara. We went to the one at Shibuya.
Address: 東京都渋谷区宇田川町32-12 アソルティ渋谷8F
32-12 Udagawachō, Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 150-0042
Price: ￥200/10 minutes, free-flow drinks ￥350
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.