Japan's 'kawaii culture' often sees animals treated as fashion accessories. I've already talked a bit about the popularity of animal 'clothing' here - there are boutiques dedicated to selling dog outfits in every style. I've even seen a dog kimono. It's also not uncommon to see little dogs being taken along to department stores and game centres in their owners' handbags. At the other end of the spectrum, some animals are treated like humans - childless Japanese women will dress their dogs up in baby outfits and push them around in prams. To me, this culture seems unhealthy to say the least - for both the pet and the owner. And probably also for Japan's declining birth rate.
Which is why I was both curious and skeptical to experience one of Japan's famous cat cafes, where cat lovers go to get their furry fix in the middle of the city. I went to Neko no Jikan (Cat Time) in Amerika Mura, Osaka. It cost 1050 Yen for an hour of cat companionship and a drink.
|'Cafe With Many Cats'|
|Tea time? More like cat time.|
|Inside the cat cafe - a jungle gym for cats|
|This cat had one eye|
|And this cat had deformed ears|
|Cat Profile Album|
|An example of a profile page - this cat is shy, apparently.|
|Cat names and profiles are posted on the wall, too - so you know who you're playing with.|
|Cat in the cafe looking down at the outside world.|