Cat cafes have long been a part of Japan’s thriving foreign tourism industry. However, for the first few years of the cat and animal cafe boom, they were only available in the larger metropolitan cities. I am not sure when exactly Saitama got is first cat cafe. I’m not even sure where (although I’d guess it was one of the cat cafes in Omiya). But within a couple of months of the first opening, the number multiplied and it wasn’t long until we had one in Kawagoe. Now we have at least two.
Cat Cafes Kawagoe
I was walking down Crea mall, the main thoroughfare from the East side of the Tobu Tojo station, one day on my way to Maruhiro, when I saw a large sign for a cat cafe. This must have been in 2015. I didn’t have time to go in for a gander, so when I got home I looked it up on the Internet. It looked good and I bookmarked it for a future visit. However, a couple of weeks later when an opportunity arose to visit it and I looked up the hours I was horrified to see a new announcement on the website forbidding children visiting the premises.
Fast forward a few more months and on a visit to Kaldi on the same street, Crea Mall, I noticed a blackboard outside a neighbouring shop with a cat drawn on it. On closer inspection it turned out to be another cat cafe, just yards from the “no kids” one, with a large “children welcome” sign. Within a couple of days I brought the kids to visit what would become our local go-to hang out for a bit of cat therapy.
Cat Cafe Neko Katsu
The cat cafe near the Kaldi on Crea Mall is called Neko Katsu. This is not a cafe in the typical sense. Cat cafes afford an opportunity to play with cats. These cats are rescued cats. If you like one, you can take it home for 25,000 yen, which covers the vaccinations the cat cafe gave the cat. You do get a drink with your visit. You can help yourself from a fridge of bottled drinks or juice packets. They do it this way so that a cat doesn’t knock over a drink.
Rules of the cat cafe
They have quite a few cats, more than 20 at a guess. There are a couple of rules to follow, such as wearing socks in the shop and sanitizing your hands when you enter. Another is that you don’t wear or bring fur accessories into the cafe. They also request that you don’t force hold a cat. If they don’t want to play or be lifted you are requested to leave them be.
In my experience there are always a few ready for playing or a cuddle anyway. And they have some cat toys out that you can use to play with the cats, even if they aren’t in the mood for a cuddle. If you are there when it is the snack time they allow visitors to feed the cats at no extra charge.
At the time of our first visit we didn’t have a pet ourselves. If only I had a video of my then 22 month old child’s reaction when she entered this cafe. It was classic. She squealed with delight and danced on her toes. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who doesn’t have any pets at home, but want to give their kids an experience with animals or animal therapy. Although we now have a pet, it isn’t a cat, so we still visit the cat cafe from time to time. It is perfect for our circumstances because one daughter has a cat allergy, but she is able to play with the cats here so long as she doesn’t touch them.
Cat Cafe Neko Katsu Information
Official site (Click on photo to be brought to the official website – Japanese language only)
Neko Katsu Hours
Open Tuesday to Sunday from noon to 8 pm. Closed on Mondays except when a Monday is a bank holiday. In that situation the cat cafe stays open on the Monday and closes on Tuesday instead.
Neko Katsu Prices
The current system is 600 yen for half an hour, 1000 yen for an hour. Every additional 30 minutes costs 400 yen. Children under
twelve eighteen are half price (updated in 2018). Senior citizens over 65 and people with a disability handbook also get half price entry. They have a decent stamp card, one stamp per visit and if you get 5 stamps you get an hour free.
Cat Cafe Neko Katsu Access
Neko Cafe is within walking distance of all of the Kawagoe train stations: JR and Tobu Tojo Kawagoe stations, Tobu Tojo Kawagoe shi station, Seibu Shinjuku’s Hon-kawagoe station. The latter, Hon-kawagoe station, is the closest. It is only a four minute walk from that station. Map under the announcement below. ↓
Please note that the cafe is on the second floor and unfortunately there is only a steep stairs leading to it. Also, as far as I am aware, there is no public bathroom in the cat cafe.
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