Solution to Missing My Pets While Abroad in Japan

Written by: Grace Gettig
Major: Japanese and Global and International Studies
Program: Ritsumeikan University

Being in Japan for a year also meant being away from my family’s pets for a year. We’ve had animals around since I was 10 years old or so. It can be hard not having a furry friend around to cuddle.

Other than FaceTiming our pets, one thing that has helped is something that’s pretty unique to Japan, animal cafes!

At an animal cafe, you can pay by the hour to pet and play with the lovely critters. They typically offer simple cafe-style drinks and snacks too. These cafes are especially nice for the people that work and live in the city. Many apartments don’t allow pets, or it’s too small of a space.

There are several kinds of animal cafes in Japan. I’ll now showcase a few.

Cat Cafe

This cafe had several different breeds of cats, but the munchkins were my favorite!

Pig Cafe

This one is a little more unique. Mipig Cafe just opened up earlier this year, and it’s very popular. After making a reservation (do this early in advance), you get to play with micro-pigs! It’s located in Meguro, Tokyo.

It’s been a dream of mine to own a miniature pot-bellied pig, so you can imagine how excited I was to have a little pig in my lap.

These little guys wouldn’t stop sticking their heads in my friend’s armpit. The staff would come over and get them, but then they’d come right back! (Their little oinks were so precious!)

Other Cafes

As for other animal cafes, I’ve seen quite a variety, including:

  • Dog cafes
  • Shiba Inu cafes
  • Hedgehog cafes
  • Otter cafes
  • Rabbit cafes
  • Owl cafes
  • Bird cafes
  • Lizard cafes
  • Monkey cafes

If you can think of it, Japan has it. The cat and pig cafes have been my favorites so far. I would recommend checking animal cafes out if you are in Japan and missing your pet!

Find me on Instagram: @intothewardr0be

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