The 4 Best Rabbit Cafes in Tokyo
You have come to Tokyo for a memorable vacation. The experience, so far, has been filled with amazing cultural sights and sounds - so much so that you are beginning to wonder where the residents of this huge metropolitan area go to relax and just have fun. Gardens are beautiful but where might one go to smile and laugh a bit. It just so happens that Tokyo has designed just such a place - the Rabbit Cafe.
Known as Rabbit or Bunny cafes, you might be glad to know that rabbit is not the speciality of the house - at least not the way you think it would be. Rabbit cafes are mostly places to enjoy the company of a long-eared friend while having a refreshing drink. These shops simply provide rabbits and other small creatures as companions while you sip a delicious beverage. The phenomenon apparently started in Taiwan in 1998 as a cat cafe and variations of this theme have spread across Asia. All manner of small animals are found in such cafes including sheep, goats, cats, dogs, hedgehogs, chinchillas and of course, rabbits. Some of these outlets accept stray or abandoned animals and many offer patrons the option of adopting their rabbit friends.
While wildly popular, there are not many of these animal access locations currently available. There are, however, several animal cafes that offer times with other species three of which are listed below. Please note that links to the main websites are provided but are often in Japanese. A browser with translation capabilities is generally required. In addition, when you have finished considering the fun side of this experience, please take a quick look at some of the safety and operational guidelines that will be expected when you visit.
Open weekdays from 12 noon to 7:30 pm (last entry at 6pm) and weekends from 11am to 8pm (last entry 30 minutes before closing. This busy little place requires reservations on the weekends and even recommends them on weekdays during peak hours. Located about a 5 minute walk from the A7 exit at Meiji Jingumae. the shop is closed on Tuesdays. Because of its popularity, the site has recently gone to a timed experience. Patrons are welcome to bring food for their own consumption but food as such is not served. Drinks are offered and there is a cover charge or reservation fee for the experience. Depending on availability, reservations can be made of 30 or 60 minutes. The website does offer information about the “STAFF” by which they mean the rabbits and have several on display. More supervised than you may think, there are several “house” rules to protect the customer as well as Mr. Usagi (Rabbit). Food for the rabbits can be purchased on site but no people food can be given. The overall atmosphere is cozy and casual and supervised children are welcome. Reservations can be made by phone or online with certain browsers.
Ra.a.g.f Rabbit Café | Address: Maison Harajuku 3F, 6-14-15 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001 Tokyo Phone: +81 3-6805-0328 email@example.com
Known for having one of the most liberal visitation policies, the Mimi cafe has one or two rabbits who have the run of the place while most are confined. Rabbits are known for their friendliness and relaxed natures. Interactions take place in the playroom. A second room has been opened and is dedicated to otters. Reservations are generally recommended but walk-ins are accepted during downtimes. A cover charge of between Y800-Y1300 is expected and includes one beverage that is served at the end of the visit. As of this writing, this location is undergoing some changes which are expected to be completed in mid-January 2019. It appears from the website that some food may be offered under special circumstances in the future. Drink options will be expanding. This location has a range of services and corresponding prices. Sit, enjoy a drink and watch for one price or spend up to 90 minutes interacting with the furry friends. Children do receive a discount. Reservations are accepted by phone. Email reservations are not accepted. Hours are 12 noon - 8:30 pm on weekdays and 10:30 am to 8:30 pm on weekends. Last entry is 30 minutes prior to closing.
Rabbit Cafe Mimi | Address: 1-13-9 Elephant 2nd Building B1, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima, Tokyo 170-0013, Japan | Phone: 070-5079-3841 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Get a drink and feed the rabbits at this cozy little location. Open from 12 noon to 9 pm Wednesday through Monday, you can also follow the exploits of these cuties by going on Twitter or Facebook. Base rates range for 30 minutes at Y1100 to 60 minutes for Y1500 (between $10-$15 USD). It is not clear whether reservations are required but the website does indicate that patrons and rabbits have free movement in the rabbit play area. Drinks are free with payment of admission. Rabbit bait comes with the price of admission but if the little ones are hungry that day, extra bait can be purchased separately. Customers will need to sign a Terms of Service Agreement and “house” rules apply for safety considerations.
Bunny Cafe Moff Rell | 4 Chome-8-３ Sotokanda, Chiyoda, Tokyo 101-0021, Japan | Phone: 03-3254-2323
Located about a five minute walk from Ikebukuro West Exit in Tokyo, this shop has been open since 2015. The website gives you the vibe that this location may be as much pet store as a place to spend leisure time with Mr. Usagi (Rabbit). The establishment does offer rabbits for sale and offers to help to pair rabbit and human with similar dispositions. Other information about rabbit care and breeding is also listed. The Q&A page on the website explains a great deal about the experience. Reservations are recommended but are only accepted by phone. An online reservation system is in the works and available soon. Children of all ages may attend but the site clearly states that payment is cash only. The ‘staying fee” includes all-you-can-drink beverages with rabbit food available for Y200 per serving. The basic charge is Y1100 per hour ($10 USD). A 30 minute trial period is available for Y700. Other options for specialty times and reservations vary between Y2000 and Y8000. The shop opens at 11 am and closing time varies with the last admission being 30 minutes before closing. One interesting policy in this shop is that it is considered an “automatic extension” system. Customers are expected watch their time and overages are charged at the rate of Y550 per 30 minutes. Overall the shop seems well experienced and is dedicated to a rabbit only operation.
Usabibi | Address: 〒171-0014 Tokyo, Toshima, Ikebukuro, Japan | Phone: +81 3-6914-2557
Other Animal Cafes in Tokyo
If cute rabbits are not your thing, there are other animal cafes in the Tokyo area like these listed here.
HARRY Roppongi (Hedgehogs)| Address: Japan, 〒106-0032 Tokyo, Minato, Roppongi, 6 Chome−7−２ | Phone: +81 3-3404-8100
Goat Cafe Sakuraoka (Goats) | ADDRESS: Tokyo, Shibuya-ku Sakuragaoka-cho, 23-3 Shinoda Building 1F | TEL: 03-5728-3242
Owl Village in Harajuku (Owls) | Address: Japan, 〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya, Jingumae, 1 Chome−21−１ | Phone: +81 3-6712-7739
Consider This Before Visiting
As with everything that seems light-hearted and fun-loving there is a downside to the operation. Check out the ‘fine-print’ that might impact your visit to these unique and interesting establishments.
Terms of Service Agreement
In all the businesses listed here, patrons must agree to and sign a Terms of Service Agreement. It not only outlines what can be expected from the rabbit but also what the human can and cannot do. While it may seem unnecessary on the surface, it is the best way to explain the risks involved.
Often, the average human has no experience with this quiet pet. If you have never been up close and personal with a real critter, then sudden allergic reactions can occur. The policy is generally ‘Pet at your own Risk’.
While owners are concerned about the safety of their customers, they are more concerned about safeguarding the health of the rabbits. For this reason, hands will need to be washed, shoes likely changed or covered, and smoking avoided. Hugging is not permitted in many shops as is chasing the animal.
Beverages vary from location to location. Drink menus are not typically found on the websites. Anticipated beverages include different coffees and teas as well as juice based mixtures. No mention of alcoholic beverages is made.
Most establishments welcome the taking of pics but request that flash photography is avoided as it may scare the animals.
No matter how tame, a rabbit can deliver a very painful bite if surprised or unintentionally mistreated. Shops tend to provide instruction as to what is an is not appropriate treatment to avoid injury to both rabbit and human.
Dirt and Smell
Handling any animal runs the risk of dirt, dander and damage to clothes. Pellets may be on floors and stick to shoes and belongings. Strong odors may irritate the sensitive nose.
Hope this helps you plan for a great visit to a Rabbit Cafe and enjoy the unique experience.