On our ‘spring break’ this year we visited the second largest city in Japan, Osaka.
In this buzzing metropolis, we engaged in the most touristy かわいい(cute) cultural activity possible: animal cafe visiting!
Our first stop was the owl cafe, Owl Family Cafe Osaka. With a hoot hoot here and a hoot hoot there, we enjoyed the company of some very cute, and slightly grumpy, owls. My favourite was Mr. Pirate. He had a different name I cannot recall, but clearly he was actually a pirate owl. With a winking squinting left eye like that and a tiny little frame, he would make the perfect pirating companion. Dan enjoyed Potatoe the most for her beauty, so fickle.
Next on the animal cafe tour was the common cat cafe, with a trip to Cat Tail. The cats here were game for sitting on people at great length. Dan adopted two particularly large cats, who enjoyed some leg time. He also wore another smaller cat on his head for the duration of our time in the cat cafe. I made friends with a mass of ginger hair with a face that looked like he had been hit with a frying pan. It was a relaxing and furry coffee!
We concluded our tour with the dog cafe, Dog Tail. Not to be confused with Cat Tail. Very different. Here, we enjoyed watching dogs pay attention only to people with food, which we were not. It was quite a desperate experience, where the food holders owned the room and the rest of us desperately tried to attract one of the creatures that in my book passed for fluffy socks, not dogs. Still, one paid me some attention and sat on my lap farting for a few minutes. I slipped him into my handbag and he is now my pet caterpillar.
Animal cafes are a genius Japanese idea. People in Japan have small apartments with walls so thin they practically live with their neighbours, making owning pets a bad idea. So, why not seek the love and therapeutic strokes of someone else’s expensive pet, before returning to your cold lonely apartment with nothing but a series of awkward selfies to comfort you?