As with every city (or even town) in Japan, the fascination with both coffee and animals has resulted in the explosion of cafes dedicated to a particular animal, be it dog, rabbit, bird and of course, the ever popular, cat. Hiroshima is no exception.
Although there are now a few cat cafes in Hiroshima, I thought I’d focus on two that are located a walk (or easy streetcar or train ride) away from the main downtown area of Hondori. Sure the ones in the city centre are easy accessible and clearly visible, but I find the ones that are a little further away from where most people usually venture are more authentic and dare I say, less ‘touristy.’
The very first cat café I discovered was in my neighbourhood of Yokogawa. Café-Manekineko is one of the longest running cat cafes in Hiroshima and has an extensive website (shown as a link below), which clearly sets out the ‘cast,’ of cats, prices, goods to buy, as well as a blog that is updated regularly. Unfortunately the website is only in Japanese, but don’t let that stop you from visiting, as a Google search will show more than a few reviews from foreigners who have visited with no problems whatsoever. There’s also a map and the address in Japanese if you need to ask someone.
Café Manekineko has the greatest number of cats of any of the cafes and for 1200 yen for adults and 600 yen for children (one free drink) you are able to spend one hour playing with them. Although some people might think it’s a tad pricey, just remember that in some coffee shops you’ll be paying at least 400-500 yen for a coffee and there are no cats to entertain you. I believe it’s totally worth it, especially if you live in an apartment where pets aren’t allowed and you’re desperately missing your own furballs back in your native country.
The second of the cafes, ねこごこち (Neko gokochi) is located just a short walk from the Peace Park. It’s located on the left hand side of the road on the second floor just before Honkawacho streetcar stop. Here you will find six ‘staff,’ who are more than willing to look cute and let you pat them and take photos with them.
This café is much smaller than the one in Yokogawa, but it is also cheaper and has the option of parking deals if you need it.
As studies have shown, spending time in the company of animals, particularly cats, is a great way to de-stress and if you live in Hiroshima you should definitely take some time out and pay a visit to these two cat cafes. It’s a relaxing way to spend a morning or afternoon and the ‘purrfect,’ place to take your family and friends when they visit you.7