The Truth About Japanese Animal Cafés

The Truth About Japanese Animal Cafés

The truth about Japanese animal cafés depends on your philosophy about life. The well-being of café critters is a debatable subject. (Employees’ love of their birds, cats, dogs and hedgehogs, however, is uncontested.) Your perception of a café will probably depend on your sensitivity to seeing caged bunnies and clipped-wings birds.

Another truth about Japanese animal cafés: If you’re teaching English out in the countryside, you’ll need to catch a train to Tokyo. Or Osaka. Most if not all the cafés are in cosmopolitan areas.

Café may also be a misleading word in some cases. In some animal cafés vending machines are the source of the coffee or tea. Other places are bonafide afternoon tea spots. (Scroll down to see links to a menagerie of popular animal cafés in Tokyo.)It’s true that a visit to a Japanese animal café is easier if you know a few words. Let’s start with the animals.

Bird とり
Owl フクロウ
Rabbit うさぎ
Cat ねこ
Dog いぬ
Goat ヤギ
Hedgehog ハリネズミ
Snake へび

Bird / Owl Café Note: Some bird and owl cafés allow their birds to flutter above the people. Slickers, at the very least, hats are recommended. You don’t want to have to rush back to the hotel to wash your hair. Cat Café Note: Many (if not all) cat cafés do not allow patrons to pick up and cuddle cats. However, at some cafés, cats can be enticed into your lap with treats purchased at an extra cost.

Animal café employees are very attentive and kind. But it’s always good to know a few words pertaining to safety.

Is this dangerous? あぶないですか?
Is this all right? 大丈夫だいじょうぶですか?
Would you please help me? たすけていただけませんか?
The animal bit me. 動物どうぶつわたしんだ。
I’m all right. 大丈夫だいじょうぶです。
I feel pain. いたみがあります。
It hurts. いた
I’m done. Thank you. これでけっこうです。どうもありがとう。
Here are a few polite phrases that are good to know whether in a café or not.

Excuse me. すみません。
Thank you. どうもありがとう。
Would you kindly… ~~いただけませんか?
I’d like to make a reservation. 予約よやくねがいいたします。
Please ねがいします。

Note: Reservations at most animal cafés are an extremely good idea.

Monday 月曜日げつようび
Tuesday 火曜日かようび
Wednesday 水曜日すいようび
Thursday 木曜日もくようび
Friday 金曜日きんようび
Saturday 土曜日どようび
Sunday 日曜日にちようび
Morning 午前ごぜん
Afternoon 午後ごご
9:00 AM 午前ごぜんくじ
10:00 AM 午前ごぜんじゅうじ
11:00 AM 午前ごぜんじゅういちじ
12 noon おひる
1:00 PM 午後ごごいちじ
2:00 PM 午後ごごにじ
3:00 PM 午後ごごさんじ
4:00 PM 午後ごごよじ
5:00 PM 午後ごごごじ
6:00 PM 午後ごごろくじ
7:00 PM 午後ごごしちじ
15 minutes じゅうごふん
15 minutes before the hour じゅうごふんまえ
30 minutes さんじゅっぷん
Coffee please コーヒーおねがいいたします。
Black tea please 紅茶こうちゃねがいいたします。
Green tea please 緑茶りょくちゃねがいいたします。
Orange juice please オレンジジュースおねがいいたします。

Animal café chitter-chatter…

That animal (or fill in the blank from above)is cute! その動物どうぶつ可愛かわいいです。
Thank you. どうもありがとう。
That was fun. おもしろかった。
Kim Watkinson, The Ninja Baker
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