So you’re a dog lover? If you’re planning to move to Japan, you may be disappointed to learn that most Japanese apartments are not pet-friendly. It’s tough being a dogless dog lover. However, there are some cafes where you can play with the cafe owners’ dogs. You get to enjoy spending quality time with them while not having to deal with the “taking care” and “responsibility” part of keeping a pet. Here are five recommended dog cafes in Japan that you can visit for your petting needs!
At Dog Tail, you’ll certainly be surprised at the pack of small dogs that will greet you and follow you to your seat. A Maltese and a friendly dachshund are part of the eleven resident dogs in the cafe. The playroom occupies a large space with minimal floor cushions for seating. You’ll also enjoy a nice view of the river just north of Dotonbori. There are dog treats available for the furry animals which the visitors can use to become closer to them. Guests may also enjoy hot and cold coffee, iced tea, corn tea, and other fruit juices. If you are planning to visit on a weekend, note that the cafe tends to get really crowded so it would better to visit earlier during the day.
Address: Dotonbori 2-4-6, 4F.
Open: 8:00 pm daily
Telephone number: 06-6211-1181
Fee: Cover charge starts at 1000 yen for 50 minutes (including one drink)
Average visit time: 50 minutes
If you love small and lap-size dogs, this cafe is the right one for you. Dog Time is a little bit difficult to find, but once you happen to step into their doorstep, you’ll find yourself in dog heaven! Located in Toshima, Tokyo, this cozy cafe is currently the home to seven adorable dogs. It is recommended to call them before you visit because they close irregularly.
Address: Tokyo, Toshima Ward, Kita Otsuka 2-34-7
Hours: 11:00 am to 8:00 pm (reservation advised on weekends)
Telephone number: +81 (0)3-3814-9902
Fee: 1 hour (including unlimited soft drinks and some snacks) – 1,500 yen, then 500 yen per half hour extra
You’re in for a lively afternoon at Dog Heart. This is the most popular dog cafe in Tokyo where a pack of tail-wagging pups will welcome you upon your arrival. Unlike other dog cafes, you’ll be glad to know that there are sixteen resident dogs who are thrilled and excited to play with human visitors. The pack is composed of toy poodles, beagles, and a lone golden retriever. The cafe has one large sofa and cushions on the floor where visitors can relax. You can also help yourself to some tea, soda, or juice for 100 yen a drink. Rest assured that all the dogs are friendly. You can pet them and even play fetch with them. Note that if you choose the “dog rental” option when you check in, you’ll have the benefit of taking one of the dogs out for a walk at the Yoyogi Park.
Address: Tomigaya 1-45-2, Y’s Park Bldg 2F.
Hours: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm daily
Telephone number: 03-3469-4115
Fee: 950 yen for 30 minutes or 1,550 yen for 60 minutes cover charge in the cafe. Dog rental starts at 3,600 yen for 1 hour.
Average visit time: 30 to 60 minutes
This one is quite different from the other dog cafes because this is actually a rescue dog cafe. Like a typical dog cafe, you’ll see a pack of friendly dogs that keep the cafe lively. Note that the dogs in the cafe are available for adoption, or if you don’t intend on becoming a fully pledged dog owner, you can just pet them and play with them. The cafe usually gets crowded on weekends. Children are welcome and you can also bring along your own dog (if you have one) to socialize with the residents.
Address: Hachioji City, Sandamachi 2-7-32
Hours: 11:00 am to 6:00 pm daily
Telephone number: 042-673-2951
Fee: There’s no hourly charge but you need to buy coffee, tea, or other drinks from the menu; prices start at 550 yen.
Average visit time: 30 to 60 minutes
This dog cafe is the home to eleven cuddly pugs who are eager to play with you. You are allowed to play with these adorable dogs on the ground floor or you can sit on the big sofa while petting them. You can also take a break and order yourself some snacks. Don’t forget to reward your furry friend with some tasty dog treats! This pug cafe is actually luring people from all over Japan making the place crowded most of the time. If you are planning to visit, it would be wise to call them and make your reservations ahead of time.
Address: Kyoto-fu, Kyoto-shi, Ukyo-ku, Saiinnakamizu-cho 18-4
Hours: 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm (reservations required)
Closed: generally Tuesdays and Wednesdays
Telephone number: 075-874-7989
Fee: Guests can choose one of two drink courses. For 500 yen, you get one drink and an hour of play time. For 1,000 yen, you get unlimited time and unlimited drinks.
Move over, cat cafes, for a new animal-themed cafe is taking over! Just remember to practice proper etiquette when visiting a dog cafe. Be gentle and respectful of the animals, don’t bother them when they’re asleep or eating, turn off the flash on your camera, and sanitize your hands at the beginning and end of your visit. Other than that, relax, take a few photos, and enjoy your time spent with your new furry friends.