Don’t Like Cats? Here Are 5 Dog Cafes in Japan to Visit Instead!

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  • You may know that in Japan, there is a huge amount of unique and charming little establishments called cat cafes, rightfully named for the cats that live there. These felines are available for you to pet and play with while you enjoy a cup of coffee, and their popularity remains high, with the most frequently visited places being in high-tourist spots such as Akihabara and Ikebukuro. Patrons pay a fee, often hourly, as well as for beverages, so visiting a cafe is a little like a pet rental.

    However, not everybody loves cats. If you are more of a dog person, you will be pleased to know that there are also several dog cafes in Japan where you can have fun with cute puppies! If you are planning to move to Japan, you may be disappointed to learn that most Japanese apartments are not pet-friendly, and therefore it is impossible for you to get a dog of your own. Why not visit a dog cafe to satisfy your need to spend time with some of these cute animals?

    At these wonderful dog cafes, you get to enjoy spending quality time with friendly dogs and puppies, just like the famous cat cafes. Best of all, you can enjoy all the best parts of having a dog while not having to deal with the taking care and responsibility part of keeping a pet! Read on to find out about the popularity of animals cafes in Japan and check out these five recommended dog cafes that you can visit to satisfy your petting needs! They have a variety of dogs including gorgeous pugs, friendly Maltese, Chihuahuas, and also some adorable puppies to fall in love with!

    The Popularity of Pet Cafes in Japan

    Animal cafes are a national treasure in Japan, famous around the world and visited by both locals and visitors of the country. Tokyo and other large cities boast a huge selection of cafes where visitors can pet a wide variety of animals ranging from snakes, owls, birds, rabbits, sea creatures, and even goats!

    This craze has now started to export to other countries such as China and South Korea, and you can even find them in Asian districts and oriental towns in European cities. Perhaps it is the relaxing and informal way in which you can enjoy a coffee, pet an animal, and chat with friends. It is more intimate and personable than a zoo and can allow visitors to escape city life for a few hours and relax with a warm and friendly little “pet” without the responsibility and expense of getting an animal of their own.

    The vast majority of these cafes are cat cafes, where visitors can play with cats, have them on their lap, and watch them fighting with balls of string. However, not everyone is a cat lover. Many people prefer the loyal and lively dog. If you are one of these people, visit one of these lovely dog cafes when you get the chance.

    1. Dog Tail (Osaka)

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    At Dog Tail in Osaka, you’ll be pleasantly surprised and instantly happy with the pack of small dogs that will greet you and follow you to your seat as soon as you enter. A Maltese and a friendly Dachshund are just some of the 14 resident dogs in the cafe. The playroom occupies a large space with some floor cushions for sitting. You’ll also enjoy a nice view of the river just north of the lively Dotonbori area in Osaka.

    There are dog treats available for these furry animals which visitors can use to develop quick food-related relationships with the dogs! Guests may also enjoy hot or iced coffee, iced tea, corn tea, and various 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 if possible. An added typically Japanese feature is that some of the dogs are wearing an adorable little jacket! This makes them easier to tell them apart and just makes them look dapper! Prepare yourself for a thousand photo opportunities and some insanely cute dogs to make instant friends with!

    Address: Dotonbori 2-4-6, 4F Shuei Bldg.
    Open: until 8:00 pm daily
    Telephone number: 06-6211-1181
    Fee: Cover charge starts at 1,000 yen for 50 minutes (including one drink); longer packages available
    Average visit time: 50 minutes

    Dog Tail Website *Japanese only
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    2. Dog Time (Toshima, Tokyo)

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    If you love small and lap-size dogs, this cafe in Tokyo is the right one for you. Dog Time is a little bit difficult to find, but once you step through their door, you’ll find yourself in dog heaven! This cafe features toy poodles and Dachshunds.

    Located in Toshima, Tokyo, this cozy cafe is currently home to 14 adorable little dogs. You can pet them to your heart’s content, and enjoy a coffee or snack at the same time. Although this cafe doesn’t attract quite as many tourists as most other cafes, it still gets busy quickly, so don’t forget to call and make a reservation before you visit!

    Address: Tokyo, Toshima Ward, Kita Otsuka 2-34-7
    Hours: 11:00 am to 8:00 pm (reservation advised on weekends)
    Telephone number: 070-4385-8373
    Fee: 1,500 yen for 1 hour (includes a bottle of soft drink and snacks for dogs), then 500 yen per half hour extra

    Dog Time website *Japanese only
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    3. Dog Heart from Aquamarine (Yoyogi, Tokyo)

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    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. You’ll be glad to know that there are no fewer than sixteen resident dogs who are thrilled and excited to play with human visitors. You will quickly notice the happiness and energy of the dogs here which makes the experience all the more magical!

    The pack of dogs here is composed of toy poodles, beagles, and a lone golden retriever. The cafe has one large sofa and plenty of cushions on the floor where visitors can relax. Rest assured that all the dogs are very friendly and trained. You can pet them and even play fetch with them. Beverages are cheap and plentiful and include soft drinks, tea, and coffee.

    Please 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 nearby Yoyogi Park if you so wish, which the dog, as well as you, will absolutely love! This cafe is one of the most popular and for good reason. It treats its pets very well and is a great atmosphere for people of all ages to relax and enjoy an afternoon.

    Address: Tomigaya 1-45-2, 2F Y’s Park Bldg.
    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

    Dog Heart from Aquamarine website *Japanese only
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    4. Hogoken Cafe (Hachioji, Tokyo)

    This unique animal cafe 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. It is situated in Hachioji which is to the west of Tokyo but easily accessible via train from central Tokyo, and there is another branch in Osaka if you are in the Kansai area.

    The dogs here are super cute and have all been rescued from various different kennels or areas of the city. The variety of dogs here change all the time as they are all up for adoption, but have included breeds such as the fluffy and gorgeous Japanese Spitz. The cafe also houses the occasional cat who is also up for adoption. This really is a special place to visit, all the more so because you are supporting the rescue process by coming here and investing in the cafe.

    Note that the dogs in the cafe are all available for adoption and can be taken home to new families. If you don’t intend on becoming a fully pledged dog owner, you can just pet them and play with them, but if you are thinking of getting your own dog, consider adopting one from Hogoken! The cafe usually gets crowded on weekends so try to visit on a weekday if possible. Children are welcome and you can also bring along your own dog (if you have one) to socialize with the residents!

    Address: Hachioji City, Sennincho 3-6-10
    Hours: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm daily
    Telephone number: 042-669-0715
    Fee: There’s no hourly charge but you need to buy coffee, tea, or other drinks from the menu; prices start at 600 yen.
    Average visit time: 30 to 60 minutes

    Hogoken Cafe website *Japanese only
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    5. Pug Cafe Living Room (Kyoto)

    You may love dogs, but if your favorite breed is the pug and you are visiting Kyoto, look no further! This friendly dog cafe is home to 12 cuddly pugs of various colors who are all eager to play with you! You are allowed to play with these adorable little 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. Fans of these noisy little snuggle boofs shouldn’t miss a visit to the Pug Cafe Living Room!

    Don’t forget to reward your furry friend with some tasty dog treats! This pug cafe is gaining popularity as pug dogs are insanely cute and sociable dogs. You will find visitors from all over the world coming here to be around these gorgeous and cute doggies!

    Again, this cafe can get incredibly busy at peak times and weekends, so if you are planning to visit, make sure you make a reservation to avoid disappointment.

    Address: Kyoto-fu, Kyoto-shi, Nishi Kyoku, Katsura Kawada-cho 151
    Hours: 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm (reservations required)
    Closed: irregular holidays
    Telephone number: 075-874-7989
    Fee: Guests can choose one of two drink courses. For 1,200 yen, you get one drink and snacks for you and the dogs. For 3,000 yen, you get unlimited time, unlimited drinks, and a small present.

    Pug Cafe Living Room website
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    Move over, cat cafes, because a new animal-themed cafe is taking over! Please remember to practice proper etiquette when visiting a dog cafe. Be gentle and respectful of the animals, and don’t bother them when they’re asleep or eating. Also, it is highly recommended to turn off the flash on your camera so as not to alarm the dogs, and be sure to 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. These five dog cafes are highly respected and recommended because of their very good treatment of the dogs there and a relaxing and safe atmosphere which can be fun for all of the family. Make your trip to Japan extra special at these sweet establishments.

    *Featured Image: jp.fotolia.com/