Japan’s newest trend in animal cafes keeps popping up all over Tokyo. What started as a couple cafes a few years ago has now led to dozens of cafes in various neighborhoods. Cafe Hoho in Shinjuku is a fairly new addition to the growing number of animal cafes and is a great chance to drink some coffee with some feathery companions.
Cafe Hoho is a small underground cafe about a three-minute walk from Takadanobaba Station. Like many animal cafes, it requires you to purchase food in order to interact with the animals. Prices of drinks start at around 600 yen and small side dishes and desserts are around the same price. The best option is the 1,000 yen set that includes a dessert, drink, and 10 minutes of petting and interacting with the owls. The food and drinks are quite good, and the presentation matches the calm and simple aesthetic of the cafe.
There are seven owls in the cafe of various sizes, with the largest one the photo favorite as it is the one you can pose with on your arm. Guests go into the owl habitat one group at a time so the owls don’t get too overwhelmed. Once the cafe attendant lets your group know you can enter, you and your group members are free to go pet and take photos of the owls. There is a short safety info presentation before interacting with the owls to make sure that guests don’t scare the owls. Most of it is common sense, like don’t grab at the owls or get in their faces.
The cafe is only open during afternoons and evenings and is not very big. If you would like to get in, the best time to go is around prime dinner time when everyone else is out at nearby restaurants. There is not time limit for staying in the cafe, even though there is a time limit for interacting with the owls. My friend and I went towards closing time, and since we were the last ones to see the owls I feel like we did get a bit more time to pet them than if it were there at a normally busy time.
While it may not be the most well know animal cafe, Cafe Hoho has a great staff and location, and is definitely a fun experience. When visiting animal cafes, make sure to add Cafe Hoho to your list!
Location: about a three-minute walk from JR Takadanobaba Station. Take the Waseda exit and turn right. Turn left and cross the street and you should end up in from of McDonald’s. With McDonald’s in front of you turn right and continue walking down the street until you come to Cafe Hoho.
Price: Food and Drinks from 600 yen
Hours: 1pm-7pm (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays)
*Note: this cafe is permanently closed.
・98 Things to Do in Shinjuku, the Party District of Tokyo, in 2018!