Review of Kyoto’s Best Cat Cafes

After the frenetic, high-energy chaos that is Tokyo, most visitors find Kyoto, with its abundance of green spaces and temples, a calming and serene change of pace, .

This zen-like atmosphere even extends to its cat cafes.

The Neighbor’s Cat visited six Kyoto cat cafes in June, 2017, but will profile the four best.  If interested, there are two additional cafes (with less-than-stellar reviews) if you want to read about them here and here.

Cat Apartment Coffee

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Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.  Even my reviews– sometimes you just need to see things for yourself.

I was concerned what awaited me at Cat Apartment Coffee when I saw several angry one star reviews online, with most of the ire was directed at the ‘no touching the cats’ policy.

Deciding to keep an open mind, I arrived a few minutes before the café’s noon opening time.  Inside the courtyard, it was like walking into another world– set in a Japanese garden, it was peacefully serene.

When I entered the house, it was even better.  I was blown away by the fusion of modern and traditional Japanese interiors.  The downstairs is the coffee bar and I loved the minimal, open design featuring stunning dark wood floors.  Upstairs, where the cats meet visitors, the space is enhanced with several customary elements such as shoji screens, low tables and tatami mats.  The whole space is incredibly special- beautiful, immaculately clean and authentic.

The owner was very friendly and we talked about the rules while she showed me a seat.  She explained that the policy about not touching the cats was implemented to prevent the cats from becoming skittish and avoiding people, which in my experience is a common issue with popular cat cafes- there are too many people trying to touch the cats. She noted that if a cat climbed on you, this wasn’t a problem, just to avoid picking them up.  Sufficiently apprised, I placed my order for an iced latte and turned my attention the kitties.

Whatever she is doing is working, because all of her cats were incredibly curious and social.  By not having people chase after them constantly, they all easily approach visitors.  My favorites included a regal Russian Blue named Roy and the sweet, expressive Latte, a Siamese mix.

After playing for a bit, I sat with my iced latte and was thrilled at how delicious it tasted.  The coffee shop downstairs clearly isn’t for show, they know what they are doing.  For an extra Y300 ($2.72 USD) you can add a drink to your entrance fee or Y600 ($5.44 USD) for a drink and piece of cake.  The quality here makes the prices a bargain.

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It was the fastest hour I’ve spent in a cat cafe.  It wasn’t the cheapest, but Cat Apartment Coffee is one of the most memorable and far and away the best experience of the 120 cat cafes I’ve visited so far in my travels.

Click here for the full review and cafe details.

Cat Cafe Nekokaigi

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Think a shelter-supported cat cafe can’t provide a quality cafe experience?  Cat Cafe Nekokaigi is here to prove you wrong.

Oftentimes, such cafes do an superb job on the cat side, but lack high standards in the facility or beverage department.  With Nekokaigi there is no compromise– you get all the warm feels AND an excellent cafe experience.

The space is fantastic- large, clean and fresh with the perfect balance of beds/equipment for the cats and comfortable seating for humans.  The atmosphere was relaxing and I was really impressed at how nice it was.

Then, I met the lovely ladies behind the desk.  First, they were very kind and made me feel welcome by seating me, taking my drink order (I had an iced tea) and then giving me some information about the cats, including why the cat in the orange tub has a towel on his head?  Answer:  because Japanese people do the same when going to Onsen, Japanese baths.  They went out of their way to cater to their guests, but it was clear they love the cats first and foremost.

I can see why, as they truly stole my heart.  All of them had been homeless at some point, yet here they were, twelve beautiful felines living happy lives.  Most were the picture of health, except for one poor baby with cancer that was in a special bed with a note asking that she be petted very gently.

Located on the second floor of a building on busy Oike Dori street (between Tozai line stops Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae and Karasuma line Karasuma-oike station), the price of admission is a very reasonable Y900 ($8.16 USD) for one hour with drinks extra, but also well-priced at Y200-300 ($1.81-$2.72 USD) each.

Cat Cafe Nekokaigi is an incredible value for all the warm and fuzzy that awaits you.

Click here for complete cafe details and more photos.

Neko Cafe Time

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Cute is such an overused word, especially in the world of cat cafes, but it is truly the best way to describe Neko Cafe Time.

With the sweetest owner and thirteen cats that have personality to spare, it’s hard not to fall in love.  The kitties are mostly rescues and you can tell how much she loves them with how their bios are presented- from ‘Store Manager’ Bob to ‘Red Beans’ Azuki, each cat has a story and learning their character quirks makes observing them even more fun!

The space is on the small side, but is very clean and well organized with a free drink or ice cream included in your Y700 entrance fee (30 minutes).  One thing that stood out to me was the level of engagement for patrons, like a wall poster where you can mark your favorite cat with a sticker.

Located next to famed Fushimi Inari shrine, visiting Neko Cafe Time is an enjoyable and inexpensive treat when in Kyoto.

For more photos and full cafe details, click here.

Cat’s Eye

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It’s the unexpected that makes life exciting.  Like coming across a cat cafe that wasn’t on your radar.

It happened while I was on my way to another Kyoto cat cafe.  About a five minute walk from Keihan Jingu-Marutamachi station on Marutamachi street (across from Imperial Palace Park), I saw the sandwich board on the sidewalk that said ‘Cat’s Eye Kyoto’.  When opportunity presents itself, one should always say ‘yes’, so I abandoned my current plan and walked in.

One of the kindest people I met during my visit to Japan (which is something considering how nice everyone is here) greeted me at the door in English (arigato!) and after taking my Y1000 fee and order for a coffee (included in the price), she showed me to the cat room.

I found the space to be very clean and pleasantly comfortable albeit simple and no-frills, however I didn’t have much time to contemplate the cafe’s interior as the cats came out to play almost immediately.

Cat’s Eye resident felines are rescues and the focus of the cafe is adoption.  There were eight sweet fluff balls the day I visited including two adorable kittens that were particularly playful, but all of the cats were well-socialized and friendly.

The cat-loving owner served my coffee (in a real mug with a biscuit, a step above what you normally find in Japan) and spoke at length about the cats, encouraging me to interact with them.  It was just the two of us during my visit and it was lovely.  We talked about cats, travel and more- the hour went by very quickly.

Cat’s Eye is not your typical over-the-top Japanese cat cafe experience, but you are seeking a quieter place with plenty of kitty snuggles on offer I encourage you to visit Cat’s Eye and support the good work they are doing.

For more photos and complete cafe details, click here.

The Neighbor’s Cat is a comprehensive global cat cafe resource with first-hand reviews, the most current locations and an extensive photo gallery of the cutest cats on the planet.  On a quest to visit every cat cafe (120 in 22 countries so far) in the world, The Neighbor’s Cat can help you find the perfect cafe to complement your travels. 

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Catching Up with Yoda’s Adventures: Where Will He Go Next?

It’s been awhile friends! Last we spoke to you, we were well settled in Kathmandu, Nepal. Flash forward a year and half and our Yoda has traveled to 4 more countries and flown more than 10.000 miles. Not bad for a furry beast! Wanna know how he does it? Read on to discover how Yoda continues his adventures around the world.

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Yoda climbing trees | France

Nepal was by far the wildest adventure we’ve had with our beast (especially riding on a bicycle with him) but it did not stop there. We are travelers at heart and while it’s not always easy, it sure is always exciting! After Nepal, we all flew back to the USA for the summer to say hi to the rest of the family before heading back to Europe. Yoda reunited with his “cousins” (Brittany’s sister’s pets): 3 dogs, two cats and a crazy macaw.

It’s always amazing to see this little world interact. All the barking, meowing and singing… I think we are quite lucky as they all get along very well and adapt so quickly to each other.

Yoda rug | Fluffy Kitty
Yoda on his rug | Belgium

Summer went by fast and he soon had to say goodbye to his crew to start on a new adventure. I had to leave early to see my family in France so Brittany was the one who took care of bringing Yoda to the airport.

While she stayed a little longer in the US, Yoda flew on his own to Paris where I went to pick him up. I don’t know if you’ve ever had the chance to pick an animal up at the airport but it is quite a funny process (put aside all the paperwork).

Yoda and Bri | Fluffy Kitty
Yoda & Brittany working on Fluffy Kitty | USA

To picture the scene, you need to imagine a gigantic warehouse, usually used for cargo goods coming from all over the world. The warehouse is looking quite empty at this very early time in the morning (it was 6am), making the scene even funnier and disproportionate. Here comes Yoda in his large crate on top of a big, powerful forklift that could probably carry 4000 pounds. He was delivered to me (although very gently) like some kind of construction material!

After a good laugh, we drove back together to the center of France to spend a few more weeks with family and friends before starting the next part of our journey to the Netherlands, where Brittany started her master’s program in humanitarian action.

Once more Yoda traveled by car for hundreds of miles to reach this new unfamiliar place, home of the gouda cheese, windmills, millions of bicycles, canals and so much more.

Yoda Car | Fluffy Kitty
Yoda’s European road trip | Passing through Luxembourg

Not that Yoda interacted much with any of those, but he did have his share of adventures. We often say that cats are creatures of habits. That might be true for some, but Yoda shows us that an ever changing life can also be managed, even with a furry friend.

Think about it: while in the Netherlands, we changed home 3 times in less than a year. For most cats I believe that would be quite the challenge. Well for Yoda, that’s just excitement, other opportunities to put his nose everywhere and climb and run around…Overall, he seems to be a pretty happy kitty!

Yoda and Peter | Fluffy Kitty
Yoda & Peter | The Netherlands

He even met a friend as we were cat sitting for our tenant in one of those places. Yoda the indoor, traveling cat met Peter, a black and white outdoor scaredy cat. At first we thought those two would never get along but after a week of slow introduction and positive reinforcement, they overcame their fear of each other and became not-so-close napping buddies.

As of today, we are in Brussels, Belgium. Our little family is enjoying winter here before a new start. Yoda enjoys settling down from time to time, just like his parents. In Brussels he hasn’t been able to go outside as much, but that doesn’t stop him from trying to escape out the window and scale the rooftops of Brussels for a better look at the city (yes that really happened and Brittany almost jumped out after him).

Yoda & Bri | Fluffy Kitty
Sunny morning in Brussels| Belgium

But all adventures aside, we’re also writing to say we’ve decided on our next destination! We think Yoda will be pretty pleased with it, too. Want a clue?
.
..
…Tacos and tequila! 😉

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Tabatha’s Amazing China Facts #1

A big hello to all the readers at Katzenworld on this fine, sunny day in Hangzhou, China. The sun has finally decided to display itself (with it’s hat on) after quite a few days of rain! The weather is still cold though. I have to wear my little knitted mittens every day.

Now as you will all have read in our previous post myself and my lovely owner Kat are currently living and working in China for a year. We are based in the city of Hangzhou, in Zheijang Province about an hour outside of Shanghai (well, by bullet train at least).

China is very different to that of the Western World and in all honesty it has taken some getting used to. However, we like to embrace change and live our lives to the absolute full 🙂

China is a very interesting country with a long history that spans thousands of years and is a country rich in culture. Being here I have learnt many interesting facts about this vast country and would like to share some of these facts with you lovely readers 🙂

Did you know?

1. China is the third largest country in the world! (Russia and Canada are 1st and 2nd).

2. Even though China has a huge land boundary (22,800 km!) it only has one time zone (+8 hours to UK time).

3. Beijing is the countries capital city (a.k.a ‘Peking’) and is home to the famous great wall of China and the Forbidden City.

4. Nobody is allowed to enter the Forbidden City after 5pm in the evening due to ghostly sightings and activities…spooky!

5. The Great Wall is 21,196.18 kilometers (13,170.70 miles!) long! WOW!

More interesting facts about China to come soon!

Remember to follow Kat and I at: https://tabathastravelssite.wordpress.com/  #tabathalovestotravel

We are also on Facebook and Twitter

Thank you for reading!

Travel Blogging Kitty Tabatha xxxx

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