Moff Animal Cafe: Tsukuba

Although it's not as large as sister shop Moff Animal World in Chiba, this laid-back multi-species animal cafe may be worth dropping in on if you're in Tsukuba. You can spend some quality time with around a dozen cats in the small cat playroom, and sip coffee in the aviary accompanied by owls of various sizes, a kokkabura and other birds of prey.

The small-animal room at the front of the cafe is the most diverse, and probably the most interactive. When we were there a friendly meerkat was eager to play, and an inquisitive parrot was happy to sit on a shoulder while we explored the room. We encountered rabbits and guinea pigs, a couple of big tortoises and a stately iguana, a tub full of baby chicks, a chinchilla and several other animals.

You can buy chow to feed some of the animals, and staff members are on hand if you have questions, or if you need help removing a parrot from your shoulder. There's a "free drink" system included with your admission fee, so you can help yourself to unlimited coffee and other soft drinks while you're here. There's ample seating, with magazines and animal books to browse through.

The cafe is located in the eastern section of the iias shopping mall, five minutes from Kenkyugakuen station on the Tsukuba Express line (around 45 minutes from Asakusa). When we visited on a weekday evening there were only a few other customers, but it gets busier on weekends.

Moff Animal Cafe
029-846-7900
Tsukuba / Animal cafe
Open 10am-8pm (enter by 7pm) daily.
Admission Y1200 for one hour, Y300 for each additional 15 minutes; includes free drinks
Average visit time: one hour
Tsukuba, Ibaraki-ken, Kenkyugakuen 5-19, iias Tsukuba.
5 minutes from Kenkyugakuen station (Tsukuba Express; 45 minutes from Asakusa)
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