Mocha: Koshigaya Laketown

It isn't every day that we get invited to a cat's birthday party, so when the staff told us that one of the residents was having a celebration, we knew we had to check it out. It was a surprisingly elaborate affair, with special decorations, birthday music (a J-pop version of a Stevie Wonder song played on endless repeat), and a birthday cake with candles.

After the two dozen visitors were encouraged to sing a birthday song, and after the obligatory photo sessions, everyone received a dish of cake to feed to the cats. That was all very festive, but the high point of the celebration was probably at the very beginning, when staff members were putting up streamers and other decorations while the cats were making their best efforts to tear them down. Now that's a party!

This is the tenth branch of the popular cat-cafe chain, and the first one located in a suburban shopping mall, so unlike the central Tokyo branches this one is patronized by local people rather than tourists. Twenty resident cats, including a good number of playful kittens, have the full run of a fairly large multi-level playroom. The room includes a sunken pit area, and is furnished with Mocha's distinctive tree-shaped cat perches, with plenty of seating for visitors.

Lollipop-style cat treats are very popular with the cats, and are sold at the front desk for Y500, except during feeding times, which are at 10am and 7:30pm. Manga and videogames are available if you want to hang out for awhile, and there's an unlimited soft-drink bar with coffee, tea and sodas. Unlike some branches of Mocha, this one allows children from the age of three.

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Mocha
048-940-2295
Koshigaya Laketown / Cat cafe
Open 10am-8pm (last entry 7:30pm) daily.
Y200 per 10 minutes, plus Y350 for soft-drink bar
Average visit time: 30-90 minutes
Koshigaya City, Saitama, Laketown 3-1-1, Aeon Laketown Mori 1F.
10 minutes from Koshigaya Lake Town (JR Musashino line)