Nekorobi: Tokyo Ikebukuro

One of Tokyo's oldest cat cafes, Nekorobi is a friendly, relaxed spot to hang out, although it's a lot better when it's not crowded, as there are only eleven resident cats to go around. You'll find the usual collection of cat toys, climbing trees, hideaway spots and cardboard boxes, along with low-rise, cat-level seats around the periphery of the room.

In addtion to feline entertainment there a few games to play as well as Japanese-language manga and magazines. A large-screen TV in one corner plays a slide show of cat pictures from the cafe's history dating back to 2008. The three staff members are friendly, and very accustomed to foreign visitors.

During our visit on a weekday afternoon we had to wait five minutes to get in, and about 80% of the visitors were tourist families and student groups. Unfortunately, it was catnap time and the cats must not be disturbed, so customers are forced to make their own entertainment. People were sprawled about on the floor playing cards, waiting longingly and expectantly for some cats to wake up. They eventually did, but only to stretch, turn around and go back to sleep.

The minimum stay is sixty minutes, and that includes all you drink from the vending machine. Remember to put a lid on your drink, as some of the cats love to play a friendly game of Knock over the Drinks on the Table.

Among the familiar Maine Coon, Chinchilla Golden, Munchkin, and Exotic Shorthair breeds, there are also some more unusual Scottish Fold and Somali cats, which look very cute when they're asleep. Cat feeding times are at 11am and 8:30pm.

Click on photos below to see larger versions
Tokyo Ikebukuro / Cat cafe
Open 11am-10pm daily.
Average visit time: 30-60 minutes
Higashi-Ikebukuro 1-28-1, Tact T-O Bldg 3F.