Neko Jalala: Tokyo Akihabara

JaLaLa distinguish themselves within the competitive cat-cafe world with their choice of exotic breeds such as Abyssinians and Maine Coons - seventeen in all, including some of the largest housecats we've ever encountered. The long-running shop consists of a smallish playroom that's amply furnished with numerous perches, shelves and feline-friendly enclosures.

Although the cats here seem to be as bored with visitors as usual, they changed their attitude when we bribed them with tuna, and they were soon eating out of our hand. The Y350 cat snack (a reasonably hefty helping of tuna) is a good investment if you want a more interactive experience. Floor-based ping pong is another popular pastime.

Staff are friendly and enthusiastic, and they will provide English-speaking visitors with a book introducing all the cats, who for some reason each have their own email address. (We haven't investigated whether or not they write back.) The usual animal cafe rules apply - no flash photos, no roughhousing, and let sleeping cats lie.

The basic cover charge is Y1010 for an hour on weekdays, Y1060 on weekends, or Y530 if you just want a quick thirty-minute visit. This being a cafe, there's also a one-drink minimum. Coffee, tea and beer are served, starting at Y350 for an iced oolong tea.

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Neko Jalala
Tokyo Akihabara / Cat cafe
Open 11am-7:30pm (LO) daily.
Cover charge Y1010/hour weekdays, Y1060/hour weekends
Average visit time: 30-60 minutes
Chiyoda-ku, Soto-Kanda 3-5-5.