Marumaru: Tokyo Shinagawa-ku

[Update: closed] With its dim lighting, soft music and backdrop of white noise from the ventilation system, Marumaru has a rather languid air, reinforced by the site of napping cats sprawled everywhere. The cafe is quite spacious, and spread out over one and half floors of a five-story internet cafe that's long and narrow in plan. The upper floor has a computer that you can use, plus the usual collections of books, magazines and comics.

Down on the lower level are lockers and a self-service drinks machine that dispenses free coffee, tea and sodas. We were warned to be sure to attach a lid tightly to our drinks, as apparently drink-toppling is a popular sport here. Also exercise caution on the stairway between the levels, so you don't inadvertently step on any sleeping cats.

Cat snacks are available during certain hours of the day (for Y150), and the place really perked up when one of our fellow visitors took the plunge, and encouraged the suddenly alert residents to beg for snacks. Even without bribes though, with 21 cats here there are usually at least a few that are awake and ready to play or be petted. The feline talent includes exotic breeds such as the Somali, Himalayan, Abyssinian, Bengal, Russian Blue and Persian.

Weekday evenings don't seem to be particularly crowded, although weekends of course are a different matter. Young children are welcome, and Thursday is "Men's Day," when male customers get a Y200 discount.

Tokyo Shinagawa-ku / Cat cafe
Open 11am-9pm daily.
Cover charge is Y1000 per hour (Y1200 on weekends)
Average visit time: 60 minutes
Higashi-Oi 5-7-14.
3 minutes from Oimachi station (Keihin Tohoku line, Rinkai line, Tokyu Oimachi line)