Sorry, I couldn’t help the pun in the title but it’s apt considering our experience at MoCHA Cat Café in Shibuya. Not that there was anything wrong with the cats – far from that but the way it was operated didn’t make it a very enjoyable experience.

Upon entry, you’re told that every 10 minutes will be charged 200Yen (approximately AUD$2.50) and the second you run over that first 10 minute session, another 200Yen will be charged. Right…

You’re then also told that you have to take up a drinks package as part of the experience. You’re entitled to a free flow of coffee, tea and soft drinks for the time you’re there for an extra 500Yen. Free flow? Great…but how much can you actually drink in 10 minutes?

Our time started from the minute we said “Yes!” to the experience. We were then told to change into a pair of bedroom slippers which they provided and to place our bags in the lockers. Now, this is where it starts to get unpleasant. The lockers are placed across the drinks machine, leaving about 1.5 feet between them. This means, two people can’t share the same space. Too bad if you’re dying from thirst while I shove my bag in this tiny locker!

By time we got all of that sorted and shuffled our way through the tiny space, five minutes was gone. We were taken into the cat play area which I have to say, was pretty well decorated. The cats seemed aloof and cute, which is pretty normal.

So here’s what we liked about the place:

  • The cats
  • The cats
  • Yep, you guessed it…the cats

and here’s what we didn’t like about it:

  • the room where we were allowed to play with the cats was really warm
  • there were so many rules to spending time with the cats – you’re basically only allowed to stare at them or pet them when they come close to you, which cats hardly do with strangers!
  • We tried to pay as we exited the room but the staff insisted that we had to remove our bags from the lockers first. This meant waiting another five minutes for a family of four to unpack their bags, cameras and lives before we could even step into the space, resulting in additional time charge for minutes we didn’t even spend with the kitties!

All in all, we paid 2200Yen (approx. AUD$ 25.00) for 30 minutes desperately seeking attention from felines who can’t be fucked. On my list of regrettable decisions, this is now pretty high up.

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Pens&Lens was launched in October 2016 as part of a passion project by partners-in-crime, Mark and Lynette. Combining their love for travel, stories, people and places, they wanted to share the views of the world they see from behind their pens and lens.