Japan is without a doubt a nation which truly loves cats, and amongst it’s busy hectic scopes, you will always be able to find sanctuary at cat cafes no matter where you are. However, if you are not that big a fan of cats, there are a few other alternatives for your soothing pleasure as well. And I am not talking about just the basic dogs and rabbits cafe! ‘Ikemofu Animal Room’, located on the 6th floor of the building opposite Tokyu Hands Ikebukuro branch, offers an experience for you to enjoy the company of exotic as well as rare animals from giant lizards, chameleons, albino snakes, to cute and fluffy ones like the fennec fox, chinchillas and sugar gliders.
Though not a typical cafe per says, you can get one drink per one ticket that you buy. It is also very accessible through Ikebukuro station central exit towards Sunshine City and offers a choice of two rooms; the small animals room and/or the owls room (you can choose either one, or choose both for a special price). For a limited time, you can enjoy holding and playing with the animals, and the staff are more than happy to take pictures for you as well. A relaxing time making friends with the animals are amusing enough, but I also found the experience to be quite educational as well because as you roam around, the staff will also provide you with informations about the different kinds of animals and how to take care of them. The rooms are quite small, but do not be taken back by its size because the animals there will amaze you. I went there out of curiosity when I saw their brochure, but I soon found myself with my jaws open at the sight of a lizard that is almost the same size as me. Yes, an actual dragon!
If you are planning to go, or are still deciding, there are a few things you should take into account. First of all, you should probably visit their website and check out the available times because you are only allowed in as a group at a certain time. Due to the place being quite small, it is probably a good idea to make reservations online or by phone. Also, wear something you will be comfortable in because you may need to kneel and sit while you play. Another point to consider is hygiene and regulations, you will be asked to wash your hands before and after you enter the room, and all your belongings are going to be kept in boxes so keep your phone on you if you want to take pictures (but no flash allowed). Pictures and names of each animal members, both from the small animals room and the owls room, are available on their homepage but who you can play with also depends on the animal’s mood and behavior at the time so bare in mind that it is not guaranteed that you will be able to play with your favorite. But not to worry, because there are a lot of cute and interesting animals to keep you amused!