And here’s a little sedge ways back to my trip to Tokyo – I’m sure you’ve all been waiting on tenterhooks to hear about my much celebrated visit to Nekobukuro (ねこぶくろ), also known as: “Cat’s House”. Nekobukuro (a play on the Japanese word for cat, “neko” and the location, “Ikebukuro”) is jam-packed with 20 or so cats and, for the humble fee of 600 yen, an adult can frolic among these cats like an overzealous touchy-feely kid in a feline candy store.

KITTY: Sleeping little fuzz ball of adorableness.

Because many apartments do no allow pet residents, and considering a kitten costs about 120, 000 yen, Nekobukuro, and places like it are viewed as nifty alternatives to pet ownership, and the inevitable poop cleaning.

What’s interesting about this little hut of fluffy goodness, is not only it’s location (which caps the Tokyu Hands store in Ikebukuro), but also the intriguing entry fee – a single adult pass will set you back 600 yen, students 400 yen, toddlers over the age of three 200 yen and couples can enter at a 1000 yen fee. It’s like adding insult to injury really – you’re lonely, and you want to go pet some cats to make the endless pit of sad go away, and the place is jam packed with lovey dovey couples that not only have each other and the cats, but also have all of this AT A DISCOUNT.


I, of course, forgot to bring the right lens for this expedition and I truly regret it – while most of the cats were quite happy to lounge about doing nothing much except flick their tails and look at The Humans with the disdain of a greater species, some of the cuter cats had serious busta-moves and probably needed a considerable dosage of catnip to soothe their hyperactivity. I’ve never really had much of an opportunity to get up and close with a bucketful of cats, and after scrounging through a multitude of cat blogs, I realised why people love taking shots of their cats so very much – it’s because the downy little mammals are so damn photogenic. Personally, I look like a complete idiot on the lens-side of the camera, usually with some sort of gormless expression gracing my face – hence, I live in furious envy of these fuzzy little, highly photograph-able critters. And, just for your reference, THE KITTIES OF NEKOBUKURO.

The friendly staff members at Nekobukuro periodically provide onlookers with little portions of cat food – so that one can effectively lure a kitty towards them and then snatch them up with speed. Of which I managed to do – for about a grand total of five seconds before the little kitty sped off to find another victim with kibble to spare. Greedy little bugger.

TOYS: They provide a multitude of catnip stuffed dangly toys and feathers on jangly strings to help onlookers play with cats. Or irritate them, whichever way you want to see that as.
SCOTTISH FOLD: My all-time favourite cat was the grey – and slightly aging Scottish-fold (まりも), who managed to glumly stare at everyone from beneath its long grey eyebrow hairs.
HEY THERE: はやと says to us all: Human! Give me fuds!
PATCHY: So cute! I love his I'm a Cat-Cow appearance!
SOUVENIRS: The souvenir badges that I failed to purchase on my way out – so adorable! SHOULD, WOULDA, COULDA JAYNE!

Although the rooms had plenty of ventilation, I still managed to emerge from the lofty pet-store strongly smelling of cat – my sister and I couldn’t seem to shake the heady smell of kitty-litter for the rest of the day and were forced to head back to our hotel after a quick detour to a 100 yen shop to pick up some deodorizing wipes. We couldn’t afford to smell too much like cat on the train during peak – just imagine if you were crammed up against a sweat cat-smelling lady on the train. Yeah, not good.

IKEBUKURO: On the streets of Ikebukuro. They get super busy - Tokyo is mainly a By Foot or By Train city.

24 thoughts on “NEKOBUKURO; THE “CAT’S HOUSE”.

  1. D…dying from the cute. ; 3; As a kitty fan, I think I will love Nekobukuro very very much.

    Thanks for sharing~ I will definitely put this place on my “To Visit” list the next time I’m in Japan.

  2. Your photos are lovely! Cat cafes look fun but I feel like I can’t sit still long enough to play with one especially if we’re not allowed to wake them up or pick them up ):!

    Although my boyfriend does like cats, so we might go to one to try it out once (:

    1. Yeah, there are quite a few rules – I had a friend who went there once, and all the rest of the kitties were snoozing so you could really only observe them – but I think if you go in the morning there are less people about – thus more chance to be able to pick one up!

  3. I love cats and their ‘I don’t give a crap about you I’m going to do what I want to do’ attitude. I always wonder if cat owners feel like their the masters of the cat or the other way around?

    I think I would have died if I want to Nekobukuro because I’m allergic to cat fur.

  4. Oh I’ve heard about this cat place before, good review btw! But I don’t think I’d have enough time to go try it =( lol I always feel rushed when Im in tokyo ,there’s just so much to do! I shall pop by Ikebukuro next time too!

    1. Tokyo is crammed full of wonderful things!
      There were so many things that I missed out on doing while I was there too! THE SHAME!

      I think one of my next post will probably just be about eating food in Tokyo –
      YUP, A FOODIE POST – because I have so many shots of food and no where to put them!


  5. OMG CATS! Do they really cost that much in Japan? That’s so … crazy!?!? I mean you can just … get a stray .. although that’s highly disapproved lol.

    Love the cat buttons! Great idea to promote a cool cat house 😉

    1. They’re very pricey, I know!

      Yeah, there are quite a few strays about (strangely, I saw the most strays in Ikebukuro!) – it’s the upkeep that must be insane – also many places don’t allow pets! Shaaame!

  6. doh! so cute…i wish they had places like that here in the states besides like an animal shelter. Chicago makes it difficult to own pets too, especially with you moving every year ppl dont want to not be able to find a place to live because of no pets..

    and lol of smelling like a cat lady how embarassing!!

    1. Oh, damn, that really sucks!
      I guess if you’re renting, it must be really tough to find a place that allows pets – but if you have you own place you could be all like “Screw the rules, I have a kitten!”


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