6 Unique Cafes to Enjoy in Japan

Japan currently has a wide range of Cafes that go above and beyond the standard; Cafes where you can experience subculture, Cafes that sooth you with animals, Cafes where you can fully enjoy scenery or an onsen and much more. Here are some unique Cafes that you must visit when you come to Japan.

Add to Favorites

1. Maid Cafe

Maid Cafes are places where the waitresses dress up in maid uniforms and serve the customers who are likened to the masters of the household. When you enter the Cafe, it is customary for the maids to greet you as the owner returning to your estate with a “Welcome home, Master”. Although there are many varieties of maid Cafes ranging from classic styles, entertainment styles to Japanese styles and more, the standard price for food and drinks are about 1,000 JPY. In addition, there are some Cafes where you are required to pay an entrance fee. The “@home Cafe” in Akihabara focuses on entertainment. You can celebrate your birthday there, pay a fee to play games with the maids and take photos. They also have an English menu prepared so first-timers can rest easy. For a short while, why not forget reality and enjoy yourself as a distinguished master?

*Image is for illustration purposes.

2. Rakugo Cafe

“Rakugo” is a type of traditional Japanese entertainment where professional storytellers entertain using only their bodies and hand gestures. It differs from kabuki and other traditional Japanese performing art in that as much as possible, costumes and stage settings are not used, making it a very simple and familiar kind of entertainment. Because the punchline or “ochi” falls at the end of the story, it is also referred to as a "Otoshibanashi". The “Rakugo Cafe” is recommended for persons who are interested in rakugo but hesitate to go to music halls due to the high level of formalities. Inside the “Rakugo Cafe” located in Jimbocho, there are many books, DVD’s, CD’s, pamphlets etc. related to rakugo and in addition to obtaining the latest rakugo information, there are rakugo meetings held every Tuesdays where you can enjoy the professionals on stage while drinking. (The price is about 2,000 JPY with one drink included).

*Image is for illustration purposes.

3. Cat Cafe

Cat Cafes are Cafes and restaurants where you can relax in a room together with cats and pet them. Customers can enjoy their time with the cats gently stroking them and taking pictures. Cat Cafes aim to provide contact with cats as well as soothing therapy but recently there have been shops that also seek foster parents for the cats. In order to maintain the health and wellbeing of the cats, many Cafes have fixed time slots and bringing outside toys and snacks for the cats are forbidden although some Cafes will loan you toys or sell treats for a fee. Since there can be timeslots where it becomes quite congested and you cannot enter, if you want to go we recommend making a reservation. “Cat Cafe Nekorobi” close to Ikebukuro station has correspondence in English so it’s also recommended for foreign tourists. Getting the chance to play with lots of cats and passing the time in a laid-back fashion sounds good right?

4. Owl Cafes

Among the many animal Cafes, “Owl Cafes” in particular have been popular recently. They are Cafes where, true to the name, you can spend time with owls at your leisure. Since there are hardly any opportunities to come into contact with owls in everyday life, there are probably many people who think owls are frightening but in reality, owls are quite cute. Owl Cafes in particular have many owls that have become accustomed to people so not only can you look but also gently stroke the owls and perch them on your arms and shoulders. It is impossible not to love the adorable way the owls close their eyes in bliss when you gently stroke their heads. Many shops have a 1 hour timeslot per customer and you can enjoy yourself for about 1,000 JPY - 1,500 JPY which also includes one drink. The “Owl no Mori” Cafe in Akihabara has the most owls in the metropolitan area, with over 30 owls there to greet you. You can also get the chance to see very rare owls so please pay a visit.

5. Kawadoko Cafe

“Kawadoko” is a floor that juts over a body of water or river bed and it is a traditional way in Kyoto for enjoying the summer cuisine. Referred to as Kyoto’s Inner Parlor, the kawadoko “Kibune” located at the source of the Kamogawa river is quite famous. Long ago, when speaking of “kawadoko” there were only high class restaurants and hardly any shops where you could enter casually. However, lately there has been an increase in Cafes that young persons and tourists can patronize with ease. In particular, the Starbucks Coffee Kyoto Sanjo Ohashi Shop, located in Kamogawa, Kyoto, has a relaxing, open deck space. THere is also the merchant house Cafe “Kawa Cafe” that faces Kamogawa and many more shops where you can experience the seasons. If you visit Kyoto in the summer, be sure to experience it for yourself.

6. Foot Bath Cafe

Foot baths are a simple way to enjoy onsens without having to undress. Since it is effective in promoting good health, these foot baths or “Ashi-yu” have been popular since long ago but recently, Cafes where you can soak in a foot bath while eating and drinking have begun making an appearance! All over the country there are many unique foot bath Cafes. From Cafes in the heart of towns where you can casually drop by, Cafes located in tourist spots so you can enjoy the picturesque scenery, aromatherapy foot bath Cafes where you can relax and satisfy yourself with health drinks and much more. In the metropolitan area, most of the Cafes cost around 1,000 JPY for one hour. There are also Cafes where you have the option to receive massages. Located in Tochigi prefecture’s “Hotel Sunshine Kinugawa” is the foot bath Cafe “Espo” which has become a tourist attraction for its view of the Kinu Tateiwa large suspension bridge and valley. If you drop by after a day of sightseeing in Nikko, you can banish the tiredness in your legs and refresh yourself.

*Image is for illustration purposes.

What did you think? Japan has many unique cafes like these. While sightseeing, how about spending a moment of time in these unreal spaces? Not only will it cure your fatigue, you will get to know about a side of Japan that isn’t experienced in usual sightseeing.

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

Share this article

Writer: beauty_mom

Can't find it in a guidebook? Looking through this app will definitely make you want to go to Japan.
Sightseeing information to make you say "Wow!", updated every day!
  • Kyushu Sightseeing Course

Recommended Posts