A newly opened cafe in Tokyo nearly broke the internet recently: ICYMI, the venue in question is no ordinary coffee shop but a dedicated hedgehog cafe where customers can chill out with and pet the prickly little mammals. Harry, named after "harinezumi," the animal's name in Japanese, may be the world's first dedicated hedgehog cafe, but many an adorable animal cafe has come before it — and we're very thankful for all of them. Here are a few of our favorite places for hanging out with furry (or spiny) friends over a cup of coffee, no matter where you are in the world.
1. Rabbit Café, Tokyo
In the very same building as Harry, in Tokyo's neon-bright Roppongi district, you'll find Ms. Bunny Café, "your one stop shop for everything rabbit related." Not only can you pet and play with a bunny of your choice while sipping on a cup of tea — available breeds include Mini Rex, Holland Lop, Lion Lop, French Lop, Netherland Dwarf, and Dwarf Hotot — and take the resident "celebrity" rabbit Karumen out for a walk around town, but if you are a proud owner of your own rabbit, you can bring him or her in for a nail trim, grooming, or staycation at the rabbit hotel.
2. Goat Café, Tokyo
No kidding, with around 40 in the city, Tokyo takes the animal café concept to another level. Out of the myriad options in the Japanese capital, Sakuragaoka Café is the only one we know of where you can meet goats. Resident goats Sakura and Chocolat hang out in their little wooden huts inside the café, taking turns to greet visitors as they see fit. You may see them trotting around the busy Shibuya neighborhood on one of their daily walks — and can even make a reservation to walk them yourself.
3. Sheep Café, Seoul
Visits flock to the incom-baaa-rable Thanks Nature Cafe (see what we did there?) for the rare opportunity to commune with wooly friends in the middle of a metropolis. A couple of adorable, fluffy sheep roam freely through this nature-themed café, nuzzling visitors as they sip on lattes and nibble waffles. The resident sheep are changed out twice a year; once they are finished their café residency they apparently head out to a farm just outside of Seoul (and hopefully that's not a euphemism).
4. Dog Café, Los Angeles
Seoul's Bau House Café is maybe the best-known of international dog cafés, but Los Angeles is close on its wagging tail. At the beginning of April America got its very first dog café in the form of prosaically named The Dog Cafe. What makes this one special is that its mission is to reduce the rate of homeless and unwanted dogs in America. The cute dogs that visitors hang out with all come from local shelters — offering them respite from overcrowded and stressful environments — and are available for adoption. So, if you fall in love with a charming pup, you might be able to take him home. A win for everyone!
5. Cat Cafés, Everywhere!
From Washington, D.C. to Tijuana, Auckland, and Edinburgh, cat cafés have taken the world by storm since the very first, Cat Flower Garden (now renamed Café and Cats 1998), opened in Taipei in 1998. At home or overseas, cat people need never be lonely again.
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