Visiting Cat Cafe Calico in Tokyo

Having visited many cat cafes around the the world, I couldn’t possibly resist the opportunity to go to one in Japan. After all, this is where it all started!

I opted to visit Cat Cafe Calico, which has over fifty, well cared for cats! It’s located in the popular Shinjuku ward of Tokyo, and is fairly easy to find (see directions below).


I was incredibly impressed with the condition of the cats. They were all wonderfully soft, indicating a good diet and that lots of grooming takes place.

The cleanliness of the cafe was impeccable, with guests having to leave their shoes and bags in lockers (slippers are provided). All guests are asked to wash their hands thoroughly before entering, to promote the health of the cats. The instructions and menus are in English as well as Japanese, making it a good place for international tourists.


The cats themselves are beautiful, and there are books about the cats available for you to read and become familiar with their personalities. A lot of the cats are surprisingly large, compared with other cats in Asia. Not fat, just big! They’re even bigger than the cats in the UK. And many of them are long hairs, so incredibly fluffy.

One of the best aspects of this cat cafe is you can buy some chicken to feed them. Cats being cats love the one who feed them, so being able to give them some tidbits is a nice touch. And this avoids people slipping them some cafe food, which wouldn’t be good for their health. This is different from other cat cafes I’ve been to, and it definitely aids the interaction with the cats. The cat snacks are limited to one per hour, per person, to avoid over feeding.

Apart from when you have food, the cats are fairly subdued. But I may have gone at a bad time (early afternoon). Mornings are generally a good time for a cat cafe, if you like them to be playful. There are plenty of toys around if you can tempt one into a tussle.


The drinks are delicious, and incredibly generous given the relatively low price. There is also alcohol and food available. You are not required to make a food/drink purchase, and you can just spend time enjoying the company of the cats, if you’d prefer.

All in all its one of the better cat cafes I’ve been to, and I would recommend to anyone whose visiting Tokyo, and loves cats.

Sample costs
Entrance (1hr) 1,000yen on weekdays and 1,200yen on weekends
Additional time 150yen per 10 minutes
Soft drinks (hot/cold) 200yen
Food 500yen
Cat snacks 300yen

Directions to Cat Cafe Calico
Leave Shinjuku station from the east exit, and walk along the street on the left side of Studio ALTA. Keep going until you reach Yasukuni Dori, then cross the road. Once you pass Don Quijote you’re nearly there, so keep your eyes peeled. There’s a small sign with cats on, which directs you in and up to the 6th floor.

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6 thoughts on “Visiting Cat Cafe Calico in Tokyo

  1. terrepruitt says:

    Fifty cats. Wow! We have a Cat “Cafe” in San Jose, (CA). We call it a “cafe” because people are familiar with the idea of visiting cats at “cafes”, but it does not serve food. It is really just a cat “lounge”. A place where you can visit cats. A place where you can get to know one if you are interested in adopting. I am so envious that you have visited many around the world. Super cool!

    What is a Forensic Mental Health OT?

    Liked by 1 person

    • doingbeingbecoming says:

      Yes they’re springing up all over the world! I’ve been to ones in Paris, London, Kuala Lumpur and two in Tokyo now. The one is Kuala Lumpur is for rescue cats so you can adopt them from there too – such a lovely idea.

      I’m an Occupational Therapist (OT) which means I’m trained to support people through recovery from illness with the use of meaningful activities. I specialise in Forensic Mental Health – which means supporting people with mental health problems who have committed serious offences when unwell. I help people learn to look after themselves (ie learn to prepare meals and attend to their personal care etc) and develop new skills via college courses, and voluntary/paid employment. I also do a lot of health promotion in my work – encouraging a healthy diet and exercise. It’s a tricky role as there’s a lot of stigma out there, so I aim to work with communities increasing awareness and understanding of mental health.


      • doingbeingbecoming says:

        Thats so lovely. I’m planning to adopt a cat on my return to the UK. I think the cat cafe is such a nice way to meet potential pets. They behave more naturally than in a cattery. Plus it’s better than the current rehoming system in the UK. Which starts by looking at their “profile” and then call if you’re interested to arrange a meeting. I imagine lots of older cats are overlooked as people focus on age. Whereas in a cat cafe you don’t know their age straight away, and you may fall in love with an older cat who would struggle to be rehomed otherwise ๐Ÿ™‚


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