The Japanese Cat Cafe in Tokyo is a Ghibli-esque village run by felines in a castle


If Studio Ghibli created a cafe for cats, this is what it would look like.

In Japan, February 22 is Cat Day, an annual celebration of all things feline. For our Japanese-speaking reporter Mariko Ohanabatake, the day called for a visit to a cat cafe in Tokyo that’s more than just a cafe, it’s an entire village run by cats – yes, cats – and it named Kichijouji Petit Mura (“Little village of Kichijouji”).

▼ Although it is located in Tokyo’s “Kichijoji” district, the village stylizes it as “Kichijouji” in its name.

▼ Fairytale Cat’s Paradise is located a seven-minute walk from Kichijoji Station.

As soon as Mariko laid eyes on the village, she let out a small cry of delight, as the fantastical setting looked straight out of a Ghibli anime!

Stepping through the arched entrance felt like leaving all her troubles behind and stepping into a magical world.

According to its creators, this small village is home to a cat cafe, a shop, a gallery and several restaurants, which have been brought together under the concept of “a original castle made by cats“.

Mariko’s first step during her visit was to “Temari no Oshiro” (“Temari Castle“), the cat café located towards the back of the site.

As she passed the castle turret and a serene water feature, she could imagine the little cats building everything here, with helmets and little gloves to protect their paws as they paved the walkways and painted the walls and doors.

Next to the water feature was a beautiful blue door, which Mariko pushed open to reveal…the feline castle!

Temari, the queen of the castle, was uninterested at the time of Mariko’s visit, so instead, the calm and gentle Tommy was on hand to guide our reporter through the castle.

It’s suggested that visitors chat with the cats, the same way civilized guests would chat at a royal banquet, so that’s exactly what Mariko did.

tommy: “Hello. Welcome to the castle. Please read the rules carefully before entering. It is NG (“No Good”) to bring us cats, and it is NG to also give us human food.

Mario: “Hmmmm… so hold on, it’s NG.” Is it good to touch you?

tommy: “It’s good to touch us, but be careful because there are bad cats. Brownie has a criminal history of biting and Kibitarou is addicted to food theft.

Looking through the rulebook, Mariko found some cute “Wanted” posters for the castle’s meanest residents, where Kibitarou was described as “a foodie who is always looking for your food“.

After her introduction to the castle and its rules, Tommy invited her to explore space.

tommy: “The castle has two floors so please make yourself at home. As the castle is designed to make it easier for cats to relax, you can find us playing hide and seek in various places.

Mariko did as she was told, immediately feeling a sense of relaxation and comfort as she made her way to the second floor to meet even friendlier felines.

There was something so calming about being around cats and watching them wag their tails, lick their paws, and doze on upholstery.

▼ Suddenly, out of the blue, the cats pricked up their ears and began to move.

Mariko asked Tommy what was going on, and he explained that it was dinner time.

tommy: “It’s time for our morning meal. The castle cats congregate around this time, but what’s really interesting is how we eat.

Sure enough, the staff appeared with bowls of food, set them down in front of the royal felines, and with that, the morning banquet began!

Mariko smiled behind her mask as she watched the feast unfold. The felines all displayed impeccable manners, eating delicately from the bowls offered to them.

Mario: “Are there cats that eat other cats’ meals?” »

tommy: “Some cats like Kibitarou will try to eat other people’s meals, and because they gobble things up so enthusiastically, there can be quite a few spills.”

▼ Fortunately, their human minions are there to clean up after them.

As the cats had their faces deep in their bowls, Mariko noticed a late arrival, heading for the main dining room.

tommy: “It’s Chiffon-chan. She is an elegant woman.

Cloth-chan: “Ah, hello. I don’t eat much in the morning. Thank you.”

Chiffon-chan was a lady of few words, but Mariko could relate to her as she herself isn’t much of a morning eater. However, for some reason, Mariko’s visit to this prestigious castle had given her an overflowing appetite for… cat food.

Being a lowly species, humans are only allowed to eat after the felines in the castle have finished their food, so Mariko waited until the feast was over to order a special type of cat food.

▼ Fish and chips and a Mochimochi dog

The bowl her food was served in made Mariko feel like she had sprouted fur and developed a long, bushy tail. She finished her meal as delicately as she could, and as she began to lick her paws, Tommy slid over to give her some good advice on how she could get closer to the distant felines at the middle of her.

tommy: “Hey, if you have a cat snack on you, you can get along with cats.”

Mariko had a snack jar on her, which she received at the entrance, so she took it out of her pocket, and as soon as she did, one of the cats ran towards her.

▼ Wouldn’t you know — it was the Gluttonous Kibitarou!

Mariko decided to avoid the wanted criminal and headed for the elegant Chiffon-chan, who had hardly eaten anything this morning.

Mariko presented the lady with a nice piece of food, but Chiffon-chan refused to take it. And she also refused to recognize Mariko.

Well, Mariko should have known not to try to socialize outside of her social status. So she turned, and in an instant there was Kibitarou, greedily grabbing what Chiffon-chan had resisted.

Chiffon-chan didn’t seem pleased with Kibitarou’s behavior, and now Mariko was looked down upon by association as well. With a flick of her perfect tail, Chiffon-chan ordered Mariko to take her leave and pay for her misdeeds…with a purchase from the gift shop.

Banished from the castle, Mariko left with her tail between her legs, climbing the stairs and feeling more and more human with each step.

Upstairs, she found the Toko Toko General Store, which was full of a wide variety of cat-themed products, covering everything from cute accessories to stationery, tableware, and even stuffed animals.

Longing to look a bit more like Chiffon-chan, Mariko decided to buy a pair of earrings that she was sure would get the lady’s approval on her next visit.

After paying for her purchase, Mariko’s ears suddenly perked up as her new feline senses received a telepathic message from… Kibitarou.

Kibitarou: “Psst! Want to know a secret? The cafe next door makes killer French toast. Would you come by and have one for me? »

Mario: “Oh, hey Kibitarou! Of course, I’ll do it for you, my gluttonous friend!”

▼ And with that, Mariko headed for the Happa tea house.

“Happa” means “leaf”, and that’s exactly what you’ll find here – in abundance. Mariko felt like she had opened the door to a forest, and the green hues inside the space were incredibly soothing.

▼ Even the windows are shaped like leaves.

Mariko ordered the French toast recommended by her feline foodie friend, and when it arrived, she had to stop herself from throwing her paws up her cheeks in delight.

▼ The French toast was in the shape of a cat!

Mariko got so carried away with the meal that she attempted to create a cat face with the accompanying fruit, but the results weren’t as good as she expected.

▼ Chiffon-chan wouldn’t approve.

Still, the French toast tasted fantastic – it was light and fluffy on the inside and deliciously crispy on the outside. It was just what she needed to end her purring visit to the castle of cats, and as she sipped her chocolate raspberry herbal tea, she contemplated spending the rest of the day here, curled up in the sun by the windows. . .

Alas, Mariko had work to do, so she descended the stairs and returned to the harsh realities of the human world. The 1,540 yen ($13.38) she spent to visit the cat cafe (there is no entrance fee for the shop or teahouse) was well worth it, and she swore to return.

“See you soon, my feline friends!”

Mariko left with a spring in her step and a newfound appreciation for the cat castle community. Hopefully next time, Mariko is able to impress the hostess, and if she has to rename herself with one of these best cat names for 2022, then… so be it!

Coffee information
Kichijouji Petit Mura / 吉祥寺プティット村
Address: Tokyo-to, Musashino-shi, Kichijoji Honcho 2-33-2
東京都武蔵野市吉祥寺本町2-33-2
Hours and fees vary, see links below
・Temari no Oshiro Cat Cafe
・Tokotoko General Store
・Happa TEA HOUSE

Photos © SoraNews24
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