Ikebukuro station, the second busiest station in the world, caters towards over 2.5 million people every day. Serving the JR East, Seibu Railway, Tobu Railway, and Tokyo Metro, it is an extremely overwhelming station. On a Wednesday after school, I decided to head over to Ikebukuro so I could visit the cat cafe, Nekorobi.
One of the many features of Japan is its large amount of cafes, ranging from maids, owls, snakes, and of course, cats. This would mark my first time ever going to a cat cafe. After seeing countless photos online of my friends with these adorable creatures, I wanted to take part in it. Taking the Fukutoshin Line from Yokohama Station straight to Ikebukuro Station, I met up with one of my friends from school. The cafe itself was 1,100 Yen for weekday or 1,300 Yen for weekends or holidays for the first hour. Every 15 minutes is 300, or 250 on a weekday. Weekdays offer a special course of 2,400 yen for a 3 hour session with the cats.
The 10 minute walk between the station and Nekorobi lets you see all the different shops and restaurants Ikebukuro has to offer. The cat cafe is on the second floor, and before you enter you have to take off your shoes. After entering, you get greeted by cheerful workers in a calm atmosphere. The cats are all calm and the people there were winding down from a hard day of work. The workers give you a card with the time you entered and explained the rules. Don’t be overly loud, wash your hands, don’t wake up the cats, and enjoy.
The facility itself is nice, free lockers to keep your stuff, and a bunch of cats. You are also able to use a laptop, the TV, the Wii, and the vending machine free of charge. The cats were cute and extremely friendly. On one side of the room was a tall cat tree where three cats were chilling out, and the other end were cats roaming the floor. This being my first time, I was obviously excited, and walked around for about 10 minutes just looking at all the cats they had to offer.
After finally settling on a place to sit on the floor, I sat next to one of my favorite cats. A tiny gray cat in a box. I felt like I was in the middle of Neko Atsume. During my visit with the cats, one of the workers decided to bring one of the babies out to play. The cat just turned two a few weeks ago. We watched the baby cat chase a toy around for about half an hour, and as monotonous as that seems, adding a tiny fluffy kitten to anything is adorable.
After a long day at the cat cafe, my friend and I decided to get food. Thankfully the cat cafe was in the middle of Ikebukuro, a center for entertainment. We decided to stop at an Okonomiyaki place a few blocks away. With a full stomach, and my fill of cats for the day, I went home satisfied.-Writer Adam