by Ewa Nowogorski
There is an animal cafe for every common household pet that you can think of in Japan. There are the classic cat and dog cafes, but there are also owl cafes, parakeet cafes, bunny cafes, hamster cafes, goat cafes, and much more. There’s even a bar where you can wine and dine with penguins walking about! (Yeah animal rights are not yet a big thing.)
Animal cafes are perfect for people who love animals but are too busy to keep one themselves. Many apartments and mansions also do not allow people to keep pets, so cafes offer a good alternative for people who desire some interaction with their favorite animals. People can come in on a day off and play with a bunch of pets while sipping tea in a relaxed environment. These are conditions that would not be available for them under normal conditions anyways because most people can care for one or two pets, but not 10 or more, which is what cafes have to offer.
Pets in Japan, save for maybe fish, are also incredibly expensive to buy. Cats and dogs bought at a store or from a breeder are rarely below $3000 USD. Birds are also very expensive because most are imported from other countries. Without cafes, the opportunity to spend time with such animals would otherwise be impossible. Lax animal rights laws also mean that businesses can capitalize on and use animals in ways other countries such as America cannot. This is why cafes are so popular in Japan as opposed to other countries.