猫 neko: cat
ニャン nyan: meow
ニャンコ nyanko, or even ニャンちゃん nyan-chan: a somewhat childish or cute way to say cat, like kitty
カフェ kafe: cafe
Have you ever wanted to experience a Japanese cat cafe (neko cafe)?
Today I visited a neko cafe in Naha, not far from Kokusai-dori. The name of the cafe is にゃんそーれ “Nyan-so-re”, a playful version of “menso-re” めんそーれ which is Okinawan for “welcome.” An English cat version would be more sort of like “meow-so-re,” I guess if that makes sense.
Anyway when you enter, like many Japanese establishments, you remove you shoes and put them in the cubby, donning a pair of cute cat-themed slippers. There are also small lockers for your purse (back by the cashier, she will give you a key). The cafe is divided into 2 rooms: the first is the dining area, where you can watch the kitties through the glass while eating. The second is the area where you can play with the kitties.
They have different plans you can choose from, and not to fret… they have English translations, so even if the workers don’t really understand/speak English, you will not be lost here if you do not speak Japanese. The time rates for play-time start from 30 minutes (500 yen). They also have drinks, light meals, and desserts. You may have drinks in the kitty area, but eating is only outside the kitty room. When you are ready and have ordered what you would like, let the staff know when you are ready to play with some cats and they will give you a pass with the time your entered written on it. There will be a connecting area with a sink to wash up before and after playing with the cats.
Inside is the fun part… kitties everywhere! There are handouts with their names and pictures, tons of cat toys, manga and books (some cat-themed), air-conditioning, couches. Some of the cats will sleep and some will be social, and some may even be playful. It was a nice way to spend some time, since my husband is allergic to cats, and the price was pretty reasonable. I payed about 1200yen for my time and drinks/food there (30 minutes play time/iced tea with the kitties, then affogato while I watched and relaxed on the other side for almost another half hour).
They also have many, many cat-themed goods available for purchase. It was hard to resist…
Note: You may take picture of the cats, but no flash.
address for Neko cafe Nyanso-re 猫カフェにゃんそーれ: https://goo.gl/maps/JsWe8jgjqaH2
**There are 3 FREE parking spaces right next to the cafe!