10 Quirky-Themed, Must-Visit Cafes in Japan

Cats rule at Hapineko cat cafe. (Photo: iris/Flickr)

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard of cat cafes. Although they originated in Japan, several of these cutesy niche establishments have opened in cities around the world over the past few years. While the trend continues to spread, some of the best cat cafes remain in Japan. In the video below, explore one of Tokyo's most popular cat cafes, Temari No Ouchi:

So, yeah. Cat cafes are pretty rad, but did you know there are other kinds of themed cafes? From pet cafes to cosplay cafes, Japan's service industry has something for everyone. Here are a few to add to your itinerary if you're traveling to Japan anytime soon!

Dog cafes

Sure, cat cafes are all the rage, but what if you're more of a dog person? Well, you're in luck because there are several dog cafes across Japan, including Nagasaki's Dog Hill Cafe (above), which is devoted to corgis.

Stuffed animal cafes

Feeling all alone in the big city of Tokyo? The "anti-loneliness" Moomin House Cafe in Bunkyo, Tokyo offers coffee, sweet treats and the strangely adorable companionship of enormous stuffed animals.

"To save its lone customers from the awkward perils of solo dining," CNN reports, "the cafe kindly seats diners with stuffed animal companions called Moomins, a family of white hippo-like characters created by Finnish illustrator and writer Tove Jansson."

Rabbit cafes

Love bunnies? You're not the only one. One of Tokyo's most popular rabbit cafes, Mimi, is the perfect spot to have a bunny cuddle session. Because the animals are allowed to roam around, it's not unusual for visitors to become covered in a squirmy blanket of bunny fluff, like the woman in the video above. For folks who can't get enough of these fluffy buns, you'll be delighted to learn that Japan is also home to an island filled with massive swarms of feral rabbits.

Maid cafes

On the surface, the concept of a maid cafe may raise some eyebrows. After all, it's basically a group of young women dressed in French maid costumes serving and performing for a [mostly male] clientele. But as Buzzfeed's Ryan Broderick discovers on a visit to one of these iconic cosplay establishments, the experience is less scandalous than you'd think.

Butler cafes

For people who are intrigued by the idea of maid cafes but prefer the company of men, there are several "butler cafes" throughout Japan where clientele are given the experience of being waited upon by refined, well-dressed men. In the video above, we get an inside look at one woman's visit to the Swallowtail Butler Cafe in Toshima, Tokyo

Hedgehog cafes

One of the newest entries into the pet cafe world is Harry Cafe in Roppongi, Tokyo. Named after the Japanese term for hedgehog ("harinezumi," which literally means "needle mouse"), Harry Cafe boasts 30 hedgehogs belonging to several different breeds. Because these creatures are not native to Japan, this is one of the few places that people can get an up-close look at these prickly buddies.

Bird cafes

Mammals shouldn't have all the fun. There are several bird cafes in Japan, including ones devoted to small birds (like the one above) as well as owl cafes. In addition to hanging out one-on-one with these feathery friends, you can buy bird-themed sweet treats and kawaii bird souvenirs.

Kawaii cafes

If you're a fan of all things cute, then a trip to the Kawaii Monster Cafe in Harajuku is a no-brainer. Dreamed up by art director Sebastian Masuda, the cafe's outlandish decor is like a cross between "Alice in Wonderland" and the Candy Land board game — with eccentrically-dressed serving staff to boot.

Reptile cafes

Hanging out at a cafe filled with snakes and lizards is definitely not for everyone, but for people who love reptiles (or at least think they're fascinating), Japan has got you covered. And even if visiting a reptile cafe isn't your idea of a good time, you can take a journey inside one by watching the video above.