By Laura Welch
Cat Cafe Tenshi no Koneko Neko is a cat cafe in downtown Sendai. Located just a 15 minute walk from Sendai Station, this cafe is on a side street right off the main shopping arcade. Of course the main attractions of all cat cafes are the cute, cuddly cats. These cafes have become a treasure to those that love cats that would rather not or can't care for them. Cat cafes are a great stress relief and a fun place to visit with friends, or cheer yourself up when you are feeling down. So what is a trip to Cat Cafe Tenshi no Koneko Neko like?
I went to the cafe with an American and a Japanese friend. Our first decision was to decide how long to stay:
- 30 minute course is 500 yen on a weekday, 600 weekends and holidays.
- 60 minute course is 900 yen on a weekday, 1000 weekends and holidays.
- 15 minute extension is 300 yen.
- There is also a drink service for a separate 300 yen. They have tea, coffee, and juice in pitchers. No food options.
We opted for a 30 minute course, no drinks, on our Saturday visit. We changed into slippers, washed our hands, and went inside where the cats are. The cat's were a little sleepy in the afternoon but some were moving around and wanted some attention. There are chairs and tables at the cafe, but some of the seats are taken by lounging cats. The floor is not carpeted, so you can't sit down and snuggle with a kitty, unless it is desperately lonely and jumps up to a chair you are on-- unlikely as these cats are surrounded by fans touching them all day long. The cats seemed to prefer the front half of the store, so if you sit in the back open chairs you get a little lonely. I had to stand up to pet cats or sit down and just watch from a distance. The break between cats gave me time to talk with friends, but I want my kitties and my friends. Because we all know cats take preference if I ever had to choose!
As far as I know, there are two cat cafes in Sendai. I would recommend Cat Cafe Tenshi no Koneko Neko for a short 30 minute course, and you don't need drinks. It is great because it is right in the middle of downtown, so it makes an easy side trip from shopping or a warm up before a night of eating or drinking. If you want to make your trip to a cat cafe more than just a side trip but a real treat, you must take a trip to nearby Neko Cafe Aikyatto. Prices are about the same (if you include drinks), it is about a ten minute walk from Tenshi no Koneko Neko, contains carpeted floor and softer seating so you can sit anywhere, and has more goodies. These goodies includes toys you can use to entertain the cats, and their refreshment selection. Neko Cafe Aikyatto has drink machines that offer a wider variety of hot or cold drinks, and they have free crackers and biscuits for all guests to enjoy.
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Justin Velgus (ジャスティン ベルガス) is a long-term resident and promoter in the Tohoku region. He has been a content producer for JapanTravel.com since 2012 and was the Miyagi Prefecture Regional Partner 2013-2015. Justin’s over 300 published travel and culture articles come from a background of studying in Akita, teaching English in Miyagi through the JET Program, and working for the government in Fukushima. He lives in the gyutan capital of the world, Sendai. Justin is an expert in local culture and history. He was the first foreign volunteer at Sendai City Museum and regularly advises the local volunteer guide group GOZAIN , which he is a veteran member, on guiding techniques and hidden locations in the city even locals don't know about. In his free time he enjoys delivering original walking tours, such as his Dark Sendai Tour (ghost tour) or Kokubuncho Mystery Tour (redlight district tour). Justin is also a Certified Sake Professional.