By now you've surely heard of cat cafés. And you might know that dog cafés crop up too. But have you ever been to a goat café?
I've been going to Sakuragaoka Café on the south side of Shibuya for a few years, drawn in by the quiet neighborhood so close to frenetic central Shibuya, the comfortable and spacious interior, and the pretty decór. But one feature sets Sakuragaoka apart from the numerous stylish and popular hangouts that dot the landscape: their resident goats.
Sakura and Chocolat live in an enclosure on the screened porch, and diners and passersby alike gawk and coo at the pair. For their part, they spend a lot of time placidly chewing their dinner and nuzzling each other, or staring curiously at the staff members who come to muck out their stall. Diners lounging on the sofas on the other side of the plate glass mimic their actions late into the night.
Open Monday to Saturday from eight a.m. to four a.m., the restaurant has space to spread out and hang into the wee hours. Sofas and comfortable chairs group around a mishmash of tables for premium loungability. A pretty cherry blossom-themed Nihon-ga style painting adorns one wall, and a huge chalkboard with specials dominates another. Pink glass light fixtures hang over the bar and vintage coat racks alternate with goat-themed artwork along the walls. Wi-fi is available for those wanting a chilled-out yet social place to work.
Sides and appetizers run about 500 to 1000 yen, and include things like potato wedges with house-made garlic sour cream, bruschetta, and liver paté. Mains (around 1000-1500 yen) tend toward pasta specials, pizza, and risotto. Beer and cocktails start around 650 yen and come from a fully-stocked bar. Choose from a wide selection of soft drinks like caramel macchiato, cherry cola, or yuzu soda.
If you want a bit more human-on-goat action, options beyond observation exist. Goat-themed souvenir snacks are available for purchase at the register, and you can ask the staff about snacks for the goats too - which will prompt them to stick their heads out and submit to a petting in exchange for treats. And if you really want an adventure, you can sign up to walk them - make a booking with the counter staff (limited hours, free). Now that's a photo opportunity.