Cat Apartment Coffee: Kyoto, Japan
Phone: +81 75-748-0188
Hours: W-F 12:00 - 21:00, S/S 12:00-19:00
Entrance Fee: Y1200/60, Y1700/90, Y2100/120
Simply the Best: Review of Cat Apartment Coffee
Don't believe everything you read on the internet. Even my reviews-- sometimes you just need to see things for yourself.
I was concerned what awaited me at Cat Apartment Coffee when I saw several angry one star reviews online, with most of the ire was directed at the ‘no touching the cats’ policy.
Deciding to keep an open mind, I arrived a few minutes before the café’s noon opening time. Located in a residential neighborhood, it took a bit of time to get there as I was able to take the Kyoto metro to the Nijojo stop (next to Nijo Castle) but then had to walk 25 minutes to reach it. It was a hot day, and I was a bit sweaty by the time I arrived, so you may want to consider riding a bike or taking a taxi.
However, once inside the courtyard, it was like walking into another world. Set in a Japanese garden, it was peacefully serene.
When I entered the house, it got even better. I was blown away by the fusion of modern and traditional Japanese interiors. The downstairs is the coffee bar and I loved the minimal, open design featuring stunning dark wood floors. Upstairs, where the cats meet visitors, the space is enhanced with several customary elements such as shoji screens, low tables and tatami mats. The whole space is incredibly special- beautiful, immaculately clean and authentic.
The owner was very friendly and we talked about the rules while she showed me a seat. She explained that the policy about not touching the cats was implemented to prevent the cats from becoming skittish and avoiding people, which in my experience is a common issue with popular cat cafes- there are too many people trying to touch the cats. She noted that if a cat climbed on you, this wasn't a problem, just to avoid picking them up. Sufficiently apprised, I placed my order for an iced latte and turned my attention the kitties.
Whatever she is doing is working, because all of her cats were incredibly curious and social. By not having people chase after them constantly, they all easily approach visitors. My favorites included a regal Russian Blue named Roy and the sweet, expressive Latte, a Siamese mix.
Later, the owner demonstrated how Roy loves to sit on her back and then asked if I wanted a try. Like a pro, Roy gladly hopped up on me and posed for multiple selfies.
After playing for a bit, I sat with my iced latte and was thrilled at how delicious it tasted. The coffee shop downstairs clearly isn't for show, they know what they are doing. For an extra Y300 ($2.72 USD) you can add a drink to your entrance fee or Y600 ($5.44 USD) for a drink and piece of cake. The quality here makes the prices a bargain.
It was the fastest hour I've spent in a cat cafe. It wasn't the cheapest, but Cat Apartment Coffee is one of the most memorable and far and away the best experience of the nearly 100 cat cafes I've visited so far in my travels.
Date Visited: 6/14/17