Neko No Jikan Kita Honten: Osaka, Japan
Phone: +81 6-6359-3700
Hours: Mon-Sat 11:00-21:00, Sun 10:00-19:00
Entrance Fee: Y1200/hr inc. drink (Y1110 weekday)
First in Japan: Review of Neko no Jikan Kita Honten
When I first visited Neko no Jikan (Kita Honten), I had no idea of the significance.
Turns out it was the first cat cafe to open in Japan, back in 2004! Not that you could tell, because everything inside is so fresh and clean, it all seems brand new.
The friendly attendant greeted me and accepted my payment, making sure I knew that a drink was included from the kitchen. After I removed my shoes, I entered the first of Neko no Jikan's two rooms, a traditional Japanese space complete with tatami mat flooring and shoji screens that felt very serene.
The other room had more of a happy cafe feel with a kitchen, bar and lounge area plus large windows with lots of natural sunlight.
Neko no Jikan's calm atmosphere is further enhanced with soft, almost lullaby-like guitar music, which probably explains why most of the cats were sleeping. About thirteen felines were in residence the day I visited, a variety of pedigrees and everyday moggies that were fairly social, at least the ones that were awake.
After a bit of chin scratching with an enormous Norwegian Forest Cat, I grabbed an Orangina from the beverage bar and sat down to watch the action. There were a few other people in the cafe and everyone spoke quietly, almost as if we were in a temple.
The Japanese are big believers in the healing power from the presence of cats and while many cat cafes promote this, I found Neko no Jikan to be the best example. It was all so peaceful, I was shocked to learn later how long they had been open. After so many years, I can't imagine how hard the management must work to keep everything so lovely and zen-like.
When in Osaka, I strongly recommend that you prioritize a visit to Neko no Jikan Kita Honten (not to be confused with Amemura).
Date Visited: 6/10/17