Tokyo Diaries – Yokohama, Cat Therapy and Laundry Detergent

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A full day today, as the rain trickled down.

I’d never been to Yokohama, so I thought it’d be fun to check out.  I didn’t see the black ships but I did see Yokohama’s Chinatown, and got a sense for why this considered the most international of Japanese cities.  There’s a lot of Western architecture and the Chinese influence is very strongly felt.

I was feeling pretty run down by the time I got back to Tokyo, so I thought I’d make my first visit to a cat café as a Tokyo resident.  Calico in Kichijoji is one of my favorites, and only one stop from my guesthouse.  Here’s a video:

I love cats…  Here’s a short clip that features an interesting supporting cat at the caff.

After dinner in Kichijoji (note my restaurant, above) I faced the prospect of buying laundry detergent for the first time here.  One of the things I love about being in Japan is that it could hardly be more different than America, and all the things that have become second-nature become adventures again.  That’s what it’ like when you’re a kid – a little unsettling, but exciting, because you’re constantly learning how to do things for the first time.  It’s a pretty special thing to get a second chance at rediscovering life, but that’s what a move like this is in many ways.

Tomorrow, we try to open a bank account…

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  1. A

    I love cats, too, and I really like how you put it, "it's a pretty special thing to get a second chance at rediscovering life…" Happy to hear that you're enjoying the adventure and gradually settling in with fun and appreciation. Reading your post makes me feel happier and appreciating the things around me more. Thanks Enzo.

    By the way, who are the "we" that you're trying to open a bank account with..? Just curious… 🙂


  2. C

    I noticed that most of the human patrons were female :3 Enzo you daug.
    Am looking forward to the next post 😀

  3. "We" as in the royal we, just me. And there were some guys in there – I'd say it's usually about 60-40% female when I go to cat cafes. In Japan, men aren't too proud to admit they love cats.

  4. A

    Only in Japan? From what I've seen, the silly notion that liking dogs is manly whereas liking cats is girly plagues all of humanity, not just Japan.

  5. The point is that it doesn't really exist in Japan.

  6. l

    I did see a couple of men cradling cats while out and about in Ikebukuro area yesterday. That's mainly outside teh busy commercial areas and more in the quieter home neighbourhoods like around Gokoku-ji. I did see a lot more men with dogs than cats throughout.

    This one stood out while I was near Seibu, Ikebukuro: Cute dog without a leash. The dog was very obedient and followed the owner around by his heel without a leash. Nearly crossed the road but saw the owner didn't and came back to the owner's side at the road crossing. A number of the Japanese around me who saw it were impressed (as was I).

  7. A

    Liking cats is only manly if it's a tiger, panther or leopard.

  8. As long as you live in a 1970's action movie.

  9. A
  10. e

    *Insert me squealing here* Cats' paradise! Nyanko-plushie asides, the cat licking his paws at the very top of the wooden structure in video #1 looks especially beautiful. Were you the only foregneir? I couldn't spot any other westerner in the videos.

    Good luck – and have fun! – with the detergent hunt.

  11. Yes, he was a handsome devil. The cat on the low table with the big tail and his back to the camera was my favorite – a Norwegian Forest Cat. He definitely had the regal bearing of the cat who owned the place.

    I was the only gaijin, yes. I rarely see gaijin in these places.

  12. e

    I like Norwegians as well (they're probably my favs among the big fluffy ones along with Maine Coons). The boyfriend of one of my colleague got a Norwegian some months ago. A beautiful silver grey young little princess, with a fantastic huge tail. Seems she's a scratcher, but I could stare at her photographs in awe for whole minutes.

    Has bonding over cats helped you in breaking the ice with locals in the café there yet maybe?

  13. There is a commonality at nekokissa, yes – we're all there for the same reason. National and language borders disappear as everyone dissolves into cooing imbeciles with cameras.

  14. K

    I love how there is a Nyanko Sensei plush on the floor, how appropriate.

    Every time you post it makes me think of all the thing I will want to do in Tokyo this time but I will only have 3 days there.

  15. T

    The cat cafe is both one of the weirdest and one of the best ideas I've ever heard of. Oh my I want to go to one.

  16. I thought long and hard about trying it in the States. In the end, I think it's just a bit too quirky for Americans to embrace in the numbers you need to survive as a business. Also, since one of the main reasons they exist is because of the number of people in tiny apartments that don't allow pets, there are very few American cities where you could even give it a go.

  17. G

    Nyanko Sensei, o.m.g xDD. That made me squeal. Can anybody go to these cafes? It seems like such an interesting idea. Is there a dog cafe too?
    Btw Enzo for sharing the awesome clips/photos~

  18. G

    thanks for sharing*

  19. Sure anyone can, you have to pay an hourly charge – sometimes includes soft drinks and coffee/tea, sometime not.

    No dog cafes that I've ever seen. Given the addition work involved with dogs (walkies, poopies, etc) I don't think it would be doable.

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