Japan's First Hedgehog Café has Arrived!
From cats to owls and long-eared bunny rabbits, Tokyo has an extensive selection of animal-themed cafés where you can relax with more than just a simple cup of tea or coffee. But now, a new group of animals has scuttled onto the Tokyo café scene to capture our hearts, and they come in the form of cute, prickly hedgehogs.
Called "Harry," which is a play on harinezumi (literally “needle mouse”), the Japanese word for hedgehog, this café is located on the second floor of a new building in Roppongi, Tokyo, the site also houses a rabbit café called “Ms. Bunny” on the third floor.
Visitors to the café are required to fill out a form before entering, which lays out the general fees and rules—which must be strictly adhered to—for the visit. Each person is charged ¥1,000 (about US$9.20) for every 30 minutes they spend at the café on weekdays (¥1,300 [US$12] on weekends), with additional charges for feeding and photos taken with a camera. Photos taken on cellphones and tablets however are free.
Once inside, you’ll find a small space decorated with warm wood tones and a large number of glass enclosures housing a variety of different hedgehogs.
After disinfecting your hands, you can walk around and choose the hedgehog you’d like to handle. Each enclosure has a sign to indicate the sex of the animals inside, along with a number so staff can ensure each group of hedgehogs is given sufficient food and rest time away from visitors, in rotation with other hedgehogs in the café.
Once you’ve found the hedgehog you’d like to lavish affection on, the staff will take the animal out of the enclosure for you (guests are not allowed to take the hedgehogs from the glass tanks) and gently transfer it to a basket or box, from which you can then lift it out and play.