Visiting Hachiko’s cousins

And after visiting the Hachikō statue in Shibuya, we went to one of the many dog cafes in Tokyo.

Dog cafes, or rather animal cafes are a part of Tokyo. There were many but we were recommended this one – Mame Shiba Inu Dog Cafe in Shibuya.

Shiba Inus are the smallest of the spitz breed of dogs native to Japan. A Mame Shiba Inu is a Shiba Inu dog (a Japanese breed of hunting dogs) that has been intentionally bred to be smaller.

Mum went to check it out. She was warned that it could be a long wait getting in but when she and IMPOSTOR arrived they just had to wait five minutes and there wasn’t a queue. She thought she got lucky but soon after the slot for noon was quickly filled.

All visitors had to remove their shoes as the room was tatami style, and they had to sanitise their hands.

No food nor drinks allowed inside. All visitors had to put their belongings up on the shelves so the dogs do not get to them. We found out why later. There was a short introduction on the do’s and don’ts – no lifting the dogs, no flash photography, any drinks from the vending machine “cafe” (a bit of a stretch) must be on the table and not on the floor.

Only the carers are allowed to pick them up.

Mum stepped over the border and joined the rest of the visitors on the tatami mats.

There were about fourteen Mame Shibas and the dogs ran around the room amongst the visitors.

Only once did one of the dogs barred its teeth in a little spat. And he got told off immediately.

Think he likes to tell off the little ones. He didn’t let the smaller dog have the toy – until one of the carers came and took the toy to give it to the smaller Mame ShibeInu.

Stand off!

They don’t crave for attention – they’re used to hoomans there all the time.

Except for this lady. Mum thinks she must have a dog and she’s a regular – as they all gathered around her.

Mum was feeling a bit jealous. LOL!

But they are curious when it wasn’t the norm – as in IMPOSTOR!!! LOL!

What’s that?

Amiya was particularly curious.

And Amiya got told off for being curious.

That was the reason why they told visitors all items must be high up in the shelves. They wanted to bite IMPOSTOR!!! And then they smelled us on Mum!

And they all came sniffing.

Mum told the owner about IMPOSTOR aka me! And she was then allowed to take a photo of IMPOSTOR with Ram –

Some dogs just didn’t want to be bothered.

Others napped.

Soon the 30-minute session was over

and it was time to leave.

“Bye!” said Ram.

Well, that was an experience and IMPOSTOR left unscathed – though there was a moment when the dogs could have chewed IT up!!!! That would have been the end of IMPOSTOR!

May’s comment: I was feeling rather sad after leaving Sasha and Skye as they flew back to Ko Samui – and I am making my way to London. It definitely cheered me up visiting these cutie pies, but it did feel a bit odd.

It’s a strange concept – all these animal cafes. But there are many Japanese customs we don’t really understand. But the dogs are healthy, happy and well looked after.

For many city dwellers cannot have dogs in the places where they live and dogs cafe give them a chance to interact with dogs.

The cafe had lots of Shiba Inu products in the cafe …

Nope, my dogs don;tneed another toy!

After I left the cafe, as I happened across a pet shop – full of miniature puppies – really tiny.

I was a little shocked to be honest, and felt sad watching these tiny pups in cages – albeit very clean and well looked after.

This little pup is about three months old.

They like to create really tea-cup size dogs – partly because of space, partly because everything cute sells in Japan.

I reminided myself it’s a different culture. Dogs are very much a part of this society, and they probably treat them more like their family than some of the western cultures do. Walking along the streets and while visiting some dog accessories and grooming places (more on that on the next post) – I saw a lot of small dogs. And these are the ones that walk the streets or go to the park.

And the rare large dog!


  1. Daniel M.Hall

    Thanks for sharing those good photos of Spitz dogs. Sometimes I see them being walked here in New York City. Is each visitor only allowed 30 minutes in that dog store?

    I saw a TV program recently about Japan, and from that program I found out that there are also “animal” cafes that are full of cats of different colors and sizes. Did you see any of those cafes?

    There is legislation in the works to ban pet stores in the state of New York from selling cats, bunnies and dogs. Good idea. I get sad when I go into such stores and see mostly small dogs crammed into small cages–sometime I have seen 2 dogs crammed into one cage.

    • Miss Darcy

      Hi Daniel – that was a dog cafe – a bit of a stretch – they were vending machines. I hope they ban those pet stores. There’s one in Lexington Ave and I get so angry each time I pass by but I go in to check and if I need to report to the SPCA.

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