August 02, 2016

Hello Kittens, you pretty cats


Japanese Anime, Games, Cat Cafe

Cat trend is storming over Japan right now. Cat cafes, where you can have some tea with cats, is one of them and is estimated roughly about 200 shops within Japan which is more than any other countries have. Its origin is said to be from Taiwan, though Japan is the one who set the trend on fire. There are many Japanese Style Cat Cafes all over the world, and are many tourists coming to Japan just to experience its cat cafes. One of the recommended place is in Kamakura near the Great Buddha of Kamakura, called Kamakura Neko no Ma. It is located in a quiet neighbourhood area, and all the cats in the shop are adopted from the street. Not in Tokyo but is within the reach with easy access, and you can enjoy both the Buddha and the cat cafe all at once. This maybe good for those people with fewer days of stay. Cat cafes are now one of the Japanese culture just like Anime and Games, but why does it attract so many people? The owner of Neko no Ma, Kumiko Nagata, is also an author for books such as “Neko Aru Aru” and “Neko Aru Aru Photo” and has a detailed knowledge about biology of cats. This cat cafe is opened by an cat expert, so there must be something different about this shop. We ask the expert for its secret.



What Kind of Place Is Neko no Ma?

“The biggest difference between our place and other cafes are that our cats are adopted cats from streets. They are either the babies of stray cats being abandoned by their mother cat, and or dumped by human owners. We are here to provide a fun place to play with cats, and at the same time our aim is to look for their new owners.”

You won’t be able to tell if they are dumped from their playful attitude, but there are still cats who can’t make its appearance to the cafe space being not able to trust humans. Cafe’s chief Maru and sub-chief Kuma are also adopted from streets, and they are the ones which owner Kumiko has spent time with from before the shop opening. Number of cats Neko no Ma holds is less than normal cat cafes. This is because Kumiko believes it is up until ten cats that she can take care of them with responsibility.

“I would like to welcome them to our place without them having any stresses. We have here wood floors and stairs which are nice and easy for cats, a catwalk where cats can climb up and down freely, and also a cat tower with beds that are remade from a doll house.”

It is not only for cats that this place is comfortable. The reason there is no unique cats smell is because they are using diatomous earth on their walls which absorb the odor, and also an extra care to do the toilet clean up frequently. Fresh atmosphere is promised at this place as you can smell the woody aroma once you enter the shop.



So Relaxing to the Point You Forget the Cats

Another reason why Neko no Ma is so different from other cafes is that it is high in quality as a cafe. In normal cat cafes, their main attraction is to play with the cats so their food menus are not as considered as normal cafes. Yet it is understandable you don’t have much time to drink tea when you are coming to play with cats. However, the place where Neko no Ma is located is a Japanese ancient capital Kamakura. You can’t welcome those people coming for its nature and looking for peace with plastic bottled tea.

“You can enjoy the real herbal teas, Sri Lankan teas, Matcha, and coffee by looking at adopted cats. It is probably uncommon for a cat cafe to serve Maurice Mességué herb teas, which is famous from herb lovers all over the world.”

What’s recommended here is Herb Tea Royale by Maurice Mességué (served in pot for ¥600) and Calico Cat Chiffon Cake (¥450). Royale soothes the fatigue of liver and stomach, its vivid blue color when poured to cups is eye-catching, and is easy to drink with a little bit of sweetness in taste. The chiffon cake is calico cat patterned from any cuts, and the soft fluffiness is definitely addictive.

“Cats coming to Neko no Ma are mostly under 1 year old. Some people say that cats are kinky and do not get attached to humans. Kittens are exactly the opposite. They have a great deal of curiosity and very playful towards people. Please have fun play with them by holding setaria, which is cats’ favourite thing.”

This cafe come with tastefull food and a beautiful green view that you can see from their big window. It is a relaxing cat cafe, where you tend to forget to play with the cats.


おすすすめは、『モーリス・メセゲのハーブティ ロワイヤル(ポット)』(¥600)と『三毛猫シフォンケーキ』(¥450)。肝臓や胃腸の疲れを癒してくれる『ロワイヤル』は、入れたてのブルーが目にも美しく、やや甘みを感じる飲みやすい一杯。シフォンケーキはどこを切っても三毛猫模様で、フワフワの柔らかさがたまらない。


Kamakura Neko no Ma

Address: 6-9-7 Fueda, Kamakura-Shi, Kanagawa Prefecture
Tel: 0467-40-5379

Opening Hours
Mon~Fri: 11:00~18:00
CLOSING : Every Mondays, Second and Fourth Tuesdays




11:00 ~ 18:00
定休日 : 毎週月曜日と第2・第4火曜日(定休日が祝日の場合は休まず営業致します)


photographer / MIREI SAKAKI

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