Naoshima Island in Kagawa Prefecture (map) is mainly famous for its art. However there’s something else that might be of interest if you love cats: a very cute cat café.
Naoshima’s Cat Café “Nyaoshima”
I was surprised to see a cat café on such a small island.
Cat cafés are quite popular in Japan, especially in big cities where apartments are tiny and pets often aren’t allowed. They offer some quality time with cute cats for cat lovers who would like to have one, but can’t. I will write a more detailed post about cat cafés in the future.
The name of the cat café I want to introduce today is very cute. As it is located on Naoshima Island, they just added the letter “y”.
“Nya” or “nyan” is the sound a cat makes in Japanese. It’s equal to “meow”. I thought it was a simple , but also very creative idea.
Cat cafés can be very expensive. The one on Naoshima Island has moderate prices.
In order to spend 30 minutes with the cats, you have to pay 500 yen.
You also had to order food before you could spend time with the cats.
This is the first cat café I’ve been to where you had to do that. I guess that they don’t get so many customers and by doing so they want to make sure they’ll make enough money. Though I don’t know if that’s the reason.
For me it was just perfect as it was noon and I was very hungry.
After eating lunch it was finally time to play with the cats. The cats were in a separate room, so you could eat in peace.
However, the room with the cats is separated from the main room by a huge window, so you can sit down and eat while observing the cats.
Before you enter the room, you get a tag that tells you until when you can stay. You also have to read the rules (e. g. the dos and don’ts when playing with the cats).
It was a very cute and clean room.
While being the smallest cat café I’ve been to, it was one of the cutest concerning decoration.
There were 5 cats when I visited, no kittens at that time.
Most of them were long hair breeds.
While there were so many tourists on Naoshima Island when I visited that day, I was the only one in the cat café.
I’m not sure if it’s because most people don’t know about this cat café or because they’re all only interested in the art. I really enjoyed being the only customer. I had free choice as all the cats were bored anyways.
In most cat cafés you have to share a cat with other people or wait until a cat is “available”.
I guess that’s also why the cats there seemed pretty healthy (mentally). I’ve seen pretty depressing things in other cat cafés and felt sorry for the cats there. Not so here!
The cat on the left kept fighting with the others all the time. I think it wanted my attention as it always interfered when I was playing with other cats.
This cat was by far the smallest and thus the cutest. I think it had a cold. I could hear it had a stuffed nose when breathing.
You can also hear it a little in this short video I took:
They had a few toys one could use to play with the cats.
As you can see in the video, one cat prefered to play with my backpack instead!
The cats all seemed to be happy and I could see that the owner takes good care of them.
The room was not too small for them and they had each other and a bunch of toys, so they don’t get bored. And sometimes customers like me drop by to entertain them.
Haaa~ the joy of a cat’s life!
This cat was sitting in front of the cat café. I ran into a few more on the island later that day.
It was time for me to leave and explore Naoshima some more. I stayed with the cats for 30 minutes. There’s really no need to stay longer and pay more money, especially if you’re the only visitor and have all the cats for yourself.
Naoshima Island has so much more to offer, you don’t want to waste all of your time in the cat café.
If you like cats or if you want to experience a cat café and have a few extra minutes, I recommend visiting!
You can use the Naoshima City Bus (直島町営バス) to get there. Get off at “Nokyo-mae” (農協前). From there it’s a 1-2 mins walk.
Extra Travel Tip:
As most museums as well as the cat café are closed on Mondays, I wouldn’t recommend visiting Naoshima on a Monday!
This is such a cute place! and, I am sure, amazing experience!
The cats look lazy in the video :)
I think it was because it was sick?! *g*
It was a really nice place for cat lovers and a great addition to all the art that could be found on Naoshima.
The cats would have all had ‘cat flu’ which is a common and highly communicable viral infection. It’s actually a form of herpes (humans can’t catch it off cats). The cats have it for life but as long as they’re looked after well it doesn’t usually cause big problems.
Really? That’s so sad. I’ve never heard of this before.
Thanks so much for the insightful information.
At least I know that this particular cat is looked after well, so there shouldn’t be any problem. :)