Maybe you’ve heard of cat cafés, but have you heard of the number one place for cat lovers in Japan? It’s called Yanaka, and it’s a neighborhood in Tokyo that has cats everywhere. Trust me, when I say everywhere, I do mean EVERYWHERE! Real cats, cat-based food, and cat-based souvenirs are all over the place in this town. Why? Keep reading and I’ll tell you.
A Place That Cats Call Home
Yanaka is a very traditional part of Tokyo with a lot of twists and turns, places to hide, and nice sunny spots. Naturally, this made it a magnet for stray cats! As more and more showed up, the residents of Yanaka became welcoming of their new friends. Thus, Yanaka’s reputation as a cat haven began.
Celebrating Feline Friends
Since the stray cats showed up, this part of Tokyo has become a center for cat-related merchandise. Cat lovers from all over the world come to not only see the cats, but also to buy a souvenir or two. Banners like the one above are all over Yanaka. If that doesn’t tell you how much they value their cats, I don’t know what else will.
No, not real cat food – this food is for humans. There are a lot of nice places in Yanaka that serve treats such as cat-tail donuts, cat-themed bento boxes, and taiyaki shaped like a cat. I’m sure you could probably buy cat food as well if you wanted to bring back something for a feline friend.
Of course, in every tourist destination, there will be different places that you can buy souvenirs. From cat clothes, to cat art, to cat kitchenware, this town definitely has you covered if you’re a collector of cat memorabilia. You can also paint your own cat sculpture at a restaurant called Nekoemon, so that would definitely be worth checking out.
What Do You Think?
Overall, I would LOVE visit Yanaka! Not only would I like to see the cats, but I’d enjoy the opportunity to experience some of the scenery, restaurants, and shops. What do you think? Would you visit Yanaka?
Featured image via Exploring Old Tokyo