Shinjuku may have Cat Cafe Calico, but Shibuya has it’s own cool cat cafe: Cat Cafe Hapineko.
The name of the shop is officially “Neko Cafe Hapineko.” In Japanese, “neko” means “cat.” So basically the shop’s name is “Cat Cafe Happy Cats.” I’m sure that any cat lover who goes inside this Japan cat cafe will be happy too!
At Shibuya Cat Cafe Hapineko, one of the many Japanese cat cafes, you can spend a cozy afternoon in the company of cats, right in heart of the city. A few years back, I visited Cat Cafe Hapineko and had the chance to hang out with their happy cats.
Cat Cafe Hapineko: The Shop
We had a bit of difficultly finding Hapineko. It’s tucked away on a side street in Shibuya. The store front struck me as funny. Pictures of the “cat staff” are posted outside, much like how pictures of women are posted outside of hostess clubs.
Upon exiting the elevator to the cafe, we were greeted by a small room with a large window overlooking the flashing city lights. The shop was dark inside at night. The cute cat decorations and cozy atmosphere make up for that. The daytime photos from Flickr user iris show that Hapineko is very bright and cheerful in the daytime.
As for the cost, Hapineko seems about the same as other cat cafes. You pay 525 yen (about 5 USD) per 30 minutes. Also, buying the drink set seems to be more or less required. The drink and snack set will set you back another 525 yen. Detailed pricing, directions and hours are at the bottom of this article.
Cat Cafe Hapineko: The Cats
The cats, naturally, were cute and, dare I say, rather happy cats. In all, the “cat staff” consists of 16 cats. They weren’t as fluffy or exotic as the cats at Cat Cafe Calico. Still, they seemed well taken care of. Most the cats at Neko Cafe Hapineko were shorthairs. I’m not sure if it was because we visited in the late evening, but the cats were a little shy. We didn’t get much petting time in. It was fun, though, watching the cats wander around and play with each other.
I seem to remember Maruku and Roll. They were particularly sweet.
If you’re interested in seeing more before going, this video from machilogmovie on YouTube shows the inside of Hapineko Cat Cafe. Be prepared for tons of adorable cats!
Have you ever been to Hapineko?
Cat Cafe Hapineko Details
As a side note, a lot of the information on the English version of the Hapineko website appears to be old. All new information is on the Japanese version of the Hapineko website.
Every 30 minutes = 525 yen
Drink & Snack Set = 525 yen [Menu on Hapineko’s English version website]
Weekday special: 2 hours + drink = 2100 yen
Cat snacks = 105 yen
Rental “foxtail” cat toy = 105 yen
Most days: 11:00-22:00 (last entry at 21:20)
Check official Hapineko website [in Japanese] for shortened holiday hours, etc.
Cratos Building (3rd floor), 2-28-3 Dogenzaka, Shibuya, Tokyo
Closest station: Shibuya Station
Exits: Hachiko Exit, 4 minute walk; Exit 1 (“The Prime Mae”), 1 minute walk
JR Lines: Yamanote, Saikyo, Shonan-Shinjuku
Tokyu Lines: Toyoko, Denentoshi
Keiyo Lines: Inokashira
Tokyo Metro Lines: Ginza, Hanzomon, Fukutoshin
[See Hapineko’s Japanese website for corresponding pictures]
1. After exiting Shibuya Station’s Hachiko exit, cross the multiple intersection, aiming for the 109 building.
2. Standing in front of the 109 building, head left (towards Dogenzaka hill).
3. You should pass “The Prime,” “Royal Host,” and “Mos Burger,” fast food restaurants on your right. (“Royal Host” is written in English)
4. You’ll then pass the flashy Shibuya Guide Shop (see photo on Hapineko’s website, photo #4). The building after that is the Cratos Building.
5. The first floor of the Cratos Building is a men’s clothing shop called “Sawasaki.” The Hapineko sign is on the veranda side of the building (I’m not sure about this last sentence).
6. A Hapineko sign is by the roadside trees. On the third floor of this building, you will find Hapineko.
Cat Cafe Hapineko Official Website [in Japanese, regularly updated]
Cat Cafe Hapineko Official Website [in English, old information]
Hapineko Tabelog Restaurant Review [lots of good pictures!]
Cat Cafe Blog [more good photos of the cat cafe Hapineko!]
Cat Cafe Calico in Shinjuku is the Cat’s Meow
Tori no Iru Cafe: Tokyo Bird Cafe Cuteness
2 thoughts on “Cat Cafe Hapineko: Cat Lover’s Paradise in Shibuya”
I’m amazed at the prizes those cafes are going/ can go at. What’s the average hourly wage of a normal job in Japan? 1000-3000 Yen? While it’s still “cheap” compared to the owl cafe you wrote about, this is still incredibly expensive considering that you already pay just to get in. I’d understand the high prices for drinks and stuff, if entry was free. But to have both an entry fee and such high prices seems a bit off to me. I’d understand if they asked for the entry fee from people who didn’t order something but this seems like madness. It comes cheaper to get a cat yourself than go the cafe haha. And as with the owl cafe, entry is probably restricted to certain numbers (which is understandable for the pets’ safety and well-being) but gives you less of an incentive to go because you can’t “just enter” when you “feel like it”. Maybe I’m biased, because I’ve grown up with cats. But in my experience, you’re looking for animal contact when you feel down or stressed etc, and there’s no time-schedule of hour-wise slots or a “come back in an hour, maybe” to that. ムッ…絶対分からないのわよ。
I get what you mean about the prices. It’s definitely not cheap. However, pet ownership is pretty difficult, especially in Japan. Lots of apartments don’t rent to people with pets (esp. cats), many people work long hours (or have long commutes or go on many business trips), and the cost of pet ownership can be prohibitive. So I think it depends on the person’s circumstances for whether having a pet or going to a pet cafe is better.
Oh, and Tokyo minimum wage is currently 888 yen an hour, so sadly not very high at all (although traditionally younger people live with their parents and many employees get a train pass from their employer as well, which probably stretches that 888 yen a little more than it would go in, for example, America).
Anyway, I guess it all depends on one’s point of view and circumstances. For somewhat cat-allergic me, 1 hour at a cat cafe a few times a year is perfect 😉