Japan Opens First-Ever Hedgehog Cafe

Posted by Stacey Venzel

"Harry" is Tokyo's newest animal cafe, serving coffee and tea for humans, but mealworms for hedgehogs.

Pet cafes are not a foreign concept to the Japanese culture. While animal and coffee lovers in Europe and the U.S. are ecstatic about cat and dog cafes popping up, Japan is a veteran in the pet-caffeine trade.

Harinezumis, the Japanese word for hedgehogs, have joined a growing industry along Tokyo's busy streets. In homage to the Japanese term for the cute prickle balls, the hedgehog cafe Harry recently opened its doors in Tokyo. The cafe serves coffee and tea, but encourages people to bring their own snacks. The real income is made from visitors paying to pet and hold one of the 20 prickly mammals scurrying around license plate boxes on the counter.

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Specials are advertised for certain spiny individuals based on their coloring: salt and pepper, albino, cinnamon, and brown. The spiny pets are also up for adoption, viewable on the website and in person. Harry sells hedgehog supplies, too. Mealworms can also be purchased to aid in the bonding experience.

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Hedgehogs are a common exotic pet in Japan, but that hasn't stopped locals and tourists from stopping by. Visitors are often lined up out the door on weekends and holidays. With its recent opening, Harry recommends interested folks utilize the business's online reservation system to ensure a visit with one of the creatures.

Japan already has cafes for birds, snakes, dogs, cats, and even goats. Rabbits are also available at a cafe in the same building as the hedgehogs just around the corner at Ms. Bunny's.

All images via Harry Hedgehog Cafe

Japan Opens First-Ever Hedgehog Cafe