こんにちは (Konnichiwa)! Let’s visit a hedgehog cafe in Tokyo, Japan.
Animal cafes are trendy nowadays. Many of us know about cats and dogs cafes, but hedgehog cafe is almost unheard of. Perhaps, there isn’t any in the world except in Japan. So when we were planning for unique experiences in our itinerary, we knew we had to bring our kids to check out the hedgehogs.
Read on to find out more about our first visit to a hedgehog cafe 🙂
An interactive and personal experience
Animal cafes let you interact with animals which makes it such a personal experience. It’s little wonder that they are so popular.
What makes hedgehog cafes even more special is its rarity. As pets, hedgehogs are generally illegal in many countries.
Lucky for us, we get to hold these little creatures at Harry Hedgehog Cafe in Harajuku district. By the way, there are other branches in Roppongi and Yokohama too.
Harry Hedgehog Cafe claims to be the first of its kind in the world. The cafe offers a cosy space for guests to interact and get to know more about these little creatures.
There are 17 species of hedgehogs in the world according to Wikipedia. The type of hedgehogs you can meet at Harry is called Four-toed Hedgehog, also commonly known as African Pygmy Hedgehog.
Within the cafe, you can find 9 different coloured four-toed hedgehogs.
Pricey, but worth it
The cafe is admittedly a tad pricey, as expected with all novel experiences. A 30-minutes session costs JPY1,400, while a bundle with snacks for the hedgehogs costs JPY1,630.
All guests are treated to a welcome drink of their choice from the vending machines within the cafe premise.
We met the little creatures for the first time, and we can’t stop screaming cute. Well, I could say adorable or kawaii, essentially they are just pure cuteness all over!
Types of seating
Depending on your group size, you get different seating areas. If you’re alone or with a partner, you will be directed to the counter seats where the hedgehogs are in tanks.
Those in a bigger group gets the sofa seat where the hedgehogs are held in trenches.
How to pick up a hedgehog?
Gently scoop them up from both sides of their bodies from their stomachs. Just imagine how you will scoop water with your hands.
Not to worry about being pricked, there are gloves provided for guests when picking up these little spiky friends.
Hedgehogs love tight places. We find that they don’t wiggle as much when you
Another thing to note, some hedgehogs may not appear to be in the mood for petting. We encountered one among the litter which would instantly tense up at our fingertips. The better judgement here is to leave it alone.
Children are welcomed
There are rules in certain animal cafes that do not allow young children to enter. We couldn’t be happier that our kids were able to visit the hedgehog cafe this time. Although our 5 yr old had some difficulty containing the smaller hedgehog in her palms, it was still an invaluable experience for her.
Myth busters, hedgehogs vs porcupines
Truthfully, I was sceptical at first about visiting a hedgehog cafe. What if the hedgehogs explode their quills at us? Or will they bite us because of mishandling? These concerns were unfounded, of course.
First of all, hedgehogs do not detach their quills like porcupines. Instead, they will curl into a ball when threatened. I must have confused hedgehogs for porcupines.
Both are prickly animals with needle-like quills on their body. Their similarity ends at just that. Little did I know that they are opposites in many ways.
Hedgehogs are omnivorous. They eat small creatures such as insects and plants. On the other hand, porcupines are herbivores.
Hedgehogs are small enough to fit in your palms, while porcupines are much larger by three times in size.
Alright, now we’ve cleared up the misconceptions about hedgehogs vs porcupines once and for all.
Should you visit a hedgehog cafe?
For our kids, it was undoubtedly the highlight of their stay as the experience was unique. Believe it or not, they would visit a hedgehog cafe over Disneyland any day.
If you enjoy animal cafes, why not include a visit to the hedgehog cafe in your Tokyo itinerary.
Let us know your experiences below if you have been to one. Any questions are welcome too.