A rabbit cafe is a place where you pay by the hour to drink coffee and play with various types of rabbits. However, before I can explain the significance of a “rabbit cafe,” I have to explain why (unlike “cat cafes”) rabbit cafes are a rarity.
Cat cafes are hugely popular in Japan, especially Tokyo. If you think about it, it makes sense. Tokyo is cramped and expensive; a lot of the cheaper apartments don’t allow pets. And even if they did allow pets, a lot of people don’t have the time or energy to take care of a pet. Cats are a viable pet in Japan (despite the fact that there are wild cats everywhere).
People like cats. You can buy cat trinkets, shaped treats, themed sweaters, or (if you have extra cash floating around), your very own cat for upwards of 1,000 or 2,000 USD
Not too long ago, the first cat café opened up in Akihabara. Since then, they’ve spread all throughout Tokyo (and to other parts of Japan), touching hearts everywhere. My first reaction when I heard about cat cafes was “I wonder if they have rabbit cafés…”
My friend assured me that sadly, they did not have rabbit cafés in Tokyo.
Except they totally do. Ryosuke discovered one for me a couple of weeks ago. Needless to say, he won “husband of the year” award (and it’s only April, so that’s good progress).
[For more, check out: Things I love about Japan – Rabbit Cafes]
The premise of a cat café or rabbit café is simple. Patrons pay by the hour (or half-hour) to play with fluffy animals. Customers get a furry companion to love and fuss over, without actually having to pay for or take care of the thing. They can also drink as much coffee, tea, or soft drinks as they want while they play. I think it is rather brilliant.
As far as I know, Candy Fruit Rabbit Café is the only bunny rabbit café in Akihabara. It is located on the very poorly advertised 9th floor of a building that is a ten minute walk away from the main Akihabara station.
For instructions on how to get to the Candy Fruit Rabbit Café, scroll down to the bottom of this article (I took pictures illustrating how to find the back entrance).
How much does the Candy Fruit Bunny Rabbit Café in Akiba cost?
Like other animal cafés, Candy Fruit charges by the half-hour. Their prices are:
|Cost (Monday – Friday)||Cost (Weekends+Holidays)|
|30 Minute “Pack”||1000 yen||1200 yen|
|60 Minute “Pack”||1600 yen||1800 yen|
|90 Minute “Pack”||2200 yen||2400 yen|
|Add 30 Minutes||800 yen||800 yen|
|Cut Veggies to feed Rabbits||200 yen||200 yen|
I usually only go for 30 minutes. I’ve also received several 50% off coupons (at checkout) and the staff typically lets me stay for an extra couple minutes if no one else is there. The entire atmosphere is incredibly laid back.
The “Rules” of the Bunny Rabbit Café
The rules are simple and pretty easy.
- Only one rabbit is allowed out on the floor at a time (except for the cases when two rabbits get along well, and then you are allowed to have both of them out).
- Take off your shoes when you’re outside the pit and put your personal belongings on a shelf out of reach of the bunnies. When you’re playing with the rabbits in the pit, you are supposed to be wearing slippers provided by the café.
- You can drink as much tea and coffee as you want while you play with the rabbits.
- Photos are ok (but try not to take any of the staff)
- You can play with, pet, pick up, or cuddle with the bunnies as much as you want – but be gentle. Don’t yank at their ears or legs, trying to catch them.
- Whenever you get tired of the bunny, you can switch it out for another rabbit.
- Clean your hands with sanitizer before and after each bunny. Some of the male rabbits get competitive and will try to pee on your hands (or run away from you) if they smell the scent of another rabbit.
- It is ok to bring outside food and drinks (there was one guy in the corner chowing down on a bento lunch box while playing with the bunnies).
Hours of Operation
|Monday – Friday||2:00pm – 9:30pm|
|Weekends and Holidays||12:00pm (noon) – 9:30pm|
An afternoon at the “Candy Fruit” Bunny Rabbit Café in Akihabara
First of all, Candy Fruit Rabbit Café is a bit run down. The floor is sticky from rabbit pee and the rug/tables have been extensively chewed on. It’s located on the 9th floor of a fairly unknown building. The entire room smells a bit like rabbit urine. A lot of the rabbits don’t like being picked up. It is not a “high budget” operation.
But to me, that made it more authentic. It brought me back to the days of raising rabbits. I would have been nervous if the place was spotless, with un-chewed furniture. All the “flaws” made it a more memorable experience.
The staff was friendly, allowing us to switch out bunnies every couple of minutes, teaching me what each different rabbit liked, and allowing me to talk ample pictures.
The back wall and corner was filled with cages of all sorts of rabbits. They were different breeds, gender, size, and color. You could open the door and play with however many as you wanted, even if one rabbit at a time was actually allowed out on the floor.
Toward the end of the half-hour we were there, we were the only customers (aside from the guy with the bento box in the corner – but he was a regular and knew the staff by name), so one of the girls sat with us an explained rabbit care to Ryosuke.
“Of the rabbits here,” she explained, “only about three or four liked being picked up. It’s frustrating when customers come in and expect the rabbits to play with them – especially when they switch out the rabbits every couple of minutes without asking our opinions. If they ask, I could show them which rabbits enjoy human touch the most, but they don’t ask, and then they get upset when the rabbits don’t respond well.”
The staff as Candy Fruit was incredibly informative, sweet, and had a deep love for bunnies (that I really clicked with). They did a good job normalizing an obsession with rabbits. And they were fun to chat with – trying out a couple sentences in English with me before realizing I spoke Japanese. They claimed that foreigners come by the Candy Fruit bunny café fairly often.
How to get to Candy Fruit Rabbit Café in Akihabara
The address for the rabbit cafe is:
Tokyo, Chiyoda, Sotokanda, 4 Chome−6−2いすゞビル9F
The rabbit café is located on one of the main streets running perpendicular from Electric City Gate at the JR Akihabara station. You can either exit left or right from the Electric City exit. If you exit on the side with the AKB48 and Gundam cafes, take an immediate left, walk until you hit the main street, and then take a right. If you exit on the side next to the huge game center and curry café, take an immediate right, walk until you hit the main street, then take a right.
Walk along that street for about ten minutes. You should pass a Donki-Hote. A couple streets after the Donki Hote, you should see a “Family Mart” convenience store.
Keep walking. Take the first right after the “Family Mart,” down a tiny, unmarked street.
This is what the tiny, unmarked street looks like.
Walk down the small street. Take the first right.
Once again, a close-up of that turn looks like this:
Walk along the street until you hit the automatic doors to the tallest of the buildings. Enter the building.
Inside, you should see a small sign that says “Candy Fruit Rabbit Café, 9th floor.” It looks like this.
Go up the tiny, sketchy elevator to the 9th floor. Ta-da, you’ve arrived at the rabbit cafe.