The first time I heard of the Sakuragaoka Goat Cafe in Shibuya, I didn’t believe it was real. I’ve been to my share of rabbit and cat cafes in Tokyo, but a goat cafe? I couldn’t picture that.
“If there was a Goat Cafe in Shibuya, I would know about it,” I told my friend. I spent a lot of time in Shibuya – it’s only about a 25 min ride from my apartment.
“That’s what the magazine says…” she said, pointing to an article in an old issue of Metropolis magazine, one of the largest free English magazines in Tokyo. “The Sakuragaoka Goat Cafe in Shibuya.”
I quickly scanned the article and plugged in the name to Google. Sure enough, it was real.
It was called the Sakuragaoka Goat Cafe and it was near Shibuya station
We went there a week later. It’s not like I was purposefully delaying the inevitable – I just had a busy week. The cafe was easy enough to find, I guess, and was only about a 7 min walk from Shibuya Station, Hachiko Exit.
Back roads in Shibuya are winding and confusing – make sure to bring a map (or take a picture of the Google maps before you go).
Before you go, here’s some important details:
Hours of Operation for the Sakuragaoka cafe: 8am – 4am (yes, 4:00 A.M.)
They break this time into “blocks” – that dictate what you can order. You can always order food and drinks whenever you visit, but the best “food options” are during Lunch and Dinner time. It is open 7 days a week.
Morning Time: 8am – 11:30am
Lunch Time: 11:30 am – 15:00 (11:30am – 3:00pm)
Idle Time: 15:00 – 17:30 (3:00pm – 5:30pm)
Dinner Time: 17:30 – 23:00 (5:30pm – 11:00pm)
Midnight Time: 23:00 – 28:00 (11:00pm – 4:00am)
Address of the Sakuragaoka goat cafe
〒150-0031 東京都渋谷区桜丘町２３−３ 篠田ビル
(just plug that into Google Search)
Basically, the Sakuragaoka cafe is an incredibly chill and relaxed cafe in the non-pop culture area of Shibuya. The goats are more of an accessory than a “central theme” – even without the goats sitting outside, it would still be a nice cafe.
And don’t worry, the owners swore that goats only need like 2 to 4 hours of sleep a night, so when the cafe closes, they throw a huge noise-cancellation sheet over the cage and let the goats get plenty of sleep.
As advertised, near the door there is a large cage with two goats (both 3 year old females, the white one was named Sakura and the dark brown one was named Shokola/Chocolat). When we got to the cafe, both the goats were more interested in chewing up what was left of their ‘wooden house’ in the cage than in us.
Which was cool. They didn’t have to be interested in me.
We went inside and had a lovely lunch. Most of the food in the Sakuragaoka Goat Cafe is on the pricy side – which is pretty normal for Shibuya.
They mostly serve “American” food (burgers, pasta, lots of alcohol) and have special menus depending on the time of day. Also, the English menus all have some pretty awesomely hilarious “Engrish.”
Their burgers were delicious.
A majority of the patrons in the goat cafe were on their laptops, studying, or meeting with friends. I’m totally going to go back someday with my laptop and see if I can get some quality work done inside the cafe.
Smoking was allowed anywhere inside the cafe (a rarity in Japan) – so if you’re trying to kick the habit or hate the smell of smoke, you should probably sit outside.
The shop is artsy with various prints plastered across the wall; the dinner menu is written on the back wall. In the cafe, the seats are faded and leather and they have a couple very comfortable couches. I loved the vibe.
The food took about thirty minutes to arrive (but that’s probably because we went at an “off time”) and was absolutely delicious. They have English menus available, so no worries if you don’t speak Japanese.
All in all, it was a very charming and cute cafe. I loved it.
And it was fun to watch other pedestrians stop, try to pet, and take pictures with the goats.
After we paid, we went back outside and tried one more time to get the goats to play with us. They wouldn’t. They just wanted to lay around
I went back inside and asked really sweetly if I could feed the goats (animals always respond really well to food). The waitress went behind the cash register and filled up a small plastic cup with hay for me to feed the goats, for free.
Use the phrase “ヤギさんに食べ物をあげてもいいですか” or “yagisan ni, tabemono wo agete mo ii desuka?”
Or at least that’s what I used. My Japanese isn’t perfect, so that might be grammatically incorrect. In any case, the lady knew what I was talking about and gave me goat food
And of course, after I walked outside with the snacks, the goats immediately perked up and conveyed how they totally thought I was the coolest person in the world.
They even let us all pet them and totally didn’t bite anyone’s fingers while we were feeding them.
The Sakuragaoka Goat Cafe is a bit pricy (expect about 1000yen plates and 400yen drinks) – but has a wonderful atmosphere, delicious food, a neat concept, and very friendly staff. I’m probably going to try to hit it up sometime at night, when it’s more of a bar and less of a cafe, just to see.
As advertised, they had goats. They also had delicious food. In my book, that makes it a must-see attraction for people who want to see some of the “weird” parts of Japan (because that’s popular among tourists).