These pictures are more than awesome and the expressive cats are wordless to describe. The audience is asked to refrain from talking during the movie, but purring is totally OK.
Japan’s cat cafes have a simple yet reliable formula for success. Take one thing people like (cafes), and add another thing they can’t get enough of (cats), then sit back and watch your customers smile from the moment they set foot inside your establishment.
But we recently stopped by a cat cafe in Tokyo that adds yet another thing we like to the mix: watching movies.
Temari no Ouchi is located in the fashionable west Tokyo neighborhood of Kichijoji. Every October, Kichijoji holds what it calls the “Neko Fes,” or “Cat Festival,” and Temari no Uchi always takes part in the celebration by hosting the Nyanko Eigasai/Cat Film Festival.
The name is a bit on the grandiose side, since only one film screens as part of the event. The venue in no way skimps on the actual cat companionship, though, as there were 27 friendly felines hanging out in the cafe when we stopped by.
The doors open at 7:30 p.m., conveniently late enough for visitors who want to stop by on their way home from work. The film doesn’t start until 8:30 p.m., though, which gave us an hour in which to eat, drink (beverage options included tea and beer), and, most importantly, play with the cats and snap adorable photos of them.
Dinner was a tasty hamburger steak with vegetables, fried egg, and white rice.
At 8:30, it was time for the movie to start. Naturally, an example of feline-related cinema was chosen, as the lights dimmed and the 2008 film Neko Nade, about an unemployed salaryman who cares for an abandoned cat, was projected onto the screen.
As the human audience turned its attention to the movie, the cats made their way to the back of the room to relax and use their litter boxes.
It wasn’t long, though, before they came back to mingle with us again, snuggling up to their human visitors or otherwise hanging out in our peripheral vision.
By the time the credits rolled, it was nearing 10 o’clock, and time for the kitties to be getting ready for bed. The staff asked that everyone gather their things and head for the exit, and we took a quick moment for just a few more pictures.
Unfortunately, movie night isn’t a regular occurrence at Temari no Ouchi, and is something the cafe only does for one night during the Kichijoji Cat Festival. The cafe itself is open every day.
Temari no Ouchi / てまりのおうち
Address: Tokyo-to, Musashino-shi, Kichijoji Honcho 2-13-14