Japan’s Quirky Cafes: Lunch with a Hedgehog

No trip to Japan is complete without a visit to a theme restaurant or cafe. There are tons of them, especially in large cities. Having lived outside Tokyo for two and half years you become aware of many different themes. There is a robot restaurant, an Alice in Wonderland restaurant, vampire cafes, lock up or prison themed cafes, cat cafes, owl cafes, ninja cafes and cafes where you catch your own fish. There are many lists of quirky cafes and restaurants online that you can research.

Not long before we left Japan when Jeff got out of the Navy we went to a hedgehog cafe on our last trip to Tokyo. Harry Hedgehog Cafe is located in the Roppongi area of Tokyo, a nightlife and entertainment district that also has upscale shopping, restaurants and galleries.

Harry’s is not so much a cafe as a pay as you go opportunity to have some quality time with a hedgehog. You can buy the hedgehog a snack, but drinks for humans is self serve and there is no human food. You can bring food for yourself with you. Their web site advertises “Colors available are “Salt n pepper”, “Pied”, “Cinnamon”, “Albino” so you are assured a good selection. You should begin by surveying the available critters and picking out who you want to spend time with.

Hedgehogs, albino one on the left

Once you pick one out, they put them in a box for you to take to a table. You can take them out of the box. Sam was not super excited about holding one on his own. Note: many of these upcoming photos I took with one hand while I had a squirming pointy quill hedgehog in the other.


Harry’s also has a bunny cafe upstairs so if you have not had enough of visiting with small critters you can feel free to move on to the bunnies.

I highly recommend checking out some kind of theme cafe or restaurant while you are in Japan. If you plan to take children make sure to check if there are age restrictions. Children under a certain age needed adult supervision in the hedgehog cafe, but we tried to go to a cat cafe while in Japan and no children under age five were allowed in at all and Sam was only three at the time. Each one has a different policy.

Need a good read, check out this Time Out article on Tokyo’s weirdest restaurants, eat in a prison medical facility at Alcatraz ER? no thanks. Or is a Jesus themed restaurant more your speed? or maybe a restaurant where you pay to cook your own food at Self Kitchen? Tokyo has something for everyone!

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