We just discovered a new pet cafe, and it was absolutely adorable.
Last Saturday, adults and children alike were lined up outside one of the stores on the ground floor of Sanlitun SOHO Building No 5, engrossed with the little animals that roamed around the shop floor. Next to the onlookers was a row of congratulatory flower stands, an auspicious gift for newly-opened businesses, that hid curious little puppies looking out the window.
The owners temporarily set the flower stands aside so that we could take some photos It was the opening day of the Takara Pet Cafe, a Japanese brand that has now found its way to the mainland. From the outside, the store looks like your typical, albeit smaller, pet shop with animals and pet-friendly items on display.
But it's more than just that. For 88RMB, guests are welcome to stay for 45 minutes at a time and play with the animals in the store, some of which can be bought and brought home.
There weren't that many animals, but we're not complaining. Though we admit that we're not sure exactly how friendly the dogs would be with the smaller rodents in case they're all roaming around together.
They even had a raccoon, although it's behind a glass window and the only way guests can 'play' with the raccoon is by feeding it.
And of all the animals we saw, we were surprised to discover that it was the capybara that wanted to snuggle the most!
Our new friend taking a water break
True to form, the shop sold mostly Japanese products, from their snacks and the drinks to the pet equipment on sale. Guests are also required to wear gloves (that are provided by the shop) in case any of the animals (playfully) bite, though from our experience there all these little guys wanted to do was play and snuggle.
If you're thinking of heading over soon, then get your cameras ready and make sure to book ahead. The pet cafe only accepts 12 people at a time, but it might be best to head over on a weekday when there's even fewer than that mingling with these guys.