CC 1

Cat cafes have established a pretty solid foothold in the Japanese dining scene. That said, some of them deliver more on the “cat” than the “café” part, with pretty unimpressive interiors and menus.

That’s not a problem at Monta, though, a cat café which recently opened up in Tokyo’s Asakusa neighborhood. With stylish and colorful furnishings and delicious food, we’d be tempted to stop by even if it didn’t have a half-dozen cats running around inside.

Those cute kitties, though, sure helped seal the deal and get us through the door, though.

As soon as we stepped in the door, we could tell the café is run by someone with a keen eye for design. The pleasingly bright wooden accents make for an inviting atmosphere, with just the right number of splashes of bold hues to keep things visually interesting without looking overly busy.

CC 2

CC 3

CC 4

CC 5

As were admiring our surroundings, we noticed we were being watched as a set of eyes peeked out from behind a sofa cushion.

CC 23

Greeting us was Luna, the Munchkin who also appears on advertisements for the café. Next to say hello was the owner, Ms. Yoshikawa.

CC 20

CC 18

Before opening her café last month, Yoshikawa worked as a radio mixer, helping on-air personalities sound their best. She’s always had a soft spot for felines, though. Monta is also the name of her personal pet cat, and she’s done volunteer work taking care of strays. Now, in her new line of work, she’s in contact with the animals she loves all day.

CC 21

CC 22

Aside from Luna, there were five other kitties on duty when we stopped by, all of which were friendly, sociable, and about five months old. Here we see Jack, a Norwegian Forest cat.

CC 14

CC 15

The British Shorthair Yoshiko has a quiet, pensive look to her, as though she’s mulling over some important decision as she toys with her beloved ball.

CC 11

CC 24

Amedio, a Ragdoll, wasn’t quite as playful as the others, since he’d just woken up from his nap.

CC 12

CC 13

May the Main Coon was pretty fond of our camera strap, as well as the 200 yen (US$1.90) pack of cat snacks we gave her some of.

CC 17

CC 16

Customers can stop by for as little as 10 minutes, for which the charge on weekdays is 200 yen. A full hour on a weekday will cost you 1,000, but if you’d really like to spend some quality time with the kitties, you can get a full-day pass for 2,000 yen (3,000 on weekdays).

▼ We could see how someone would want to do this all day long.

CC 8

CC 6

CC 7

▼ Hey you two, no roughhousing!

CC 26

▼ “Who, us?”

CC 27

CC 25

CC 28

CC 29

Of course, you can’t call it a café without food and drinks. Monta actually has a pretty tempting menu, with white sauce and Bolognese pastas for a reasonable 580 yen. There’s also a nice selection of desserts, such as pancakes a la mode (400 yen) and affogato al café, ice cream with espresso poured over it (530 yen).

CC 9

CC 10

Monta is conveniently located just a few minutes’ walk from the gates at Asakusa Station, making it a great place to stop and rest your feet in the middle of a day of walking around Tokyo’s famous temple district. You might want to get most of your sightseeing done first, though, because once you sit down inside, it can be hard to tear yourself away.

▼ Really, that all-day pass is sounding better and better.

CC 19

Café information
Cat Café Monta / ネコカフェ MONTA
Address: Tokyo-to, Taito-ku, Hanakawado 1-5-2, Satellite Fuji Building 8th floor
東京都台東区花川戸1-5-2 サテライトフジビル8F
Open 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
[ Read in Japanese ]