During Alex and my meditation retreat, Jasper and Kieran went out with Janet to a cat cafe. You could be served food and drink, but also be surrounded by a dozen wandering cats just walking around the cafe. After our retreat, we came back to our place in Chiang Mai to an amazing story of how much fun they had being around the cats.

Later, in Ubud, we visited a bunny cafe, and then another fun cat cafe. The day we arrived in Japan, Janet spread the news that Japan has an abundance of animal cafes. There is a dog, a cat, an owl, and a reptile cafe all within just a 20 minute walk of our house in Osaka. Two days ago we took a speedy bullet train across the Japanese countryside from Hiroshima to Osaka. Today we visited the reptile cafe.

We took a 2 minute walk across busy streets, past busy shops, and through crowds of busy people. The city was alive. It felt like the busy Japan I saw on TV back in Seattle. Past street after street after street until we arrived at the building. We took the elevator up and opened the door…

It was busy and crowded. Tables of people handling snakes, geckos, iguanas, turtles, and other big lizards. We each ordered a drink. We were able to walk around, looking at the animals. When we found one that we liked, then we could ask one of the managers to bring it to our table. We were each able to handle one reptile at a time. About half of the animals were “Off today…”, and the others either looked bored, sleepy, or excited. I picked a little gecko named Turky-Kun. He would crawl all over me, up my arms and on my lap. Jasper and Kieran tried some small snakes.

We had a lot of fun playing with the animals. We tried handling different ones, some tricky, others just plain fun. I wondered if the animals were actually happy. They had plenty of time out, and they had their days off.