When people visit Japan, it is often the case that they do so to find “the real Japan”. This is a great phrase that means something different to everyone who visits. For some this means going to as many Buddhist shrines and temples as possible (regardless of their religious persuasions), for others it means eating only Japanese food and only with chopsticks. For a select few, the weird and wonderful side of Japan is the place to be. You know – the places where you’ll be able to start your anecdotes with the words “You’ll never guess what they have in Japan…”.
This is how we found ourselves in the Akihabara district of Tokyo. Akihabara is the perfect location if you’re partial to manga, anime, maid cafés, robots and the like. A typical otaku hangout.
Fruit Candy Café is an igaru café in Akihabara. Igaru cafés are places you go to and pay to enjoy your drinks with the added novelty of being able to play with extremely well-groomed and adorable rabbits as you do so.
It costs 1300¥ per person for thirty minutes of all-you-can-drink coffee and tea and as much play as you can manage with the huge selection of rabbits available to choose from. A set of rules is provided that includes no shoes in the café, no photos of the staff and no cuddling the rabbits (a weird one but really it just meant no aggressive man-handling of the rabbits). We managed to spend time with four different rabbits of different breeds, some more friendly than others, but all extremely cute.
Another tip: it’s actually really difficult to find. Luckily a wonderful guide has been provided here. It was actually a lifesaver for us as we had been wandering around for about 30 minutes before jumping on the local wi-fi and stumbling across that website. We couldn’t have done it without you!
It was a bizarre experience, but that’s what you expect when you come to this part of Tokyo. A unique, bizarre, very Japanese experience.