A Goat Café in Tokyo Wins Over City Dwellers

Named Sakura and Chocolat, the goats could be starting a new trend

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So long, cat cafes. A new animal has taken feline’s place in the heart of at least some Japanese urbanites, and it’s much more pastoral.

Sakuragaoka Café in Tokyo’s bustling Shibuya district lets customers spend quality time with two very special goats. According to Reuters, Rena Kawaguchi bought the the animals three years ago. “Back then animal cafes were booming, places where you could play with cats or dogs,” she told the newswire. “But we reckoned a normal animal like that wouldn’t have the wow factor of a goat.” It was only after owner Kawaguchi began taking the goats, Sakura and Chocolat, on daily walks throughout the city that Tokyo inhabitants began flocking to the café, however.

(VIDEO: Paying for Petting Time in Japan’s Cat Cafés)

Goats are not as easy to take care of like some of Tokyo’s more beloved feline creatures. The pens are mucked between customers and the goats are fed special protein-filled pills to prevent foul-smelling droppings. That, however, hasn’t stopped a barrage of customers from coming in. “When you live in the city like I do, places where you can meet animals are so far away and you rarely get the time to go there,” Kotaro Nakazato, a 21-year-old university student, explained. “Having them nearby like this makes it easy to commune with nature.”

Since the café’s success, though, Kawaguchi is thinking of expanding. What’s next? Try an elephant café.

MORE: Animal Lovers Fume at Newly Announced ‘Cat Curfew’ in Japan

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