YOKOHAMA – A “reptile cafe” allowing customers to observe exotic creatures while sipping Chinese tea has opened in Yokohama, the latest among a growing number of such establishments featuring animals.
At the Reptile Cafe/Yokohama Subtropical Teahouse, located in Naka Ward, customers are able to observe 40 different reptiles from around a dozen different species kept in tanks and cages, including a 1-meter-long lizard and a 1.7-meter-long snake.
The establishment has given a new twist to the trend of cafes showcasing animals, though they are usually more cuddly, like cats or rabbits.
“Unexpectedly, we have many female customers,” said Mutsumi Nagano, 42, manager of the cafe.
The customers are also able to pet land turtles, which the manager assures are friendly, in a partitioned area. Customers are simply required to wash their hands on entering and leaving the area.
“I wanted to create a venue for reptile fans to get together and freely talk about their love of the creatures,” said Nagano, adding their appeal includes the “variations in color and shape” and the “cute facial expressions they make right after they capture their prey.”
“It is hard to keep them at home and we may not be able to get this close to reptiles at zoos,” customer Takemichi Kato, 37, said while taking pictures of the creatures at the cafe.