Bunny Petting Cafe Has Rabbit Fans Hopping


"Usagi-to-Cafe", or "The Rabbit and Cafe", picks up where Japan's other urban pet-palooza, the cat cafe, leaves off. Located in the Japanese city of Nagoya, Usagi-to-Cafe offers patrons a rare chance to unwind and enjoy a light snack while caressing any of the 18 "staff bunnies". Hugh Hefner never had it so good - well, maybe he does but now you can too!

Here's an English-language video from ITN News explaining what Usagi-to-Cafe is and why customers think it's the greatest thing since sliced carrots:

The cafe's website features an Usagi Gallery where you can view photos of the house bunnies and learn their birthdays, genders and names, which include Chai and Cinnamon.

The cafe also has a BYOB - bring your own bunny - policy enacted because "Home-raised rabbits often reject being cuddled because they are over-pampered", according to cafe owner Naoki Kurata, who explains that "Bunnies here are taught to be amenable that you can pet and cuddle them as much as you want, and many customers like it." One such customer, housewife Tomomi Egashira, stated that "I brought my bunny here today hoping that she would get along with other bunnies."

Once at the cafe, customers can enjoy a variety of foods, drinks and snacks including  ham & cheese on a bagel, chocolate-banana parfait bunnies and "rabbit curry", which is not what you think - it's a rabbit-shaped mound of rice surrounded by curry sauce. Whew! It should be noted that unlike Cat Cafes, the dining area at Usagi-to-Cafe is kept separate from the bunny room for hygienic reasons.

Customers can commemorate their experience by browsing the gift shop where assorted bunny-themes knick-knacks, t-shirts and even magician's playing cards are for sale. Usagi-to-Cafe is open from 11AM to 10PM six days a week (they're closed on Wednesdays) and is located on the first floor of the Takashi building, Higashi-ku, Nagoya, Japan. (via NTDT

Aug 31, 2009
by Anonymous

1. the cages are way too

1. the cages are way too small.

2. rabbits are very nervous creatures. the hustle-bustle of a cafe must make them miserable and afraid.

3. rabbits HATE being picked up. they're prey animals, so being held is terrifying and akin to being snatched up by a hawk's claws. the best way to interact with rabbits is by sitting quietly on the floor and letting them hop around you. eventually their curiosity gets the best of them and they come over to say hello, but this could take anywhere from 20 minutes to several weeks, depending on the personality of the rabbit.

4. i sure hope the cafe is spay/neutering these rabbits, but i highly doubt they are. rabbits are very hormonal, so the males will hump legs and spray urine all over the place and the females will fight each other and just be generally aggressive/miserable. as my vet puts it, "imagine being insanely horny and not able to do anything about it." furthermore, female rabbits have an 80% chance of dying prematurely (at 3 - 4 years old) from reproductive cancers if they are not spayed. the average lifespan of a rabbit is up to 10 yrs. spaying/neutering rabbits make them a lot happier, healthier, and just all around better pets. they're also able to be litterbox trained like cats after you get them fixed.

in short -- this cafe is fucked, and it makes me psychotically angry.

Aug 31, 2009
by Anonymous

Watch the generalizations there.

The previous poster is obviously well intentioned, and cares a lot about bunnies. That's awesome -- bunnies need more people on their side.

That said, the commenter is taking some generalizations a little too far. Yes, buns are prey animals and that explains the behavior of an unsocialized rabbit, or a strong willed rabbit who simply does NOT like to be picked up. But... as a rescuer/foster for almost 15 years, I've met my share of buns that LOVE to be handled, and will actively seek it out. The buns shown in the video seemed to be enjoying themselves, and it would make sense that the shop owner would only use confident, well socialized bunnies, and would watch out carefully for their well being. Otherwise it wouldn't be much fun for people OR bunnies.

I agree, the cages are pretty small; most of the buns are mini breeds, and do get out a lot during the day, however.

Is it a perfect situation? No. Is it better than being dead? I think so.

Also, note the lack of fighting between the multiple rabbits that are out. It's quite possible they are spayed and neutered, and again well socialized with other rabbits. The leavings are a reality of any multiple-rabbit area.

The previous commenter makes some excellent points -- the value of spay/neuter for the animal's health and happiness, which goes to the owner's health and happiness. And in a perfect world, I'd not want to even chance anything other than a perfect reality for bunnies (or any other companion animal, for that fact). Alas, we live in a FAR from perfect world, and in this situation, I see a lot of things that ARE okay, and that have a potential to do some good. I've seen way worse in shelters and "rescue" organizations who claim to be doing the right thing by rabbits.

So don't get "psychotically angry," because that no doubt will just cause yourself an early, stress induced death. Acknowledge the bright spots, and if offer help to brighten any problems there are, for the benefit of all involved.

Sep 10, 2009
by Anonymous

i wonder how the shopowner

i wonder how the shopowner managed to teach the bunnies to be so sociable. my rabbit never enjoyed behing carried.