Yesterday was FUN! Kam and I decided to book in for haircuts at a place recommended by our neighbour, as we have both been feeling a little messy in the head region lately. It is the first time I've been to the hairdresser's in about 6 or 7 years and, to tell the truth, I was quite terrified that my very basic Japanese communication level would somehow result in my long locks being hacked too short. But, of course, this did not happen. I now understand why girls like 'going to the salon', and the service industry in Japan always outdoes itself. Two hairdressers dried my hair at once, my haircut was followed by a free neck and back massage, and I was really happy that I could practice chatting with them in Japanese.
Hair-wise, I just got a trim but Kamil's mane got a very big clean-up and is looking very smart indeed...
Afterwards, we made our way to a very unique lunch destination in Daimyo- the Neko Cafe Keurig - a cat cafe! The concept is pretty much as simple as it sounds- customers visit for drinks or lunch and spend time playing with the cafe's 25 or so resident cats.
I had heard about cat cafes in Tokyo before, but had never visited. I am a dog lover really and although cats are cute, I've never really felt that drawn towards domestic cats very much. However, the stray cats (nora neko) in Japan are a different matter. Outside and around our apartment every night you can find at least five tiny stray cats roaming the grounds. I have tried to befriend them in hopes of a cuddle (ha!) to no avail.
So when I found out that all of the cat friends at Neko Cafe Keurig are rescued strays, from the streets of Fukuoka, I was really keen to check it out.
The cafe really is a cat's heaven. With many cosy corners, specially built climbing structures, toys and couches, they are treated wonderfully. Visitors are encouraged to play with the cats and are given biscuits to feed them with, but the owners are careful to note that you must not disturb sleeping cats or feed them human food. It is really heartwarming to see them enjoying their new environment, which is very, very far from the streets on which they lived.
Furthermore, all cats in Neko Cafe Keurig are available for adoption. From reading online, it seems as if the adoption process is very thorough, and very focused on finding the best homes for the cats. Even though adoption is out of the question for us - we're not allowed to have pets in our apartment- we really enjoyed meeting all of the cats...
This little one climbed onto my lap and fell asleep there whilst I ate my lunch! Cuuuuuuuuute!
Lunch was delicious too. Even though it was, at times, hard to eat whilst fending off many hungry cats!
Here's Kam browsing photo albums of past kitties who have been adopted from the cat cafe...
When I sat down on the floor again, my lunchtime lap friend found her way back onto me for another little nap.
Towards the front of the cafe a group of older cats were cuddled up, sleeping together. They were really settled, and not bothered by the smell of our lunches.
Just before we left, one of the older cats made a huge spectacle by scaling the wall and climbing on the ceiling pipes!
Everyone was surprised at his agility, even the other cats...
All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed the cat cafe, and plan to visit again soon. If you're in Fukuoka, you should definitely take a little visit there.
Next on our agenda was a bike ride over to JR Hakata City, the biggest new shopping mall above Fukuoka's main train station. We spent a while browsing the many wonderful floors of Tokyu Hands, and then decided to check out the rooftop garden and shrine.
The city view was really pretty, especially with 360 degrees of islands and mountains surrounding the city. We played a plane spotting game, and enjoyed the autumn sunshine and breeze. Summer was really fun, but I'm a little relieved to welcome in a more mild season.
The rooftop shrine was preceded by a small row of stalls, and some really nice garden beds. I'd say the rooftop is easily my favourite part of JR Hakata City. We'll probably bring our family up there when they visit, to see the city from above.
Afterwards, we rode back towards home, stopping at the local baseball batting dome to have a go on the batting machines. It was reeeeeally fun! We started with the 80km/h balls, which was still pretty fast. I connected on more than I expected, and we are keen to go back soon! We finished up with a delicious udon dinner, and made our way home. Fun times.