Before we moved to Japan, we made a mental list of things that we wanted to do during our two-year contract. One of the top ten things on my list was to visit Harry‘s, Tokyo’s most recent addition of cute animal cafes.
Our Visit to Harry’s:
When we started planning our visit, we read that reservations were required, so we picked an open slot about three weeks in advance. The day of our reservation, we went to Roppongi a few hours ahead of time to explore and grab a quick dinner, and then headed over to Harry’s to see if we could go in early (we were about an hour ahead of schedule). Even though there were maybe two other people in the cafe, were denied early entry.
Our first impression upon entering Harry’s was that it was SMALL. The walls are lined with hedgehogs in clear glass terrariums/boxes, and in the middle of the room there are a few more hedgehogs available to hold. Once we sat down, we were given a waiver to sign – hedgehogs are not as friendly as most people think, and we were told that the cafe was not responsible for any bites or messes during our visit.
We were then shown how to hold a hedgehog properly, and were able to hold one hedgehog at a time. There were also small lizards available, which was strange, but turned out to be a cool experience.
Because we had paid for an entire hour, we stayed…for an entire hour. As cute as those hedgehogs were, we were both ready to leave after about 20 minutes. The first hedgehog I held bit my thumb, and from then on, I was a little wary about holding any more. The lizards were easier to handle, and brought a nice change of pace to our hour.
The “cafe” didn’t sell food, and even though there was a small drink station in the back corner of the room, it was basically a glorified pet shop. In the end, I left feeling disappointed, but did get a few really cute pictures:
Tips for Your Visit to Harry’s:
- An hour is too long: Harry’s website says that they have a half hour option – PICK THIS OPTION. Unless you really love hedgehogs, it was not worth the ¥4,000 that we paid for both of us to sit in a cramped room. I’m not sure if you still need to make a reservation for the half hour option, but an hour is just not worth the time or money.
- Make time to explore Roppongi: Unless you’re already staying in Roppongi, making time to explore this district is a great way to kill some time before (or after) your reservation. We discovered that the cafe is pretty strict with their reservation times, but Roppongi is interesting enough that we weren’t bored while waiting. There are a lot of restaurant options and also many shops to browse through.
- Don’t go with high expectations: It might be just me, but social media definitely made Harry’s seem like the ultimate tourist destination. Even as a dedicated animal lover, I left feeling disappointed. I also felt guilty spending about 40 USD on an hour to fumble with sleepy hedgehogs, and also sad for the hedgehogs that are handled all day long by excited tourists. I know, I’m part of this problem.
Hours: Business Hours are 12:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Reservations can be made here.
Monday – Friday: ¥2,000/person/hour
Saturday & Sunday: ¥2,600/person/hour
The website does say that it is ¥1,000 (Monday – Friday) and ¥1,300 (Saturday – Sunday) for a half hour slot.
Address:Tokyo, Minato-ku, Roppongi 6-7-2 IWAHORI Building 2F