Japan is kind of like California in that the trends and fads they get into are things that could probably never happen anywhere else. Take for example the growing trend of Cat Cafes:
TOKYO—“Cat cafes”—where patrons pay $8 to $12 an hour to play with felines while they sip tea—have become a cultural trend, with at least seven of them operating.
At cafe Neko JaLaLa—neko means cat in Japanese—eight staff cats loll on the thick carpet, drape over couches, and almost purr with pleasure in the quiet atmosphere.
I love cats and I agree they can be quite relaxing, but I don’t think I could bring myself to pay up to $12 an hour at a cafe just to hang out with them. Of course it helps that I already have two cats at home that I can hang out with for free. Or at least for the cost of a bag of food, kitty litter, and a few cat toys.
Hmmmm… maybe the cafe is the cheaper option after all.
The reason this seems to work in Japan is due to how many folks have ridiculous work lives. When trying to meet a deadline it’s not uncommon for Japanese workers to never leave their offices. Cubicles with curtains along the edge of the desk so employees can sleep underneath them are not an uncommon sight. When you spend that many hours away from home caring for a cat would be problematic. Thus comes the opportunity for someone to make money with a cat cafe.
It’s a shame that probably wouldn’t work here in Michigan. I could run a shop that serves only tea and a chance to lounge around with cats. I bet it’s quite relaxing.