Tokyo Snake Center
Harajuku: Animal cafe
Tokyo Snake Center: Harajuku
Harajuku / Animal cafe
Open 11am-8pm. Closed Tuesdays.
Cover chage is Y1000, which includes one drink. Snake-handling charge is an additional Y540.
Average visit time: 60 minutes

You can get a milk snake to go with your iced coffee and cake at Tokyo Snake Center, a new animal cafe in the young fashion district of Harajuku, Tokyo, that opened in August 2015.

As you enter, you'll find a dozen colorful snakes in clear Perspex cases at the door. These are the "attendant" snakes and you get to choose one snake in a box to have as your table companion. The waiter then gives you a quick lesson in snake etiquette and cafe rules (available in Japanese and English), and leads you to your table.

We chose a beautiful milk snake with alternating bands of red, black and yellow. A nonvenomous variety of king snake, it proved an entertaining companion, feverishly digging under the plastic grass in its box like a plucky RAF officer trying to escape from Stalag 13.

The cafe interior is very swish with clinical white walls and gleaming metal surfaces, glossy fashion-mag posters of snakes and expensive-looking snakeskin bags and accessories. Even the pipes are clad in snakeskin-patterned wallpaper. It's more like a luxury-brand store than animal cafe.

See more photos and details at Animal

Shibuya-ku, Jingumae 6-5-6, Sanbo Sogo Bldg 8F.
2 minutes from Meiji Jingumae station (Chiyoda and Fukutoshin lines)
渋谷区神宮前6-5-6 サンポウ綜合ビル8F
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Japan bar and restaurant guide
Animal Cafes
Cat, rabbit and bird cafe guide
Craft Beer Bars Japan
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Neighborhood guides and top-five lists from Tokyo experts