I recently returned from a trip to Japan! I've been wanting to visit for years but never quite had the right timing or opportunity. There are tons of photos and stories to share, but I thought I would divide-and-conquer in small, nonlinear-timeline bits. (You'll have to put up with some not so in focus iPhone photos for this post.)
First of then is... cat cafe! We chose one in Akihabara called "Cat Cafe nyanny". It was located back from a main street in a very nondescript narrow concrete building. We climbed up to the fourth floor where the cafe was located. The building and the inside of the cat cafe looked very much like a residential building. There was also a bunny cafe and some sort of a maid cafe with posters of girls in pajamas (and a sign that read "We are NOT a sex shop!!").
Once we ringed the doorbell, the proprietress came out to explain the pricing and the rules. There are some signs posted in English as well. We had to wash our hands and apply hand sanitizer. It was 1000 yen for the first hour and they make a note of when you "check-in". Then you're free to wander around and try to pet the cats or simply take photos of them for however long you want.
There are two levels and three rooms: the main downstairs one with manga bookshelves and the main desk, one Japanese style room upstairs, and one bedroom-like room upstairs. You can buy some treats to feed the cats (but only once!). We got the "special treat" for 500 yen that consisted of a small plastic container of dried squid and fish products. The cats, until then politely disinterested, suddenly swarmed. There are a few cats with a collar on that they asked you to not feed for health reasons. The poor cats were trying really hard to get some snacks while we could only hold it out of their reach.
Maybe it felt a bit strange because we were the only people there at that time of the day, but it really felt like it was just a residential apartment that was converted into this building of fluffy animal cafes and that one weird cuddling cafe.
I also experienced first-hand that annoying reverse back arch thing cats do when they don't want to be petted by you. So frustrating when your hand just barely glances the 2 mm of air above the cat. The cafe had some toys lying around for you to try and entice the cats with but they mostly just ignored me.
In all it was pretty fun and the cats were all really adorable. Cats don't cooperate very much, so it will be a lot of chasing them down for photos or pets. Unless you have food. I actually took many more photos but the majority were blurry.