They've already got cat, rabbit, owl, hawk and snake-themed cafés, so it was only a matter of time before a hedgehog-themed café opened up in Tokyo.
Customers at “Harry”, a play on the animal’s name in Japanese, have been lining up to spend time at a bright room in the Roppongi entertainment district where 20 to 30 hedgehogs of different breeds scrabble and snooze in glass tanks.
A fee of 1,000 yen (£6, $9) on weekdays and 1,300 yen (£8, $12) at weekends brings an hour of playing with and cuddling, carefully, the prickly mammals.
Cafe worker Mizuki Murata said the shop had been popular since its opening in February, with customers often having to queue.
“We wanted to show people the charm of hedgehogs, which give the impression of being hard to handle. We wanted to get rid of that image by letting people touch them,” Murata said.
“The cutest thing about hedgehogs is getting them to finally open up and show you their face.”
First it's cats, then owls, now hedgehogs. Hmmm... They are up to something... Japan has an island overpopulated with wild rabbits too.
I suspect that because the cities are heavily built up that the people living there have a disconnect and fascination with animals
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