No Kidding—Goats Star at Tokyo Cafe

Created: 2013-07-12 12:45 EST

Category: World > Asia Pacific

In the heart of Tokyo, there's a new addition to the morning rush.

A pair of metropolitan goats, Chocolat and Sakura, who roam one of the busiest spots in Japan's capital city.

They live in a pen at a local cafe minutes from Shibuya station, a hub for commuters and Tokyo's trend-conscious youth.

Rena Kawaguchi and her team brought in the goats to spice up sales three years ago, hoping to attract animal-loving customers.

Before that their clientele was drawn mainly from the ranks of Japan's businessmen and weekends were quiet.

[Rena Kawaguchi, Owner]:
"Back then, animal cafés were booming, cafes where you can play with cats or dogs. But we reckoned a normal animal like that wouldn't have the wow factor of a goat. There's just the novelty, you don’t expect a goat in the heart of Shibuya."

The two three-year-old goats are both native to Japan, bought from a pet shop when they were kids and raised in their pen outside the cafe.

They're mostly no trouble, Kawaguchi says, despite occasional skirmishes over food.

[Rena Kawaguchi, Owner]:
"They're both female and are such good friends—they always snuggle up to each other even when they sleep. But the white one, Sakura, sometimes gets a bit violent when it comes to her food. At feeding time she goes straight for it, bullying Chocolat so she can get to it first."

The cafe now uses special protein-rich pills to prevent foul-smelling goat droppings.

And between serving customers, staff are required to muck out the goat pen and take the pair for daily walks.

[Rena Kawaguchi, Owner]:
"Sometimes when I take them for a walk curious dogs come over to give them a sniff. But especially Sakura just snorts and dives in for the attack, giving the poor things a little bashing."

Customers can pet the goats in their pen over a coffee, or book a slot to take them for a walk.

With goats proving a hit, Kawaguchi says she's got her sights set on bigger plans.

Tags: goat  animal  cute  pet  japan  tokyo  shibuya  sakura  chocolat  cafe  cat  dog  walk  business