I first discovered ‘The Living Room’ through Buzzfeed’s Facebook Page actually! The video showed visitors to this cafe absolutely engulfed in a sea of pug – goodness. As long time lover of pugs, I knew I absolutely had to go. You absolutely have to pre-book on the website otherwise you get charge a hefty’ show up on the day fee. I booked about a month beforehand, for my visit. Booking was a little bit of struggle, a lot of back and forth emails. But finally the date and time was set! Unfortunately, when I booked my train to Kyoto – the timing didn’t match up. So the day before my booking I quickly emailed them to change. While they did change the time, unfortunately I ended up having to pay the book on the day fee – an extra 500 yen. I was a little miffed at that, but nonetheless excited to love some pugs!
SUPER IMPORTANT to know is that the address listed on tripadvisor is incorrect! To get to the pug cafe, you gotta follow the address on their website. From 28 July they will be at a completely new address (again). The pug cafe is located in a residential area around a 10 minute bus ride from Kyoto station. With a bit of planning, the place is not difficult to find at all!
Once you enter the cafe/ house, you remove your shoes and leave your bags downstairs. You take all valuables up to the cafe area. Instantly you are swamped by the sight, sounds and smell of about 12 pugs. It’s very close quarters as you and the other guests sit in a small living space. As I was by myself I was asked to sit on a stool rather than a lounge. Your entry fee covers a drink and a small selection of doggy treats. I recommend spacing the treats out. The dogs will want nothing to do with you if you run out of them! The two girls next to me finished theirs in the first 10 minutes. If you do get over enthusiastic you can buy another set for about 1000 yen.
One major disappointment of visiting the cafe, was that as I was sitting on the stool none of the dogs could actually jump on my lap. We weren’t allowed to pick them up, so I had to keep asking the owners to put one on me. People sitting on the lounge had 3-5 pugs running all over them at a time! I was very disappointed by this. It was fine when I had one pug on my lap, but they would only stay for about 10 minutes. If I didn’t have a pug on my lap I just awkwardly sat there feeding dogs. My visit to the pug cafe would have been significantly better if I could have interacted with the pugs. As I already had to pay the fee for changing my booking, I felt like I was a bit cheated out of an experience I had paid extra for. I am unsure on whether to recommend this cafe, as while I had a negative experience, I am sure for many others it would be a positive one. You will have to trust your own judgement on this one, dear reader!
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