When people hear the word “cafe” they probably think of one of two completely opposite places: a coffee/pastry, European-wannabe establishment that sells overpriced drinks, or a not so glamorous place lined up with computers in various states or disrepair.  Unless if you are in Tokyo.  There, you can visit any of three rabbit cafes, where people go to play and relax with rabbits.

Ra.a.g.f, pronounced “raf,” opened last fall in the fashionable Jiyugaoka area in Meguro Ward, and is usually packed at weekends with customers reveling in the company of the cafe’s 20 to 30 rabbits.

“I came here during my break to relax,” said a smiling woman in her late 20s as she fed fresh vegetables to some of the rabbits.

Customers who want to buy rabbits can purchase the animals from the cafe’s breeding center — but the cafe’s rabbit “staff” are not for sale. [The Japan Times]

Usagi Cafe Ohisama (Rabbit Sun Cafe) and Usagi no Ehon (Rabbit Picture Books) are also buzzing with customers.  In the former, most of the customers are women while musicians and actors from nearby live music houses and small theaters hang out in the latter run by Etsuko Kawasaki. She says, “I want our cafe to be a healing space for stressed-out people.”

That’s a novel idea!  I’d never associate rabbits with relaxation, probably due to the well-known phrase “F@#k like rabbits,”  but I have to say these rabbit cafes take the carrot….cake.