• Venice Aka

Cuddles from Therapy Dogs

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

Feeling a bit lonely living away from you family and friends?

Japan is a beautiful country and it's a really convenient place to live in but being an expat here can be a little tough sometimes given the cultural differences. This is one of the challenges I had to deal with when I moved here.

Luckily, I found this place called Dog Cafe Maera. I love dogs, cats, or pets in general. They can give you this kind of unconditional happiness. Cafe Maera is like a piece if heaven on earth for people like me who craves for fluffy and friendly cuddles.

Cuddling with these adorable creatures gives me a recharge whenever I feel a bit low in life.

Therapy dogs at Cafe Maera

Cafe Maera is not your typical dog cafe. The dogs here are highly trained therapy dogs. According to Wikipedia, a therapy dog is a dog that is trained to provide affection, comfort and support to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, libraries,  hospices and/or disaster areas.

The dogs at Cafe Maera usually visit such institutions and facilities to offer their services as part of a Non-profit Organization. But because of Covid-19 they are limited to entertaining guests at the cafe.

The standards are quite high for a therapy dog to be approved to visit institutions such as nursing homes. Which means they always have to be in perfect health condition and require high quality grooming. The average annual expenditures for each dog is estimated to be around 461,500 Yen and they basically get their income from donations. And since their visits dramatically decreased due to Covid-19, so is the donations they receive.

The Cafe

Is located in Kanuma City, Tochigi Japan. You may take a taxi from Kanuma JR station and travel time is approximately 9 mins.

Open from 10AM-6PM/Closed on Tuesdays

We ordered pasta for lunch and a Chocolate Fondant cake for dessert. It was delicious!

The design of the cafe itself is very refreshing with an open air dinning ambiance. The place is surrounded by greens and is really relaxing.

They also have a spacious play area where you may play and run around with the dogs.

Expect Cuddles!

A therapy dog's expertise is to give comfort and emotional support, so expect a lot of dog interaction and cuddles. They don't hesitate to come to you even if you're not holding treats. But if you wanna play and ask them to do some tricks it's a nice idea to give them treats which available for only 100 Yen.

Charges and Services

There is a usage fee of 700 per person which is given as a donation for the maintenance and training of the dogs. This is paid in cash but the rest of your bill may be paid by credit card.

Lunch for 2 persons may cost around 2,500 Yen more or less.

A charge for the registration(500Yen) and admission(500Yen) is also applicable if you're bringing your own dog.

They also have dog grooming services and dog clothes for sale.

Final Thoughts

I've been to several dog cafes before but Cafe Maera so far is the best one I've ever been to. It might be located quite far from the city center but people deliberately visit the cafe because of its good food, refreshing atmosphere, and most importantly, the close interaction with the dogs. And the place is so clean. You wouldn't see fur on the floor or smell any bad odor because the the dogs are always perfectly groomed. They are well trained and will not try to grab your food. So I highly recommend this place if you're looking for some warm furry interaction with these fluffy doggies.


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