'SKIP Ferret & Cafe' in Okayama

One of only a few ferret cafes in the country!

When I recently heard that Okayama City now has a ferret cafe, I knew I had to go. Although I'm not especially "into" ferrets, I enjoy interacting with animals of all kinds, so news of this cafe caught my attention.

Apparently there are only a few ferret cafes in the country; I found online references to one in the Tokyo area and one in Osaka, but no shop information for either place. SKIP Ferret & Cafe is in Okayama City, but is located out of the city center in the southern part of the city, and on the edge of a residential district; there are no signs or billboards on the main road, so it was a little difficult to find.

When we (I visited with my sons) did find the location, we were greeted at the door by the owner, who personally welcomed us into the cafe. The cafe was bright, clean, and very modern, and decorated with an animal theme running throughout. Although the cafe serves lunch, we ordered the gateau au chocolat cake with a drink. The lunch menu consists of a daily lunch, a pasta lunch, and a one-coin lunch plate. The cake was delicious, so I have no doubt that the lunches are great as well. I'm definitely planning to visit for lunch again soon!

The main cafe is separated from the ferret room by a glass wall. Guests can either enjoy watching the ferrets from the cafe, or they can go into the ferret room and interact directly with these inquisitive little animals. There is no extra charge to play with the ferrets, and no time limit.

Ten ferrets live at the cafe, and each has his / her own personality. The owner, Ms. Hiroko Mitsuyoshi, was happy to answer all of our questions about the ferrets and their care. She has been a ferret owner for over 10 years and is happy to share her knowledge with her guests. The ferrets have all been vaccinated, and their health records and profile cards are displayed on the window.

A few drawbacks: the ferrets smell, um, like ferrets, so if this musky smell bothers you I recommend taking a change of clothing, or simply enjoy watching them from the cafe space. Also, some of the ferrets play-bite; most cat owners are used to being bitten and have no problem with this, but please be careful if visiting with small children.

The cafe is definitely worth visiting if you are in Okayama or are passing through. Pets and children are welcome in the cafe.

To get there, I recommend going by Ryobi taxi (Ryobi is the largest transportation provider in the city and they always have taxis at the station area).

Shop information:
SKIP Ferret & Cafe
Okayama-ken, Okayama-shi
Minami-ku, Fukuyoshi-cho 6-24
TEL: 086-239-9931

Hours: 9:00-17:00
*no established holidays, so call in advance if you're planning to visit

Seating for 16 people
Parking for 4 cars

by Andrea Miyata

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