Relaxing animal cafes in Tokyo: Experiencing the hedgehog cafe “POTTA”

Hidden in one of the backstreets of Iidabashi, Tokyo, you’ll find a bar/cafe where you can interact with hedgehogs. I went to meet the fluffy-looking, spiky hedgehogs who were too adorable to be true!

The hedgehog cafe POTTA is hidden in a quiet back alley, but since the entrance is decorated with a lot of cute hedgehog stuffed animals and posters, you should be able to find it without any problems.

Hedgehogs everywhere!

The first floor of the shop is a small bar with only about 3 chairs. Here, you can have a drink and chat with the owner and regular guests. How about a hedgehog-labeled liquor from South Africa? You can also buy cute hedgehog goods as a souvenir. To get to the hedgehog playground, walk up the steep stairs to the second floor.

The bar on the first floor is filled with hedgehog items. You can feel how much the owner loves these little creatures. The liquor in the photo is from South Africa. The illustration on the label shows a hedgehog.
Hedgehog goods are also available.

Welcome to the hedgehog cafe!

I went upstairs and sat down at a table – or better said – the hedgehog playground. Before you are allowed to touch the hedgehogs, you will get a small lecture about precautions, such as what not to do in front of a hedgehog and how to handle it. For example, you can’t stroke it with your hands because of its spines, but you can hold it gently with both hands.

Before touching the hedgehogs, you have to use hand sanitizer.
The hedgehogs were very active – maybe that’s because I came in the evening. They are very curious and explored their playground. Just looking at them was fun. Really relaxing and so adorable!

One highlight of the hedgehog experience is feeding them.

It’s hedgehog mealtime! This little guy had a VERY good appetite and ate at full speed.
It seems as if he’s trying to say, “Don’t you have more of this yummy stuff?”
Well, there was more food. So, dig in!

The hedgehogs at POTTA are all pets of the owner and return to her house at night. Therefore, it is necessary to make a reservation in advance on weekdays. (Then, the hedgehogs will be brought to the cafe.) However, on weekends, no reservation is required.

Look how small these African hedgehogs are compared to humans. You have to be careful though, they might suddenly need to “go to the bathroom” on your lap!

So why did the cafe owner start this hedgehog cafe? The reason was an unexpected encounter with a hedgehog. One day, the owner saw a small animal in a parking lot outside and first thought it was a mouse. But when she looked closely, it turned out that it wasn’t a mouse, it was a hedgehog!

Hedgehogs aren’t domestic animals in Japan. Therefore chances are high that the hedgehog in the parking lot was an abandoned or escaped pet. The cafe owner, who never had anything to do with hedgehogs, saved the little creature, named it “Potta” and kept it as a pet at home.

Hedgehogs are surprisingly athletic. They love running!

Then, before she knew it, she fell in love with these impossibly cute animals. In addition to opening a bar, she decided to open a hedgehog cafe where people can experience the charm of hedgehogs and fall in love with them – just as she did. Hedgehog cafe POTTA was born from her deep love of hedgehogs.
This cafe is a place where you can learn about hedgehogs and how to keep them stress-free.

By the way, there are two owls at the cafe. It’s OK to gently stroke them.

Interested in meeting these little fellas? Visit them at POTTA!

animalcafe&bar Harinezumiya POTTA (Japanese, English)
2F, 1-11-4 Iidabashi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Google Maps:
Nearest stations: Iidabashi Station, Suidobashi Station, Kudanshita Station

* Business hours are subject to change to prevent the spread of Covid-19. For details, please refer to the official website.