Conceptual ways of serving up a good cup of coffee have been around for about as long as cafes have, as evidenced by such late-19th-century oddities as Paris’ Café de L’Enfer. Things have only gotten weirder since then, and in places like Tokyo, where cultural novelties are an essential staple of urban life, weirdly themed coffee shops and cafes have made a caffeinated jolt into the mainstream. From the bizarre to the brilliant, we take you on a tour of some of the more unique concepts out there.
Neko Cafe: Waiter, there’s a hairball in my coffee
Bizarrely themed cafes have been popping up all over Japan. Among the strangest, these “neko” (Japanese for “cat”) cafes originated in Taiwan and have since been imported to Tokyo. One of the more famous, Cat’s Store, allows patrons to simultaneously get a caffeine fix and indulge their need for feline companionship in a city where limited space often means pet-free apartments.