With Tokyo as pet-friendly as it is, there are a number of places that animal lovers should keep in mind when looking after their “best friends”. It’s important to remember that unless indicated otherwise, dogs are required to be kept on leashes and owners should ensure they pick up after their pets.
Places to Go
The Happy Dog Cruise (http://www.suijobus.co.jp) provides pets and their owners with a 45-minute cruise within the Tokyo Bay area. The round trip cruise can be picked up at the Odaiba Shore Park (1-4-1 Daiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo Tel: 0120-977-311) and once back on land, Odaiba has plenty more to offer. Indeed the Odaiba area is one of the most pet-friendly districts within the city with some stores dedicated to serving dogs and cats alike. Pet First (http://www.petfirst.co.jp) is one such store and it’s located right in the heart of Odaiba at Tokyo Beach Decks 1F, 1-6-1 Odaiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo Tel: 03-3599-2828.
Lalaport Toyosu (http://toyosu.lalaport.jp/en/index.shtml) is yet another very animal friendly area in Tokyo. Ilio, one of the up-market stores at this shopping mall, boasts the largest enclosed grass area in the city where dogs of almost any size can run without a leash. Ilio also prides itself on being the “Fifth Avenue” of pet service stores with a quality and decor that is more reminiscent of a Manhattan luxury clothing store than your typical pet store.
If you are going out of town, there are a number of pet sitter and kennel options available. Bow Wow Garden (http://www4.airnet.ne.jp/bwgarden/e/index.html) is an expat-friendly kennel for cats and dogs that charges based on the size of your pet(s) and the number of days stay. Dogs Day Care (http://www.dogsdaycare.jp/) is another option, which provides kennel service 24 hours a day, year round. Visiting pet sitters are another options and include Japan Pet Sitter Service (http://www.pet-ss.com/) and Cat Sitter Nanri (http://www.catsitter.jp/index.html), which is not only expat friendly, but they will leave behind a daily report updating you on how each visit went.
Kojima Pet Store (http://pets-kojima.com/shop/tokyo/) is one of the best-known chains of pet stores within the city and they offer everything from the basics including cat and dog food and litter to the latest toys, perches, and furniture in making your feline or K9 family member feel right at home. While somewhat “higher-end”, the Loft in Shibuya (http://www.loft.co.jp 21-2 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Tel: 03-3462-3807) offers an interesting assortment of pet products and play things. Tokyu Hands (http://www.tokyu-hands.co.jp), the city’s preeminent do-it-yourself stores, are also a good choice for pet owners looking for a wide assortment of animal care products.
Pets in Japan are not just part of the family, to many they are accessories, particularly dogs. As such, there are plenty of groomers throughout the city, but given the importance of personal and pet appearance, pet owners should expect to pay very high prices at the salons, with some services costing well over $150. Dog Days (http://www.dogdays.co.jp) is perhaps the best known grooming salon in the city, and while not expressly expat-friendly, they can speak some English. Pampered Paws (http://www.pamperedpaws.com/home.php), which is an expat-friendly groomer, also offers grooming classes in English and Japanese, specializing Artistic Pet Styling, Show Grooming, and more.