One of the main reasons why I love visiting Tokyo is because the city never fails to surprise me. Every street tells a different story. You never know what to expect each time you walk into a new store. From exotic munchies to trendy clothing, Tokyo is also home to some unique cafes as well. Nope, I’m not talking about cafes that serve coffee, comfort food, and books to read, I’m hinting at bunny, cat, owl, hedgehog and CUDDLE cafes!
With a variety of these cafes a few minutes away from Akihabara station, I stumbled upon a ‘cuddle cafe’. The curious me, of course, walked into the cafe. Let alone India, such a thing is uncommon anywhere in the world! No matter how weird it sounded, I thought the concept was brilliant! After all, cuddling does increase the oxytocin levels and helps reduce one’s stress and anxiety. The only thing that didn’t add up was crawling into bed with a random stranger. With no sex in the picture, only cuddling was kept at focus.
I mean, I wasn’t in a relationship or looking for fun, but this here was an experience of a lifetime. If I let this one go, I didn’t know when I could experience something like this ever again. So, I decided to take the leap of faith and walked into the cafe. I was greeted by a pretty, petite woman who’s vibe was warm and calm. As she handed over the rating card to me, I noticed that you can pick a time slot too. It ranges from 20 minutes to 7 hours. Since I wanted to try it out for kicks, I settled for 20 minutes.
After clearing up the fee and filling in a few formalities, I was guided to a dim-lighted room. The room was tiny, had a giant bed and tons of anime posters around. In he walked - tall and handsome, he was calm and gentle, and at first, language was a barrier. But after a while, it didn’t matter. He realized I was feeling anxious and awkward by his presence, but he put those feelings to rest after hugging me tight.
Surrounded by fluffy pillows and plush toys, I found myself happily tucked away in the bed of a stranger in a place far away from home. The first five minutes were awkward, but after that, I got used to it. We were snuggling in bed for 20 long minutes. He didn’t say much, but his touch felt so comforting. I agree that a cafe like this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but for me, I had no qualms. The feelings bubbling in me while we were cuddling felt so good and mushy.
There are many of such cafes in Tokyo and the rates differ from place to place. If you decide to try it out, I have a piece of advice for you - at any given time you feel uncomfortable, you can always walk out. Japan has low crime rates and molestation isn’t a popular sight, but if at all, due to cultural norms, communication and differences, you feel it’s not working out, you’re free to leave. As for me, it was an experience that I’ll always treasure and remember all my life!