Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Dog Cafe in Myeong Dong Korea

I have to admit that I had some reservations about the cat and dog cafes that are popping up in the trendier parts of Seoul.  Why?  Cleanliness, aggressive behavior, cleanliness, animal rights, and oh yeah, did I mention cleanliness?  But after being away from my beautiful Cappie Baby for two weeks, I caved.  

We stumbled upon a cafe in Myeong Dong, but I can't recall the name.  It was on the 4th floor and there were double doors to help prevent escapes.  Once you enter, everyone in your party is required to purchase a drink costing anywhere from $5-$10.  Don't arrive hungry because no food is served.

After you order and pay, you must read a small list of rules and clean your hands with a generous gob of hand sanitizer.  Huge jugs of hand sanitizer, the small of disinfectant, and tons of rags/cleaners behind the counter . . . I was feeling much better already.  

There was also a "Most Wanted" sheet with mug shots of the naughty dogs.  Don't pet them!   

My favorite dog was the Golden Retriever, of course!

And then there were the pugs.  Oh dear those pugs were adorable.  

Don't expect a lot of doggy interaction. Most of the dogs would tolerate some affection from the smattering of patrons, but for the most part, the dogs only wanted to be with their mommy (the woman in the green jacket).

The cafe that we went to was surprisingly clean. Poop and pee were cleaned immediately, there was no doggy smell, and the worst thing I can say about the place was that it reeked of disinfectant.

The little dogs had ample room to play and exercise. The larger retrievers appeared to have good muscle tone and most importantly, the dogs appeared to be HAPPY. Except for the pug. The pug needs hugs.

Hello Kitty Cafe in Korea

I am a big fan of the cheesy, over-the-top themed restaurants and cafes that are popular in parts of Asia.      So on my trip to Seoul last fall, I couldn't resist a trip to the Hello Kitty Cafe in Hongdae.  The cafe is tucked away on a hilly alley but was relatively easy to find.  (Side note - addresses mean nothing in Korea so either use GPS/Google maps or ask a local for directions.)

Hello Kitty Cafe Korea

Hello Kitty Cafe Korea

The cafe is divided into a half dozen seating areas.  The downstairs seating area was furnished with overstuffed kitty shaped sofas, but it was packed with college-aged couples so we headed upstairs.

Hello Kitty Cafe Korea

Hello Kitty Cafe Korea

A Hello Kitty mocha!  

Hello Kitty Cafe Korea

 The Kitty cake was made from two layers of white cake and whipped cream frosting.  The cake was bland and tasted more like two pieces of white bread.  And I think someone forgot to add the sugar to the frosting.  The novelty factor made up for the flavor (or lack thereof), and I could think of worse ways to spend $10.

Hello Kitty Cake

Even the bathrooms are themed!

Hello Kitty bathroom

Hello Kitty bathroom

Monday, January 7, 2013

UFO Catchers in Shinjuku

It seems like everything is a little looser in Shinjuku - the rules, the women, and most importantly, the UFO catchers!  UFO catchers are just like the American crane game except there are only TWO prongs.

I like to pretend that I am the Master of the Crane Game so when I saw the giant Arpakasso sitting on the top of the machine, I thought, "MINE MINE MINE MINE!"  Sadly, he was not for sale/winning :(  But after feeding far too many 500 yen coins into those happy little machines, I did score some smaller kawaii plushies!

Pirate Arpakassos, Gloomy Bear Rabbit, and Rascal the Racoon