Usagi no Ehon: A Bunny Cafe with Books, Beverages & Bunnies
Unique among Tokyo’s bevy of bunny cafes, Usagi no Ehon (“Bunny Picture Book”) is the brainchild of Mrs. Kawasaki, who fell in love with illustrated children’s books while working at a major Japanese library. Also an animal enthusiast, she’d once agreed to help care for her brother’s rabbit—but what began as a favor became an obsession, and soon she couldn’t bear to let the cuddly creature out of her sight. Mrs. Kawasaki started a cafe combining these two great passions, and the rest is fairytale history!
Usagi no Ehon’s Unique Bunny Cafe Concept
While Usagi no Ehon has no shortage of cute, floppy-eared and twitchy-nosed creatures to play with, the cafe is much more than a petting zoo with coffee on the side. Customers can sit down for a range of freshly prepared beverages and homemade dishes, and take in the many picture books on hand, with the rabbits-in-residence carefully displayed almost as part of the scenery. In fact, Usagi no Ehon is probably best described as a picture-book cafe that also features rabbits, which are not pets so much as living creatures that deserve respect and protection.
Entering this magical place is like visiting the room of a curious and well-loved child. Illustrated children’s books on every subject (including rabbits of course!) line the walls; carefully chosen by Mrs. Kawasaki, each one encourages kids and adults alike to open their minds and begin a journey of the imagination.
Rabbit knick-knacks, from tiny ceramic critters…
..to beaded bunnies threaded throughout…
…and even stuffed-animal versions of our favorite fluffy creatures further add to the cafe‘s nostalgic daydream quality.
But of course, it’s the real rabbits that truly make the atmosphere at this cafe special. There are 9 in total, with 3 of them typically out and about at a time, and each one given a separate living area. The two main areas you see as you come in are like a charming combination of a natural garden and a rabbit hutch, to help each bunny live healthily. Like humans, rabbits will jump at any chance have their own open spaces and express their unique personalities.
The cozy feeling at this cafe starts with being surrounded by magical books and fluffy bunnies, and continues with the wonderful food. Desserts are a particular highlight—the moist pancake is just like your mother used to make, and the Yonashi no Tart is a fruity confection featuring a flakey, deliciously layered pastry crust and covered with tasty pear slivers. Both are presented with the finishing touch of a powdered-sugar bunny silhouette to the side!
Of course, tea and cocktails (non-alcoholic) are a great compliment to either of the above. The Marshmallow Latte, a heavenly combination of macha, chai and almond milk garnished with fluffy white marshmallows, is a fabulous fusion of eastern and western cuisines.
The Yuzu no Soda cocktail is completed with fruit shavings of yuzu and strawberry right in the glass, and has a tang that is both refreshingly mature and innocently sweet at the same time.
Most drinks are named especially in honor of a particular bunny-in-residence, and each reflects his or her distinct personality. Try the berry-flavored “Maria-chan,” or savor the caramel tea named for Prince, the rabbit who just knows he’s destined for sweet royalty. Whichever drink you choose, you’re bound to jump for joy at all the cute bunny accessories! While there is no English on the menu, the pictures are worth a thousand words.
Meet The Bunnies at Usagi no Ehon
Eight of the nine rabbits featured at Usagi no Ehon are of the Netherland Dwarf variety. Weigh-ing in at only 550 g, they remain adorably miniature, with tiny, twitchy ears and big, beautiful eyes. Among this group of mini-critters, there is also one Holland Lop, with characteristically charming floppy ears. Let’s meet them all!
Kobu is both the youngest and the most popular bunny of all. You can usually see him in one of the bigger rabbit areas just as you come in—it is no wonder why this little ball of cuteness usually captures the center of attention.
True to his high-class name, Prince always keeps his area spotless. You can find him ever confi-dent, puffing his chest out for the world to see.
No bunny likes being petted more than this rabbit—just one stroke of her fur and she’ll snuggle right up to you!
This cutie is always gazing at you with her beautiful, round and sparkling eyes. She just loves eating grass and is a bit on the plump side.
This little guy just loves people and can sometimes be a bit spoiled, but that’s why everybody loves him.
Chicha’s twin brother Kuu is a very active rabbit, but he’s also dependable—he’ll stop moving long enough to be there for you.
An extremely outgoing bunny, Po-Po loves people and is as considerate as she is fluffy.
Chicha and Kuu’s sister absolutely adores being petted on the top of her head. She is always hanging out with her stuffed-animal friend.
Maron is an extremely curious bunny that is also considerate of everyone around her, human or otherwise.
Just like cat cafes or other establishments that let you interact with precious animals, Usagi no Ehon has its own set of simple rules that benefit both human and rabbit-kind alike.
The rules are:
●Remove your shoes before entering.
●Wash your hands.
●Be gentle; Don’t pick up the bunnies or hug them too tightly.
●Put a towel on your lap inside the bunny area to prevent bites, scratches or unwanted rab-bit pellets.
●Only feed the bunnies with the special rabbit food you are given upon entry (included in the entry fee, which is just 150 yen).
●Be gentle; Don’t pick up the bunnies or hug them too tightly.
●Be sure to ask the staff whether it’s OK to enter the caged bunny area; some days the rabbits may need a rest.
Make sure to always treat the rabbits with kindness, and remember to have fun! Those looking for a hopping cafe should visit around 4 o’clock or later, as that is when the bunnies are at their jumpiest. If you love the sight of furry balls of cuteness that can barely keep their eyes open, come just after 2pm.
When it’s time to leave the comfort of the bunny cafe and head out into the big city again, you may just want to take a piece of the wonder with you. Many of the souvenirs are carefully hand-made. Whether done by customers, or culled from art festivals and other events, these crafted pieces are created by artists and aficionados who share their critter kinship in common.
Visit Usagi no Ehon Bunny Cafe in Tokyo for a Cute, Cuddly, Hopping Good Time
With great food, souveniers, a sense of community, and picture books aplenty, Usagi no Ehon is definitely more than just a place to cuddle rabbits. If, like Mrs. Kawasaki, you feel that animals deserve to be protected and respected as well as loved, and if you also miss the days of reading picture books all day and letting your mind soar, then what are you waiting for? The world of bunnies and books awaits!