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Japan's Bunny Cafes Serve Up Coffee And Cuddles (VIDEO)

Posted: 04/10/2012 1:43 pm

Would you like some bunny cuddles with your coffee?

In Japan -- where people are flocking (or should we say, hopping) to so-called 'rabbit cafes' -- a daily fix of cuteness and caffeine may just come hand in hand, CNN reports.

At one such coffeehouse -- the Usagi Cafe Ohisama (or "Rabbit Sun Cafe") in Nagoya -- patrons are going bunny-crazy.

In a room adorned with bunny decorations and littered with rabbit-shaped toys, customers pay a fee to cuddle one of the cafe's 30 bunnies -- all while sipping a cup of tea, Reuters reports.

Cafe manager, Maria Fuwa, says that the Japanese public has been so receptive to rabbit cafes because of the recent spate of tragedies -- the 2011 tsunami and earthquake in particular -- that have befallen the country.

"There are wounds that human beings can't treat but the rabbit can," she told CNN. "Rabbits can comfort people without words."

Despite the recent surge, animal cafes have long been a trend in Japan, where strict housing regulations and tiny apartments make pet ownership difficult.

Until recently, these cafes were limited to featuring cats. However, according to Vet Street, a wider variety of animal cafes is now beginning to pop up all over Japan.

From a reptile cafe in Yokohama -- featuring snakes, tortoises and geckos -- to monkey bartenders at a Tokyo sake tavern, animal lovers of every stripe are being accommodated.

With more than a dozen bunny cafes opening in Japan in the last year alone, it appears that out of all the animals in all the cafes -- the rabbit is currently the star.

For Takashi Shimoguchi, a patron of Fuwa's cafe, the bunnies are all about stress relief.

"It makes me feel better. It's a chance to relax and play," Shimoguchi said. "People get down on life so we can all use a place where we a place where you can be a little happy."

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Filed by Dominique Mosbergen  |