Mind the spikes, a hedgehog cafe has opened in Japan

One of the prickly residents of the Harry Hedgehog Cafe. Photo / Facebook, Harry Hedgehog Cafe
One of the prickly residents of the Harry Hedgehog Cafe. Photo / Facebook, Harry Hedgehog Cafe

Adding to the ongoing trend of Japanese animal cafes, a lunch spot dedicated to the humble hedgehog has opened in Tokyo.

Called Harry Hedgehog Cafe - a play on Harinezumi, the Japanese word for hedgehog, which roughly translates to prickly mouse - the venture has proved extremely popular since it opened in February in the Roppongi entertainment district.

こんにちは!ツイッターで人気のHARRYコンテスト!締切まであと3日となりました!まだまだ間に合いますので、是非ご参加ください󾌵!󾬼カフェのご予約はホームページにて受け付けています。ハリネズミカフェ・ハリネズミ販売→HARRY harinezumi-cafe.com

Posted by ???????? HARRY on Monday, March 7, 2016

Customers pay around 1000 yen (NZ$13.60) to spend up to an hour with the 20 or 30 hedgehogs of varying breeds, with crowds of enthusiastic punters lining up for a chance to hang out with the prickly critters.

The café's Facebook page also shows a friendly yellow and black lizard who appears to reside alongside the hedgehogs.

Cafe worker Mizuki Murata - who works in a rabbit café in the same building - told the Guardian they hoped to improve the reputation of the animals.

2月2日、ついにHARRYがオープンしました!オープン初日はたくさんの方にお越しいただきました。たいへんありがとうございました!六本木にお越しの際はぜひお立ち寄りください!スタッフ一同お待ちしております。ハリネズミカフェ・ハリネズミ販売→HARRY http://www.harinezumi-cafe.com

Posted by ???????? HARRY on Wednesday, February 3, 2016

"We wanted to show people the charm of hedgehogs, which give the impression of being hard to handle. We wanted to get rid of that image by letting people touch them," she said.

"The cutest thing about hedgehogs is getting them to finally open up and show you their face."

Japan is well known for its animal-themed eateries - but the traditional cat or dog café is starting to look a bit tame when you've got owls, goats and now, hedgehogs.

- nzherald.co.nz

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