The Tokyo suburb of Kichijoji is constantly voted as one of the city’s most livable neighborhoods. Kichijoji is home to lush greenery such as Inogashira Park, and many charming shops that are frequented by locals and visitors alike.
One of Kichijoji’s latest attractions is the whimsical Kichijoji Petit Mura (small village) complex. Opened in April 2018, it houses seven stores based on fairytale-like themes. This edition explores the magic surrounding the shopping and food experience at Kichijoji Petit Mura (village).
Kichijoji Petit Mura is like a scene straight out of a storybook
Kichijoji Petit Mura complex is about a seven-minute walk from Kichijoji station’s east exit, along Nakamichi-dori street.
Kichijoji Petit Mura stands along Nakamichi-dori street
Kichijoji Petit Mura (“small village”) opened in April 2017 under the concept of creating a forest in Kichijoji. The complex looks as if it came straight out of storybook and compels passersby to stop and look inside.
A map of the "small village" is displayed at the gate
Step inside the wooden gate for a trip to the land of fairytales, where crystal-clear streams run through calm, shadowy forests. This dreamy venue has been meticulously designed, and is highly photogenic.
The rooms inside are full of cute telltale signs of its residents. We spotted paw prints here and there on the concrete walls, and small doors and signboards. It felt like walking right into a storybook scene.
small doors for cats
paw prints on the concrete walls
Welcome to Kichijoji Petit Mura village
Petit Mura “small village” is a charming shopping and food complex based on a storybook theme. Seven shops offering different goods and services operate here. We visited four of them, which were open as of August 2019. Each store is unique in its own way. If you are not sure what to expect here, fret not. We have covered the basics for you.
1.CatCafe Temari no Oshiro (Temari's castle)
Temari's castle is situated at the far end of Petit Mura village
CatCafe Tamari no Oshiro (Temari’s castle) is located in the back of the complex. Cats roam freely inside the castle behind light blue doors. The café is meant to offer a relaxing time with cats and visitors are welcome to stay as long as they like. Don't forget to take your shoes off at the counter under the signboard that reads, “enter castle.”
Signs showing where to enter and exit the cat castle
The café’s concept is a quirky castle built by fickle cats. The place is full of playful décor and installations featuring cats, such as small doors leading to litter boxes or fish-bone shaped lamps. Cute paw prints are also displayed here and there.
Cute small doors leading to litter box area
Cat portrait inspired by a masterpiece
We visited on a hot summer day when the temperature soared above 30 degrees. We doubt the cats knew how hot it was, as they are safely sheltered from the heat. Currently, the café has more than 20 residing cats.
Temari: the Queen of the cat forest
We were lucky enough to meet the star resident –Temari – who is known here as the Queen of the cat forest. She has cute folded ears. Cats are usually shy but all of the café’s felines were clearly used to being photographed and patted. Some even came out to greet us.
Brownie is a Maine Coon, and Roll a Munchkin cat
Milk, a Munchkin, resting on a table
Visitors need to keep in mind that certain rules apply when interacting with the cats. This includes no feeding and cuddling. The café’s rules are displayed in folders placed at the tables. Go over the rules before getting up close with the cats. Visitors can also view each cat’s profile.
Want to know more about your favorite cats? Look them up.
When we visited first thing in the morning shortly after 10, the cats were about to be fed breakfast. This makes for a great photo opportunity as the cats come out and gather around the staff. Many visitors had their cameras ready.
The café also offers tasty snacks for visitors. This is a lovely space to spend time with cats, as well as enjoy delicious desserts.
Strawberry parfait with cat-shaped biscuits (650 yen)
We ordered the strawberry parfait, which came with a generous helping of juicy strawberries. It was a decent sized dessert highlighting the sour and sweet tastes of strawberries.
If you wish to linger and relax, the café’s menu also includes coffee, tea, smoothies, and other desserts. But remember, feeding is not allowed. In case you need to leave your table, use the provided cover to prevent the cats from coming in contact with food.
2.Toko-toko zakka goods store
Once you are done playing with the cats, visit Toko-toko zakka (goods) store. Under this cat kingdom, felines run the shops and this one belongs to Milk.
The store means “to walk slowly” and it was inspired by the way Milk walks with her stubby legs.
Colorful staircase leading to Toko-toko zakka goods
The store is located above the cat café. To reach the shop, visitors need to climb a flight of stairs opposite a stream. The store is based on a princess-theme and is elegantly decorated in white.
Warm sunlight shining through the roof window brightens up the shop
Toko-toko Circus brand is proudly displayed in the center.
Now back to Milk. The cat is responsible for designing all the store’s cute, sparkly and fairytale-themed items, which are modeled on her feline friends. Yes, it sounds bizarre…. But inside this cat land, let the felines handle matters.
Toko-toko Circus merchandise
The vast collection includes home items, stationary and tableware. Whether a cat lover or not, shoppers will find something of their liking.
Cute tapas plates with cat designs
3.TEA HOUSE Happa
TEA HOUSE Happa specializes in teas
After shopping to your heart’s delight, head back to the main gate to visit TEA HOUSE Happa. The café is on the left side of the gate. The calming sound of the stream gives the café a relaxing vibe. It is a pretty space surrounded by plants and warm terracotta tile floors, and brick walls.
The ground floor -- table sitting and cashier
Second floor – a cozy space of tables and counter seats surrounded by plants
low tables are perfect for families with small children
The café is full of greenery, particularly air plants and dried flowers. The low tables are a nice place to rest for families with children. The outdoor tables are also in a relaxed setting, and perfect for soaking up Petit Mura's dreamy vibe while you enjoying a caffeine fix.
Listen to the gentle sounds of the stream and relax with coffee outdoors
TEA HOUSE Happa is a befitting name. The café offers 18 different types of special teas to pair with desserts. Tea-inspired alcoholic drinks are also available.
We ordered an herbal tea brewed with dried fruit, strawberries and blueberries (790 yen + tax), and chamomile cheesecake (680 yen + tax).
The cafe serves delicious original teas and desserts
The dried fruit is rotated according to the season. The herbal tea that day contained dried figs and peaches. The fruit pieces give the tea a sourness that matches well with the fragrant herbs, resulting in a refreshing drink. The fruit pieces are delicious too, so try them.
At first, the cheesecake tasted rich -- almost too rich. But after a few bites, I began to smell the chamomile. Then, the cake turned into a refreshing, light dessert.
Afternooon tea set （2,500 yen＋tax、Serving size: one person with 2-hour free-flow drinks)
We recommend the special afternoon tea set, which was added to the menu just this past summer. The afternoon tea set is available after lunchtime, from 2PM to 6PM. This set includes an assortment of half-sized desserts and a 2-hour free-refill of drinks excluding special teas and alcohol.
It is perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth, or tea lovers. Or why not pamper yourself with a special treat?
TEA HOUSE Happa is a lovely magical space to spend time with friends and family, or even alone.
4.Toko-toko Housekiten (jewelry shop)
Toko-toko jewelry shop offers many cute accessories
Toko-toko Housekiten (jewelry store) is located on the second floor of the building opposite of TEA HOUSE Happa.
Remember Milk, who we mentioned earlier as the shop shopkeeper of Toko-toko zakka goods store? The stubby legged cat also runs this jewelry shop.
The look of the store inside resembles a cave hidden deep in the forest. Have fun exploring the small accessories displayed in all corners of the store. Crystals are placed around the rough walls. Look for them too.
Store has a cave-like feeling
Shiny crystals displayed in wall openings
The store considers its vast selection as Milk’s treasure collection. Many of the items feature cats or fairytale-like motifs. Some of the more elegant pieces are made with dried flowers.
Cat themed accessories
Earrings made from dried flowers
These cute, yet beautiful accessories are popular as gifts.
Three new shops due to open soon
Petit Mura village currently houses four shops, but another three more are scheduled to open.
PEKO’s DOG is one such shop. The resident cat, Kibitaro, who loves to eat, runs this hot dog stand.
PEKO'S DOG serves delicious hot dogs
SUCREPPU- crepes with large servings of fruit
SUCREPPU stands along the road
Gallery Kashigoya (rental hut) is a gallery space for hire that was built by elves.
The three new shops are sure to add more magic to Petit Mura village.
Experience the extraordinary at Kichijoji Petit Mura
The Petit Mura complex is a fairy-tale like venue that seems out of place in Kichijoji. Or perhaps its location is also part of its magical appeal.
Petit Mura village has something for everyone, so visit this dreamland and let it take you away to another world.
Spend a calm, relaxing day with the adorable cats, or savor delicious desserts and teas. It is also worth visiting just for the cute cat-themed merchandise.