Are you a cat person or a dog person?

Some people fervently believe that you can be only one or the other, and never both. Inutama dog park (inu means dog) and the nearby Nekotama cat park (neko means cat) cater to both personalities and can help you decide once and for all.
The name of the park alludes to the way young people call the Futako-Tamagawaen area "Nikotama," which is just a simpler way of pronouncing the kanji. And so, we get Nekotama. Around 30 breeds of cats live in small houses with large windows where we can watch them; it's basically just spying on sleeping animals. The cats get some swinging space when they are taken out to play. We especially liked the pretty, furry and flat-faced white Persian cats, and the leopard pattern furred Bengal cats. The Sphinx cats almost looked like little furless, skinny space creatures. One of the staff said that Steven Spielberg got the inspiration to create E.T. from his Sphinx cats. The similarity is definitely there. Since the cats prefer to sleep in the sunlight for the better part of the day, there is not so much action going on in Nekotama. Thus there was a need for a more action-filled canine equivalent, so a few years ago, Inutama put its 40 breeds on show.



dog_02 The dog park is built like an old U.S. Western town, and based on a story about the two dogs Hana and Dip. Therefore, we can stroll in Hana Street where the smaller breeds live in the bakery, the flower shop and others. You might think it is sad that they live alone all the time. Every now and then, and seemingly more then than now, they are brought out in the open air of Friendly Park to play with the visitors. There is also a dog show - don't expect any circus acrobats, this is about the dog obeying commands from their caretakers. Following the success of the charming movie The 101 Dalmatians, the spotty black and white dog is an obvious favorite. And the tenacious bulldog with fur like an accordion never ceased to fascinate us either. The dogs are very friendly, which makes it safe for the smallest kids to play with them. Couples visit and pick out their favorite future pet on weekdays, and on weekends it's mostly families who make up the visiting roster.

The staff said the idea behind the park is for people to meet pets in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Next door, you can take a break in the small cafe or purchase everything from real accessories, food, cages and necklaces, to stuffed toys, dog and cat stationery and T-shirts. But you don't have to choose between dogs and cats, you can enjoy them both. And it is better to get your petting done here than take on the responsibility of a pet -- for which the novelty all too soon wears off. This is a great place for dogs and cats that like to show off and be on display: They get the best of the "pet" situation, as each "controls" their own human handler, and also the attention many seem to crave. Conditions are apparently excellent on the Costa da Nekotama/Inutama.


Inutama & Nekotama

Futako-Tamagawaen Sta. E. Exit (Tokyu-Shintamagawa/Oimachi lines), walk 3 min. walk between Tokyu Store and Tokyu Hands, then turn right, and after 50m, turn left.

Open: 10am-6:30pm daily, enter by 6pm. (hours change in summer).

Closed: Jan. 1.

Admission: Inutama: Adults 1,000 yen, children (elementary & junior high school students) 600 yen. Nekotama: 700 yen/400 yen.

Inutama & Nekotama: 1,300 yen/800 yen.

Inutama tel: (03) 3708-8511, fax: (03) 3708-8599

Nekotama tel: (03) 3708-2828, fax: (03) 3708-2777

(URL: in Japanese only

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