you a cat person or a dog person?
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 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
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.
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.
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
& Nekotama: 1,300 yen/800 yen.
tel: (03) 3708-8511, fax: (03) 3708-8599
Nekotama tel: (03) 3708-2828, fax: (03) 3708-2777
(URL: http://www.mksuematsu.com/frame/dog.html) in Japanese only