Cat cafes are nothing new in Tokyo and have existed since at least the turn of the century. We’ve visited a couple of them. The concept has also grown popular in a number of other large East Asian cities. In terms of uniqueness as a business model, it’s possible that cat cafes have become a bit passé. In Tokyo at the moment, owl cafes and hedgehog cafes are a thing. It’s a workable model for probably any cute animal that doesn’t smell awful or attack your patrons. Prior to our short visit to Seoul on this trip, we were excited to learn about a “Meerkat Cafe” there. Not just Meerkat… “Meerkat & Friends”. Some small fox and other adorable animals seemed to be in the mix. Our niece Emma is obsessed with cats in the way that a six-year-old can be obsessed. A brief visit to a cat cafe last year made a lasting impression. We held back on this find, the meerkat cafe, as a “surprise” once we got to Seoul. Continue reading Ejected from Meerkat and Friends
*Full South Korea gallery below*
Forget about a sample 1 day itinerary…. we only had the morning to get a taste of Seoul before heading back to the airport.
We stayed at “Toyoko Inn” in Dongdaemun (The same Japanese hotel chain we stayed at in Tokyo), which was very conveniently located. The requisite Toyoko Inn complimentary breakfast had some distinctly Korean accouterments like pickled radish and such, an interesting contrast having just come from the same chain in Japan. However, just like the location in Monzen-Nakacho, the clientele were mostly business men, and we were the only westerners staying at the large and busy hotel. Continue reading Seoul: In 3 Hours
We were prepared for Korea to be cold….. like, freezing cold. As the the cabin pressure on the Korean Air flight from Tokyo to Seoul started to change at the start of our descent, I could see as much when the landscape started to come into view. Snow-capped hills, windswept rocky terrain, empty golf courses devoid of grass and colored with parched brown winter soil. We touched down at Incheon airport and passed through immigration and customs uneventfully, and got a brief whiff of the biting cold as we stepped out of the airport to catch an express bus to our hotel. Little did we know…. Continue reading The Bus Through Hell