Earlier last week I had the pleasure of going to Japan’s very first micro pig (dubbed “Mipig”) Cafe located in Meguro. What exactly is a micro pig, you ask? Micro pigs are miniature pigs that are specially bred to be smaller in size and have friendly, dog-like personality traits while they are young. They have sparked somewhat of a controversy online due to many people wanting them as pets but not being prepared to look after them when they rapidly grow in size. Though the Japan Times cautions pet owners the risks of owning a micro pig, they are legal to own in this country and can live a healthy lifestyle if properly cared for. When I entered the cafe, I was happy to see it was clean and that the pigs were both energetic and welcoming of human company.
The Mipig Cafe currently has 2 locations in Tokyo (Meguro and Harajuku) and can be booked in timeslots of 30 or 60 minutes by making a reservation online. We decided to go to the Meguro location simply because it has less traffic. Once you arrive, you will be given simple instructions on how to interact with the pigs, and be asked to order a drink around 600 yen. We also ordered cake for ourselves as well which was surprisingly delicious. The cost to enter the cafe is 800 yen per 30 minutes, which is quite affordable compared to other animal cafes. I had previously held a baby pig while I was in Korea, but this was my first time ever seeing them run around:
Interacting with the pigs is quite easy and fun. As you can see from the video, basically they will come to you! They are very curious creatures and love to be petted and fed. We bought some feed for them and instantly they ran over towards us (the food can be purchased for 100 yen and I recommend buying it for them). Taking pictures of them proved to be quite difficult as they love to move and run around, but I went more for the experience since it’s quite easy to take photographs of baby pigs at farms and zoos.
What happens to the micro pigs when they outgrow their micro status and become adult pigs? According to the official Mipig FAQ, they are eventually be adopted to a new family after they have acquired social training and sufficient human interaction at the cafe. That is why I think this cafe is a great place to interact with the pigs without having the risk of being unable to suit their needs as a pet owner. Though the controversy of breeding these pigs still remains, fortunately there seem to be a growing amount of resources in Japan to educate pet owners on proper care.