As an animal lover, I have been to every single animal cafe in Japan so during my first trip to Korea I decided to visit all of the ones that Japan doesn’t have. My research led me to find two separate animal cafes for raccoons and meerkats in two of Seoul’s major districts. In this article I will be reporting my experiences from both cafes as part of my ongoing Korea article series.
Before being locked in a cage with dozens of these creatures and having one try to crawl up my skirt, I had no idea that meerkats were such feisty mongooses. I thought they would behave similar to ferrets–finicky but overall pleasant and holdable. Instead these meerkats loved play-fighting with one another and could never sit still so it was very difficult to interact with them (and also take photos, but that’s beside the point).
Upon further research I discovered that they are actually carnivores, so this kind of behavior completely makes sense! They are so entertaining to watch and this is a rare opportunity to see them up close, so I would recommend coming here if you get the chance. Just be careful of what you wear because it may get stuck on their claws! You will be lent an apron when you enter the meerkat playpen.
In addition to the playful meerkats, this cafe also has cats and wallabies in separate areas, so it really is worth the money! The wallabies were a lot more friendly and could easily be pet and fed. I was happy to see that the cafe was clean and that all the animals seemed to get along with one another.
Meerkat Friends Address
364-3 서교동, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Entrance Fee: 10,000KRW
Blind Alley is one of the best animal cafes that I’ve been to! In America, raccoons have quite bad reputations as animals that break into houses and are quite greedy with stealing food. However, the ones at this cafe were very calm and relaxed. The store asks that you do not pick them up, however, if you offer them food they will likely come to you.
A sign at the store reads:
Do not try to hold or put the raccon on your head, it’s the raccoon’s choice, not yours. Only lucky people will be able to enjoy that kind of moment. Sorry
I thought that was very funny! Fortunately I was one of the “lucky people” and the raccoon climbed on my head for a brief second. It surprisingly did not hurt at all. The raccoons have a lot of space at this cafe so they can choose to climb into the rafters or freely interact with visitors. I think that Blind Alley had a pretty good setup.
In addition to raccoons, there was one baby pig there as well when I visited in 2018. I was able to hold him in a blanket for a while.
Overall both of my animal cafes in Seoul were very pleasant and the system was similar to Tokyo. At the raccoon cafe, I was able to stay as long as I wanted so I was very grateful for that.
Blind Alley Address
76 Cheongpa-ro 47-gil, Cheongpadong 2(i)-ga, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Entrance Fee: 6,000KRW