While many cities around the world can claim to be places where there is “something for everyone,” Tokyo is certainly a city where that is not an empty boast. The city is teeming with different activities to suit all members of the family, from parents to teenagers to young children and even to the four-legged members of the family.
While it may be a little trickier to uncover (especially for those of us who are still getting to grips with our Japanese), Tokyo and its surrounding suburbs are actually very dog-friendly and have some of the most unique places and experiences for pets and their owners that you are likely to find anywhere in the world.
Here are three of the most popular places in the Tokyo area to take your canines to be pampered and enjoy the great outdoors.
Koyaru no Sato Doggy’s Island
The Greater Tokyo area is awash with dog hotels. Based on my experience, these, much like human hotels, have varying degrees of quality. Some range from the ridiculously luxurious where your pooch’s every whim will be catered for, to “hotels” that are nothing more than dog kennels. With these things, it pays to check carefully.
However, for those of you who would like to take a holiday with your dog and fancy a bit of a getaway to a place where you can enjoy all of the delights of staying at a resort while your dog enjoys exactly the same treatment, Koyaru no Sato Doggy’s Island in Chiba has got you covered.
The first point to note is that, unlike the other places mentioned this article, Doggy’s Island is a little bit more of excursion. Located in Chiba in the town of Yachimata, around an hour and a half’s drive from central Tokyo, this place is very much worth the trip.
Set in green countryside, the resort is entirely catered to families who want to come on holiday with their dogs. As such, it is absolutely perfect for a place to have a weekend getaway. Every single thing that you and your dog could possibly need is provided. From a human perspective, the resort has a large number of comfortable and spacious rooms connected to a main atrium with a large restaurant and several cafés. There is also a convenience store and a pet supermarket should you run out of any doggy essentials.
For dogs, there is everything imaginable. Swimming pools, assault courses, dog menus in the restaurant (where dogs and owners can eat together), walking trails, grooming salons and not one but three dog runs (for small, medium and large dogs). If you really fancy a proper getaway with the whole family, this is the place to be.
More info: doggys-island.jp/en/
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Yasaiya Teppanyaki Yasai
There are many restaurants and cafés in Tokyo that are dog-friendly where dog lovers can go with their faithful four-legged friends and enjoy a coffee, a drink or even lunch. However, there are very few restaurants that actually have their own menu catering to dogs as well as their owners.
Yasaiya Teppanyaki Yasai, located in Roppongi, is a fantastic teppanyaki restaurant. The main focus of the restaurant is vegetables, and it even features its own vegetable sommelier who will recommend combinations of seasonal produce that will compliment any dish.
They have a specially designed menu for dogs and have separate rooms available for those who like to enjoy a meal with their pets and enjoy some freshly prepared delicacies from the teppan.
More info: yasaiya.tokyo
Tokyo Dog Runs
Dog runs are now growing in popularity across the capital and it has become a common site to see many of the city’s dog owners covering on the parks and green spaces over the weekends and holidays. Some of these dog runs can be quite basic with just a simple fenced off area, but the best have a variety of different obstacles and assault courses for the dogs to traverse and run along with plenty of open space to run around.
One of the best of dog runs, Honmoku Sancho Park, can be found in Yokohama. More easily accessible for those in Tokyo is of course the big one at Yoyogi Park located right in the city center. Both of these dog runs have excellent facilities and also operate with different areas for small, medium and large breeds. Both dog runs require registration, with Honmoku Sancho Park requiring proof of vaccinations and a temperament test for all dogs before admission.
All in all it is safe to say that Tokyo is a city where it can sometimes be challenging to find the right places to take your dogs. Being as it is the most built up area on earth, it can sometimes feel that it can be something of an epic quest to find places where dogs can eat, run and play, and well, just be dogs. However, as the above places show, all you need to do is scratch the surface and you will find that the Tokyo area is in fact home to some of the most fantastic and unique places in the world for you to spend a bit of downtime with your four-legged family members.