Japanese line up to cuddle hedgehogs - carefully

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 4:44 AM

Customers at "Harry" - a play on the animal'south title in Japanese - have been lining up to spend time at a shining room in the Roppongi entertainment district where twenty to thirty hedgehogs of different breeds scrabble and snooze in glass tanks.

As if cat, rabbit, owl, hawk and even snake-themed cafes aren't sufficient in a country which loves all things cute, Tokyo residents wanting to spend time with animals have a new choice - a hedgehog-themed cafe.

Customers at "Harry" - a play on the animal'south title in Japanese - have been lining up to spend time at a shining room in the Roppongi entertainment district where twenty to thirty hedgehogs of different breeds scrabble and snooze in glass tanks.

A fee of 1.000 yen ($9) on weekdays and 1.300 yen on holidays brings an hr of playing with and cuddling - carefully - the prickly mammals, which have long been sold in Japan as pets despite not being native to the island nation.

"All of these hedgehogs are friendly even though some of them might spike you," said Anna Cheung, an 11-year-old visitor from Britain.

Staffer Mizuki Murata, who also works in a rabbit cafe in the same building, said the shop had been favorite since its Feb opening, with customers frequently having to queue.

"We wanted to indicate people the charm of hedgehogs, which give the impression of being tough to handle. We wanted to obtain rid of that image by letting people touch them," Murata said.

"The cutest thing about hedgehogs is getting them to finally open up and indicate you their face."

($1 = 110.2900 yen)

(Reporting by Chris Meyers; Writing by Elaine Lies; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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