I went to the 'Monkey izakaya' in Utsunomiya after seeing some video's on Youtube as well as it having a feature on a Jonathon Ross programme.
The place itself has a great atmosphere with friendly owners and locals to chat to, and the walls are covered in news paper articles of the monkeys.
It seems they have changed the routine slightly from what I've seen and heard about online. Whereas before I saw footage of the monkeys bringing your bottles of beer and wet wipes etc. Now you have to do all your eating first and then they bring out the monkeys after.
So the food itself was amazing, unlike some of the other animal cafes that I had been to around Tokyo. We had a teppanyaki dish, Gyoza (obviously, when in Utsunomiya), a giant Yakitori and finished with some horse sashimi!
Onto the monkeys. There was 5 in total, two adults and 3 babies. I soon realised why eating around them had been stopped. firstly they smelt of urine, and secondly the mother monkey got very aggressive when her baby was with other people, therefor she had to be kept on a leash, but that didn't stop me getting scratched and my girlfriend bitten.
Mostly they were fine, but if you're scared of monkeys then I'd suggest you watch from the sides rather than having them climb all over your body and head.
The owner has a collection of funny masks for them to wear and some of them did some tricks which were great. And we had as much time as we wanted with them to take as many photos as possible. Only then when we were done, he took them back.
Overall a great experience, but be warned: monkeys can go a little crazy.
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