Raccoon Cafe: Raccoonamatata Busan!
Until recently, you had to travel to Seoul to meet a raccoon. However that’s changed now that the first raccoon cafe in Busan has opened, conveniently located in the Kyungsung University area only a short walk from the subway. I hadn’t heard about this place and assumed I would have to wait until the next time I was in Seoul. I should have realised that with their growing popularity it would only be a matter of time until one opened here too! While browsing one of the Busan expat pages on Facebook, by chance I saw someone mention there was a raccoon cafe here in Busan called Racoonamatata (라쿠나마타타), which in itself is adorable. As soon as I saw, I messaged my friend Nadine who I knew would be keen to go.
On the day my boyfriend Jun ended up joining us, as earlier that morning he’d had yet another TOEIC exam and we had met at Bexco straight after to check out the Busan International Photo Fair, which I won last minute tickets to the day before (thanks On The Road Busan for that one!). Though he’s never had a pet of his own, he likes animals. I’ve been conditioning him for a while now to want cats by sending him photos and videos, talking about them endlessly and pointing them out in the street. Now he sends me photos and videos too, and even takes photos of street cats he sees to show me! I have taught him well.
Located on the second floor of the building, there’s an unmissable sign that spans the width of the cafe front. Everything inside is very new and clean, and nicely laid out. There are two sections: a comfortable cafe area with seating and fun raccoon themed artwork, and a separate raccoon room where after leaving your drink at the table, you can enter to play with the raccoons.
When we arrived around 3:30pm, over to our right we could see the raccoons were very active and playing with everyone that went in the room, whether they had food or not. Nadine and I freaked out for a bit about how cute they were while the three young Korean guys working there waited behind the counter, staring at us and worriedly discussing who would have to serve us and be forced to speak English.
They have an extensive drinks selection, with all the regulars you expect from your usual independent cafe. They have a wide range of coffees, frappes, teas, ades and smoothies, and probably a few extras besides. We all got grapefruit ades at 6,500 ₩ , and as is often the case it was about two thirds ice which while disappointing, was not completely unexpected. Usually I’d get a coffee–which was cheaper–but I was feeling a bit sick, in part due to the heat that day (pretty sure it hit 35 degrees) so I needed something refreshing and cool. The cafe also offers wifi, as I have come to expect from most cafes in Korea, but it’s still good to see especially as a lot of the cat cafes don’t offer this.
Once you’ve bought your drink that’s it; you’re now free to play with the raccoons, and come in and out of the raccoon room as much as you like. We stayed there for about three hours, and it never got particularly busy, even though we went on a Saturday. However as more people find out about it that may change! I think it’s a great deal, especially as most cat cafes here cost around 7000 ₩ -9000 ₩ for entry including a drink, which is usually only one step above cat’s pee. Another plus of Raccoonamatata is they also have food! I didn’t check it out much this time around, but it seems like the normal cafe fare. I did see a couple with a nice looking honey bread and cream, so that’s something to try next time.
1: Very adorable blonde type, 율무 / #snack #absoluteobedience / Fall for him with a splash
2: Dark coloured raccoon 쿠니 / #yawn #longishtongue / (정신없군 = hectic, 정신없 쿤 = 쿠니 – play on words)
3: Mild and meek cutie / He’s a big eater and especially likes bananas
There are 3 raccoons, 초코 (Choco), 쿠니 (Kooni- the only female) and the lighter grey coloured boy 율무 (Yulmu – a grain used for tea in Korea). They are still young; you can see from their profiles they were only born in March and April this year shortly before the cafe opened–so they are not fully grown yet. At the moment they are similar in size to a cat, and not at all scary to approach.
Rules wise it is very similar to a cat cafe: don’t pick up the raccoons, don’t wake them when they are sleeping and don’t feed them anything except the food available for purchase. However you can stroke them and let them climb on you if they want to. And trust me, they want to! 율무 in particular is a cheeky little so-and-so and tried numerous times to climb onto my back while I was bent down taking photos of the others.
Being from New Zealand, I had never even seen a raccoon before, so even though they are adorable I was a little apprehensive of approaching them. Also very early on in our time there, one of them bit Nadine on the hand and I saw a number of other cafe visitors get nipped and scratched by them, which in no way encouraged me! Of course they’re just playing, but it still doesn’t stop it from hurting. Soon enough though I had managed to stroke them, and even rub them under the chin without being play-attacked.
The raccoon area is kept very clean and they have lots of room to run about on the boxes and ramps in their room. There’s plenty of cubbies for them to hide in, and they all have their own sleeping cages with hammocks where they can enjoy some quiet time. There’s toys for them to sleep with so they don’t get lonely! I can’t see how they could though, with their roommates so close by.
While I was content to continue stroking them, Nadine was very brave and bought food. I decided to stand back out of the way and take photos of her feeding them. As soon as she opened the bag she was swarmed by all three of them, and soon had them clinging to her legs and back, and wherever else they could get a hold on. 율무 didn’t give up even once the food was gone, and searched her pockets, finding a 1000 ₩ note which he stole away to chew on in private.
By 5pm all three of them were having a nap, but shortly after they were up again and running around. I dragged Jun back in there for one last play with the raccoons, and this time he was bolder, stroking one of them and petting its stomach. The way he did it though was a bit skittish and he was just asking to be bitten, so I’m really glad he wasn’t. It might have put him off for life! Even if you don’t want to touch them they are still very fun to watch as they get up to some hilarious and cute antics, especially when trying to escape into the cafe where all the food is!
Raccoonamata doesn’t seem to have an official page but an unofficial page can be found at 라쿠나마타타 . The information there is all correct and you can see the photos people have put up from their time at the cafe. After finding out the name, this is where I got all my info! I also found their Naver page , it’s all in Korean but if you can read a bit of hangul it’s got all the information too.
Location: 부산광역시 남구 용소로14번길 10 2층
(You can put this or 라쿠나마타타 into Naver Maps and you’ll have the right location)
Directions: Come out Exit 5 of Kyungsung Univ. subway station, do a U-turn and walk back towards the main street. Turn right down the main street, walk straight and take the second right. Walk straight past a couple of buildings then Raccoonamatata will be on your right.
Opening hours: Every day from 12:00~22:00
Are there raccoon cafes where you live? They’re the new craze here! Would you like to visit one? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook ^^