“This is Japan” is a weekly blog post where I talk a little about my life here.

It’s a place where I can share some of the strange, funny, or thought-provoking stories from my week. You can learn a little about what it is like to live in Japan and some of the weird and wonderful things here.

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Last week I posted about the time I saw a wolf in Japan.

Now, I want to share another time I saw some exotic pets.

Near my house there is a mall. In the mall there is a pet store. In the pet store is mostly puppies and kittens. Sometimes I like to go there and watch them through the window. I always hope that if I look desperate enough, a staff will take out a kitten so I can hold it and pretend that it is mine. It’s worked a couple times.

They are always so cute, but ridiculously expensive. Like over $2000 for a kitten. I always say I could buy a plane ticket back to Canada and get a free kitten. And it would still be cheaper than a Japanese pet store kitten.

Anyway, one day, my husband and I were leaving the pet store after I was daydreaming about taking one home with me. There is also a pet clinic next door, so there are often pets and pet-parents waiting outside.

This time, when I walked out of the store I saw a pig.

Not a little pot-belly pig that people sometimes keep as pets. It was a medium size brown pig wearing a pink dress/jacket/clothing item. I don’t know exactly what breed it was. Of course I had to touch it. Because I have to touch all the animals.

There I was petting a pig in the mall. The owner didn’t offer much information about it.

Then he opened another cage and took out an owl.

It was a little brownish white owl. It was really pretty, and the owner let me hold it. So now there I was holding a little owl on my hand.

Then he brought another of his exotic pets. This time it was a meerkat.

Now, I really have no idea how he got his hands on a meerkat. I held the meerkat too, because again, how many time in your life do you get the chance to hold a meerkat? It was cute, but it seemed a bit nervous. And it was making weird little chirping sounds. It was really clingy, and I felt a bad that it was a pet.

But, selfish me, I’m just happy I could touch three animals that day.

But my husband never wants to hold me hand after I touch a strange animals or exotic pets.

exotic pets owl

exotic pets owl

exotic pets meerkat
In the bottom left corner is the pig

exotic pets meerkat

I write a This is Japan post every Friday. Please follow my blog to read more interesting little things about Japan!

Read: The time I saw a wolf in Japan


After Teaching English in Korea and Japan for three years, Jennifer came to the profound realization that teaching was not the career for her. So, she went back to school. After brushing up on her Japanese for one year, she completed a Master's Degree in International Development at a university in Japan. She is currently working on her PhD. This blog was born as a way for her to write about her adventures in Japan and around the world.


    • It is really cute. These are not normal pets. Most people just have a dog. Fewer people have a cat. I haven’t even been able to find hamsters, mice, or birds in any pet stores. But yeah, I was surprised to see these wild animals, which I would never imagine anyone keeping as pets.

  1. Okay, first of all, $2000 for a kitten? Good grief! And secondly, those are some incredibly random pets. I am like you, always having to pet the animals, so I would definitely have been holding them too. Especially the owl–they are so interesting and beautiful…

    • I know, right. It’s too expensive for a kitten. There a lot of semi-wild cats around my house because a lady leaves food out for them. Sometimes they let me touch them, but then I can’t touch my husband until I wash my hands. The owl was really pretty.

      • Do you ever secretly make his lunch or dinner after touching animals? Just to be mean? 😛 That is the kind of terrible thing I would imagine doing, but probably not actually follow through with. 😉

    • You’re right, they probably shouldn’t be kept as pets. The pig maybe, but not the owl or the meerkat. I hope at least the man is taking care of his animals and they are healthy and comfortable. Maybe they have a good life.

      • I hope so too. Once, when we were housesitting and milking goats, the milk went to help a baby wild boar a man had found by itself in the road. He wanted to keep it as a pet, but it quickly became too strong and to hard to handle.

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