“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


Jennifer has lived in Japan for a total of seven years. She has travelled, taught English, studied Japanese, completed a Master's Degree, and travelled some more. She currently calls Nagoya her home, where she lives with her Japanese husband.


    • 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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