The Kayabukiya Tavern is a traditional Japanese restaurant. It is located in the city of Utsunomiya, north of Tokyo, Japan. The restaurant attracted international attention in 2008 when the western media reported about the Tavern and its videos were uploaded on YouTube.
The restaurant owner owns two pet macaque monkeys who are currently working as waiters in the restaurant. The first monkey takes care of the customers’ drink order and delivers them to the tables. The restaurant owner says that he never thought that his pet Yat-Chan learned from watching him work. Yat-Chan is just twelve years old and dresses up in a shirt and shorts. One day the owner gave Yat-Chan a hot towel out of curiosity and he brought the towel to the customer.
The younger pet is four years old, named Fuku-Chan and his work is to bring the hot towels to the customers for cleaning their hands before ordering drinks as it is the tradition to clean hands before drinking.
Fuku-Chan has only two years of experience while Yat-Chan is working from a long time.
The monkeys’ receive boiled soya beans from customers as a tip for their wonderful service. They provide quick service from table to table. These monkeys are actually better workers and service providers than some human workers.
As per the Japanese animal rights and regulations, they are allowed to work for only two hours in a day and the working environment of the restaurant has been inspected to ensure proper treatment of the monkeys’ working. Yat-Chan and Fuku-Chan both are certified by the local authorities to work in the restaurant.
The owner says that he will be introducing more monkeys as waiters at his restaurant, and he is training three other monkeys to take on the job.
A regular customer of the Taven says that animals are like her children, actually better. She says her son doesn’t listen to her but Yat-Chan does.
Some customers like Miho Takikkawa voiced that Yat-Chan can understand the exact order, one day he asked for a particular brand of beer and Yat-Chan bought them the exact beer. The costumes are amazed by the work of the pet monkeys.
It definitely is a unique place to visit and enjoy with the family and friends. The restaurant was abandoned after 3/11 earthquake and tsunami but the monkeys are still safe with the owners. The present state of the restaurant and the monkeys are documented in a 2014 movie by an artist Pierre Huyghe.
Look at the video below …