Due to the global pandemic, many industries, especially the service sector, have suffered heavy losses leading to the closure of numerous businesses and restaurants. Unfortunately, Naoki Teraoka’s ramen restaurant in Japan was one of them. Naoki, a Diorama enthusiast, opened his restaurant in 2018, creating a unique miniature model of a railway station for his customers to enjoy while savoring their meals. Despite his best efforts, Naoki’s business struggled financially due to the pandemic, causing him and his family great distress. However, a chance encounter with an unexpected guest changed everything. In early June 2020, a ten-day-old stray cat appeared in front of Naoki’s restaurant. Despite the unfavorable circumstances, Naoki, being an animal lover, decided to take in the young cat and named him Simba. This unexpected addition to his life brought about a positive change and gave Naoki renewed energy to carry on.
Naoki came up with a creative business concept that revolves around a group of feline friends. (Image source: Bored Panda)
The family was surprised to see the cat peeking out the door the next morning, and they assumed it was Simba’s mother. As the restaurant was empty at that time, Naoki decided to divide the leftover food among the four-legged friends. A month later, the cat’s mother let go of three other orphaned kittens who came to the restaurant and Naoki took care of them. The kittens were so adorable that he got an idea of using them as a unique feature for Diorama by creating an image for them. Although the money was scarce, Naoki didn’t mind raising a few more cats. The images of the innocent and playful kittens exploring and climbing on the models were posted on Instagram, and to his surprise, they received a lot of attention. The ramen shop has become famous since then, and the bosses are very friendly and welcoming.
Naoki is expanding his care to a multitude of animals in need! (Picture: Bored Panda)
“Wow, what a clever way to bring in customers!” exclaimed the person in the photo shared on Bored Panda.
The number of visitors to Diorama, a cat-themed restaurant owned by Naoki, has been gradually increasing. However, due to the pandemic, the restaurant is only open for four hours a day from 5 pm to 9 pm, and on weekends, it starts at 12 noon. The admission fee is affordable with an entrance fee of 300 yen/hour and 1000 yen/hour if you use more water. Currently, there are 14 cats in the restaurant, most of which were rescued or orphaned animals that Naoki has taken in. The restaurant’s popularity has grown tremendously due to media attention, leading to an increase in sales and expensive shopping.
To show his appreciation to the furry creatures, Naoki built a hotel and shelter for cats on the second floor of the restaurant in 2021. This is his way of thanking them for helping his family overcome difficulties and achieve success in the culinary industry.
Naoki constructed a hotel and shelter exclusively for cats. The adorable feline guests can now enjoy their own luxurious space that is tailor-made to meet their needs. This charming feat of architecture has been captured in stunning photos featured on Bored Panda.
At present, Diorama’s restaurant Instagram account has gathered an impressive following of approximately 40,000 individuals, as evidenced by recent screenshots. By perusing Naoki’s posts, it is clear that the establishment is thriving, with a consistent stream of patrons visiting regularly. In addition to running a successful business, the proprietor has also taken in four-legged companions. Many perceive this as a heartwarming tale of giving back and rescuing animals in need. Despite facing challenging circumstances, Naoki remains unafraid to offer affection and care, resulting in abundant rewards. What are your thoughts on Diorama’s unique “sand table” concept and the laid-back yet business-savvy “4-legged stars”? Don’t hesitate to share your perspective.