A Tokyo cafe has opened its doors to intrepid customers who like the company of snakes. Tokyo Snake Center, which opened on 8 August, calls its 35 snakes, all non-venomous, "attendants".
Customers can enjoy their iced lattes with one of the 20 different breeds of snakes slithering around in cages on their table. The entrance fee (drinks and food not included) is 1,000 yen (£5.14, $8.04), but for an additional 540 yen, customers can hold and pet the snakes.
The cafe, while not for the faint of heart, has pulled in a lot of giggling high school girls - probably due to its location in the fashion district of Tokyo.
"The way it feels and the way it moves is nice. It's all wobbly," said 16-year-old high school student Hikaru Hara as a light coloured mixed breed corn snake wrapped itself around her.
Hara, whose two friends were not as convinced of the snake's charms, said she'd found out about the cafe on the internet. Many of the snakes are breeds of corn snake - a North American species of rat snakes popular with people who make pets out of snakes. The corn snake is docile and has been bred to come in various colours with such names as Fluorescent Orange, Blood Red and Sunkissed.
For the ophiophilist, or snake-lover, the cafe also sells snake-themed goods, including fake snake-skin ties and snake-skin charms. The cafe's owners say they want to help people understand that snakes, while they often have a bad reputation, are also worth saving.
"I was initially interested in environment conservation, and in that context, I wanted to show people the good parts about animals, so I started this cafe," said Hisamitsu Kaneko, the general manager of the cafe, who says he buys only from selected breeders.