A Dog’s Delight at Fairy Tale
Published: December 4, 2018
The Kiyosumi-shirakawa area of Koto-ku is the most diverse place, encompassing such highlights of traditional oldtown history and culture as the Fukagawa Edo Museum and the tranquil beauty of Kiyosumi Gardens, while in the surrounding streets, traditional stone-floored soba restaurants rub shoulders with ultra-modern artisanal chocolatiers and the cutting-edge of global cafe culture. Take a walk through leafy Kiyosumi Park and you may well notice that even the four-legged visitors are particularly well-groomed. One reason for that is the exceptional service provided by the Fairy Tale dog grooming and trimming salon.
Looking more like one of the renowned local cafes and located in what was originally outmobile repair factory and warehouse, Fairy Tale opened in 2004. It offers a wide variety of pooch-related services, from cleaning, trimming and clipping, to spa treatments. Dog owners can also use the pet hotel service for both short and long stays.
The industrial history of the building can be seen in the metal girders, painted a warm marine blue, that support the high-ceilinged roomy structure. The reception area features an enormous array of canine items, accessories, snacks, a wide variety of magazines and doggy wear catalogues, soft toys and so on.
You can even treat your best friend to some top-quality organic, grain-free, hypoallergenic food from an award-winning pet food manufacturer based in New Zealand. For dessert or an afternoon snack there is a variety of healthy tidbits, cookies, and dried fruit for dogs.
A double-gated door leads through to the action centre of Fairy Tale, the trimming salon itself. Here, all the dogs can run free and play with each other while waiting their turn for a beauty treatment, trim, or cut. Leading trimmer Ms. Ishii prepares her miniature Schnauzer, Pochiko.
Fairy Tale’s staff use the Microbubble shower, a revolutionary system to deep-clean dogs’ skin and hair follicles invented in Japan in the 1990s. Millions of tiny microbubbles loosen dirt and debris from the animal’s pores in an efficient yet gentle way.
Fairy Tale utilises a range of Skimo professional-use-only cutting-edge products designed to clean yet retain the natural oils in the dog’s coat. There are four separate stages: pure cleansing, pure shampoo, rich gel and finally an emollient mask, or treatment, is applied. They are especially effective for dogs with delicate hair. The rinsing and application are quite a lengthy procedure but Pochiko takes it in her stride. The cost of the treatment depends on the size and breed of the dog: from 3,000 yen to 8,000 for a shampoo full course, from 5,000 to 14,000 yen for a shampoo full course with trimming by clippers and from 6,000 to 16,000 for a shampoo full course with trimming by scissors. Ms. Ishii recommends a full course once a month: shampoo, trim, and nail clipping.
After her experience in the bath is over, Pochiko is given a warming blast of hot air from the retractable driers and a good combing. Doesn’t she look great!
The visiting dogs run free inside the trimming room, clearly enjoying the company. If they are tired after their beauty treatments, they can relax on the heated carpet! Ms. Kim, another skilful and brisk trimmer, gives Rocky the poodle a haircut.
Fairy Tale also operates as a dog hotel, for both short and long stays. The overnight stay cost again depends on the size of the dog, running from 3,000 yen for 3kg dogs to 5,500 yen for a Fido over 20kg. Check-in starts at 10am and check out is until close of business on the following day at 6pm. Walkies and a meal are an extra but modest fee.
Shinnosuke, the Miniature Dachshund, has his nails clipped by Ms. Ishii. Fairy Tale offers a short stay system for those wishing to visit the local sights or shops and restaurants that may not be dog-friendly. These run from 1,000 yen to 2,000 yen for three hours with each additional 30 minutes costing from 300 to 500 hundred yen. There is even a doggy delivery service with the fee dependent on how far by car from Fairy Tale one lives.
Ms. Kim gives this cute baby poodle a trim with the scissors. Visiting Fairy Tale actually made me want to get a dog again, for the first time in many years.
Pochiko and toy poodle Hyper pose for the cameras outside Fairy Tale after their salon treatment. What a fine pair of models they make! Whatever your canine needs may be, Fairy Tale is the place to visit. It shares the building with the dog-friendly cafe SHIRO, a perfect spot for both pet and owner to take a break after a romp around Kiyosumi Park or a pleasant stroll along the Sumida River Terrace, just a stick’s throw away. It’s yet another reason to visit Kiyosumi-shirakawa!
Story and Photos by Stephen Spencer