Destination Japan: Mipig cafe allows you to dine with micro pigs

Japan is known for coming up with fun and sometimes strange ways to turn straightforward activities into something worth telling the whole world about and this place is no exception.

The new Mipig chain offers a space for people to hang out with a bunch of pigs.

"Take a nap, read a book, or have a snack with your friends. Just spend time relaxing with micro pigs," the website says.

"Many pigs, from children's pigs to adult pigs, live in harmony with each other in this house."

Reviews online have been glowing.

"So cute! We could pet the little pigs for 90 minutes. They come and sleep on you. The staff was also very friendly," Laure J said on Trip Advisor.

User Mitch N also spoke highly of his experience at the cafe, and his review even suggests pigs are so smart they can also snort in different languages.

A micro pig is a term for a type of pig originally born in England that weigh up to 40kg when fully grown. In some regions, they're referred to as teacup pigs. A mipig is even smaller, growing up to only 20kg in weight as an adult.

The website of a mipig breeder says the animals are friendly as they don't like to be lonely and love to sit on people's laps. They can also be trained to obey basic commands like "sit", much like a dog. They are also apparently odourless and very easily potty trained. And with less fur than a cat or dog, they may be better for people with allergies. 

However, PETA and other groups have spoken out against the trend of smaller pig breeds.

But pigs can make great companions as they are also so smart they have in fact have been linked to early human beings.

"The pig genome compares favorably with the human genome," Lawrence Schook of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, told The New York Times

"Very large sections are maintained in complete pieces. Barely changed in the 100-million-plus years since the ancestors of hogs and humans diverged."

They are apparently very quick learners and hardly ever forget. They are also smart at learning about things like mirrors and how they work.

"Both the staff and pigs were great hosts! Absolutely adorable! The staff also had English translation device which was helpful."