Tokyo residents find comfort in fluffy, street-strolling alpacas – By Chris Gallagher – The quiet of early morning streets in one downtown Tokyo neighbourhood is broken by joggers, parents with children in strollers – and a pair of alpacas, out for their daily constitutional walk.

On leads held by their keepers, Akane and Satsuki trot down streets past shops and temples, crop grass in a pocket park and share crosswalks with the occasional pedestrian before heading back to their home at an indoor petting zoo, “Alpaca Land”.

After a round of brushing and combing, the woolly natives of South America are ready for their day: spending time with visitors who pay 1,000 yen ($7) for 30 minutes petting them, hugging them and burying faces in their fleece.

“The alpaca was so fluffy that when I put my face on its back, its fleece covered half of my face and it was so cute,” said visitor Nana Ide.