Yes, you read the title correctly. A couple of weeks ago, I went to an owl café named Akiba Fukurou in Akihabara, Tokyo. Click here to go on their website.
Japan is pretty famous for their cat cafés, those places where you pay for the number of hours you spend there sipping on your coffee while playing with cats. I like all animals, so of course I had to go to a couple of those cat cafés.
But an owl café? Now, that’s a first. I had never heard about a place where I could drink and pet owls at the same time. Not only could we pet them, but we could take them on our outstretched arm. It was very impressive to feel the powers of their claws, and then gaze into their big adorable eyes.
How it works: if you want to visit the Akiba Fukurou, you have to make a reservation on their website. Don’t worry, there is an English version, so if you don’t speak Japanese, it’s all right. The reservation is made by e-mail. You choose the day, and then the time you want to go. You can’t stay more than an hour, and the fee is 1,500 yen (which is roughly 15$) including a free drink. It’s quite expensive in my opinion, but it’s also not something you can do everyday. It was the first time I could see an owl from that close and touch them.
Be careful, though: sometimes, the owl can pee/poop on you when you least expect it! Nothing happened to me, but my friend was not as lucky, as the two owls she held pooped on her. The staff is very helpful though, and they will give you wiped towels if you ever need it.
I recommend going there, it was a very nice experience — if you’re not afraid of owls, that is. Although I wonder if it’s really good for wild animals like owls to be inside a building like that all day, especially since they are night animals. From time to time, there are some owls you can’t choose because they are sleeping, which is indicated by a sticker above their name, where they stand. Also, every owl has a cord around one of their leg, so that they can’t fly away very far. The staff seemed like they really knew what they were doing, but still I hope they treat them very well and let them out from time to time.
More pictures of owls: