*If you like this post, it is now available on iTunes as a self-guided walking tour! Click here to download it.
I had heard of cat cafes, but it wasn’t until this weekend that I was introduced to an owl “cafe.” My friend, Shannon, had sent me a Buzzfeed article with a list of wacky things to try in Tokyo. At the top of the list was visiting Fukuro no Mise – an owl cafe. It had awesome reviews on TripAdvisor and Google…and wasn’t too far away from us, so, my husband and I decided to see what it was all about!
We arrived an hour before it opened to make a reservation (they don’t take reservations until the day of)…and then we went and had a snack at a neighboring cafe. (Fukuro no Mise does not serve food.)
When I think of cafes, I think of something similar to Starbucks. That was surely not the case with Fukuro no Mise! It’s a dimly lit building filled with various breeds of owls on perches, and you get one (non-alcoholic) beverage included in the price of your reservation (roughly $20 USD), and they also gave us a cute piece of owl jewelry when we were leaving.
How it works is the staff allows 12 people in at a time, and you get one hour at the cafe to interact with the tame owls. The staff sits everyone down before they enter to go over how to interact with the owls and explain that these are not wild owls, but they were raised from baby on by Fukuro no Mise’s owner (which is why they don’t mind people). “You can have an owl perched on your hand or shoulder (some people wanted the smaller ones on their heads for photos as well), but the staff must assist you with doing so. You can only lightly touch the top of the owl’s head, moving from front to back – don’t ruffle their feathers or touch any other part of them. You are not allowed to wear perfume around the owls, as this can be harmful to them. Don’t make any sudden movements, loud noises or take photos with a flash.” I had been a bit worried that it would be a people just doing whatever they wanted with the owls – so, I was relieved to see there were rules (and staff) in place to keep the owls safe.
We were also warned that the owls could, ah, poo on you at any given moment. Haha. Which did happen to both my husband and me! The little guy I had perched on my hand, got my shoes…and my husband had a little one perched on his shoulder when it happened. Haha. But the staff was ready and cleaned us both up in no time!
It was really exciting to be so close to so many different breeds of owls! I honestly didn’t even touch my drink.
Also, the owls all appeared to be well-cared for and healthy, and they were very calm around us, but I do wonder how healthy it is to have these little guys around people during the daytime…as many owls are nocturnal?
Overall, this was the quite the memorable experience! But I’m not sure how far I will get on the rest of that bizarre Buzzfeed list… I do like the sounds of the Hello Kitty theme park, though! (I’ve been a huge Hello Kitty fan for forever!)
Also, I will talk a bit more about how I’m adjusting to life in Tokyo and some of the more traditional exploring/traveling plans I have in store in Wednesday’s outfit post! I will also be back to normal on social media this week and checking out all my lovely fellow bloggers’ posts. Although, I’ll be replying to comments at different times of the day, now. 🙂 Thank you all for sticking with me through this transition! I’ll leave you with a few more owl photos, and see you all on Wednesday!