Our friend Linda Lombardi, aka wombatarama and creator of truly awesome pug photos, recently traveled to Japan and paid a visit to one of Tokyo’s numerous Owl Cafes and then wrote about her experience for Tofugu. We learned from Linda that an Owl Cafe is less of an actual cafe and more of a place where people can go have an incredibly up-close encounter with actual owls, which includes actually getting to hold an owl yourself.
Linda went to an owl cafe called Fukuro no Mise, which is located in a part of Tokyo called Tsukishima. We were delighted to learn that the cafe isn’t a free-for-all where anyone may come and go as they please, skritching owls willy-nilly. Visitor must show up at the cafe an hour before it opens simply to make a reservation to return for their actual visit later that day. The visit itself lasts an hour and begins with a brief introduction and demonstration about the rules, as owls sit patiently on wall-mounted perches all around you.
“This includes the fact that you should touch the owls only on the head and back, and also that while they are very tame ‘they can’t be potty trained like dogs. So please be generous when they potty on you!’”
Then the fun starts in earnest as cafe staff proceed to walk around and places owls on people’s arms, or if they’re feeling particularly bold, on their heads or shoulders. Each owl has a little tether around one of his/her feet that you hold in your hand as the owl perches on your arm.
“I have to say that my initial skepticism totally vanished. It was amazing to be up-close with these wild animals that seemed totally un-fazed by the experience. Maybe they knew they had the upper hand, what with the sharp parts. And clearly they’re used to the adoration of the crowds. They were also quite beautiful and much more varied than I expected.”
Well we’re sold. Clearly it’s time to book a flight to Tokyo so we can go hang out with awesome owls too.
Head over to Tofugu for additional photos and to read more about Linda Lombardi’s amazing visit to the Fukuro no Mise owl cafe, which includes lots of helpful information for travelers who do not speak Japanese.