With cat cafes and bunny cafes growing more and more common both in Japan and around the world, it is only natural that a newer and more exotic animal cafe would emerge. In recent years bird cafes and especially owl cafes, have been becoming more and more common and popular.
Recently, I had the opportunity to visit Fukuro no Mise, one of the most popular owl cafes in Tokyo. After arriving at Tsukishima station, you must exit from Exit 10 and then cross the street. The owl cafe is a little hard to spot and I accidentally walked passed it the first time. Continue going straight, after crossing the street, and you will find a small grocery store. The cafe is a little passed this supermarket. Once you find a small building that has photos of owls on its windows, you’ll know you are in the right place!
We arrived an hour before the cafe opened, around 1 pm on a Wednesday, and already there was a short line forming. About 15 minutes before the cafe opened, the staff came out to set up the customers’ reservation times. Since this part of Tokyo is not a tourist area, it doesn’t have many shops or restaurants to visit to kill time, so I recommend signing up for one of the earlier time slots. When you set up your time slot, you must pay the 2000 yen entrance fee. However, this fee includes an hour visit with the owls, as well as a small drink (such as lemonade, tea, or coffee), and a small owl-related gift. If you fail to return for your appointed time or are late, you will not get your money refunded!
About an hour later, we returned and were ushered into the small cafe and were directed to our seats. We couldn’t help but notice all the different types of owls staring at us with their big eyes as we walked inside! Once inside, Japanese guests and foreign guests were divided up. The foreign visitors were told to sit in the counter and were given a laminated paper where the cafe’s rules were written on it; as well as a list of available beverages to choose from. Once everyone chose their drinks, the staff then explained the rules in Japanese and showed everyone how to hold the owls and what to do if they start flapping their wings.
The best thing about this cafe, compared to other animal cafes, is that you actually get to hold the animals! I have always found it a little disappointing that I couldn’t hold the cats at the cat cafes or the bunnies at the rabbit cafes. But here, the whole experience involves getting up close with these beautiful animals. Once the explanation was over, we were each allowed to pick an owl to hold. There are many different species of owls in the cafe, from small owls to great big ones like the Great Horned Owl!
I chose this adorable small owl to hold first. He was very soft and light. I even held one of the large owls on my arm and later worked up the courage to put one on my head. Luckily, it didn’t poop on me! The staff will also come around and help you hold the owls properly and take the owls away if you want to hold a new owl or don’t want to hold one anymore. They will explain to the owls to you (in Japanese) if you ask.
About ten minutes before our time was up, we were told to put the owls back and find our seats. We were each then given an owl gift such as a pin, picture book, keychain, small plush toy, or necklace. We got to pick the gift we liked best, but there was only a limited number of each type of gift so you may not necessarily get your first choice. I chose the owl necklace.
Overall, it was amazing to get to see these magnificent creatures up close and get to hold and touch them. While it may be slightly expensive, I think it is a worthwhile and unique experience. If you plan on going to any animal cafe, I highly recommend visiting Fukuro no Mise or another owl cafe!
Wednesday- Thursday: 2-6pm