We have heard of cat cafes and dog cafes, but what about owl cafes?! Yep, I had never heard of it either and thanks to my good friend Pete at WanderPi.com I became well informed that one DID in fact exist in Tokyo! The minute I found out, I knew this had to happen during my trip to Japan! I absolutely love owls. I don’t know what it is about them – they are cute, they are fluffy, a
n owl was Harry Potter’s pet, etc. Since I can realistically never get one, this is the closest to receiving my Hogwarts letter seeing them ever!
Fukuro no Mise is a small cafe tucked away on a side street near the Tsukishima Station. It is in a quiet neighborhood and would be easy to pass if not for the long line and owl pictures covering the window. However, the day we showed up we couldn’t believe our luck – there was no line! As we neared the door, everything looked oddly dark and sure enough there was a sign on the door – ‘Closed just for today.’ Yay. I was heartbroken, but determined to make it the next day. Despite getting there in the morning, we were very lucky to secure spots in the last time slot of the day 4pm-5pm! Make sure to get there early if you want to see them – they usually are full by noon as they have limited spots within each session. Absolutely no reservations are allowed.
For 2200 yen, or ~18.5USD, it gets you a drink of coffee, tea, lemonade, or couple hundred more for a beer, you get an hour with these adorable fluffballs. We gave our money to the woman and she told us to come back ten minutes before 4. We of course misjudged our time and literally had to run to make sure we got there on time. Luckily, we had just minutes to spare and we were ushered in quietly. The first ten minutes are where they explain the rules. Rules are announced in Japanese, however there are sheets that are passed around in English so tourists can get an idea of what not to do. Apparently they gave a few facts as well that weren’t listed on the card being passed around, but the woman serving us our drinks informed us that baby owls had just been born a few days earlier! Now, while adult owls are majestic and beautiful, I expected baby owls to be opposite just like baby pigeons. Have you ever seen a baby pigeon? No. There is a reason they are hidden until the become adults. Yikes! Luckily, baby owls are JUST as cute as older ones and it took every inch of my to not keep one. But per the rules, and probably for the better, we weren’t allowed to pet them, so they ushered us to the other owls instead.
I chose a small owl first – obviously I needed to ease my way in and it was so cute. I couldn’t believe how calm they were (nor how cute). You can take as many pictures as you want, as long as you don’t use flash, and unfortunately no videos either. I stayed with my little guy for quite some time before swapping owls with another visitor.
This time I opted for a bigger guy. He was just beautiful and clearly he considered me a tree because he soon hopped up onto my shoulder and head! Thankfully, he didn’t have the urge to use the bathroom as apparently that has happened in the past!
As soon as it began, it was over 🙁 but before we had to file out they gave us some parting gifts! They have different things like pencils, keychains, small stuffed owls, jewelry. I got an owl necklace to add to my collection, so I was happy! You also have an opportunity to buy some other knickknacks and things in the store.
Overall, it was such a great experience and gave me the opportunity to get closer to owls than I probably ever will in my life! While the cost may be a bit steep, it is so worth it.
Directions: Go to the Tsukishima Station Exit 10 – Once you come out. you will cross the street, turn right and cross over a small street. Turn left onto that same, small street and it is like 30 seconds on the right.
Cost: 2200 yen (more if you want beer)
Experience : GREAT!