It is quite common knowledge that Tokyo has cafes where you can pay to sip coffee and play with a variety of kitty cats. These are called ‘Cat Cafes’, or ‘Neko Kafes‘. These have become successful because it is difficult to have pets in Tokyo. These cafes allow stressed people to have some love in their life (one-way love, as cats are cats, you know). The ‘Neko’ cafes are quite popular, therefore they have stirred up competitor business cafes. Now, it is not so difficult to find rabbit cafes (usagi), bird (tori) cafes, reptile cafes, and dog (inu) cafes. You can even find a penguin cafe! Nevertheless, the one that caught my attention was the owl (fukurou) café. For our third day of Silver Week (a holiday week in Japan), we decided to check out a fukurou café in the university town Takadanobaba in Tokyo.
We went to one called Pakuchi Bar 8889. This place operates as a small diner/bar during the evenings and a owl café during the weekend days and national holidays. We paid 1,000 yen (~$8.35 USD, cheap for these kinds of cafes!) for an hour of owl attention, and a drink of our choice. You can chose coffee, cappuccino with marshmallows (what I got), orange juice, green smoothie (what Yuuki-san got), caramel cappuccino tea, etc. Of course they decorated my cappuchino with a lovely owl design!
The café is really small. You are greeted by a wood cage full of baby owls by the entrance.These little stars can make even the men ‘coo’! They stare stare at you as you enter the café. Some are only 4 inches tall! aghh!! Too cute!
Inside is the place to the left is a larger cage next to the window, where the bigger owls are held. They are many different kinds of owls here and you can look and chose which one you want to hold. The café itself is decorated with an interesting assortment of owl items, including an old Suntory Whiskey owl bottle and ancient owl themed books.
We chose an owl with a cool black ring around his face. I held him, although he was a bit cranky and sometimes made some angry hoot sounds (which was cute, but I felt bad for the little guy). He pooped on the mat they provided for us. One time he tried to fly away, but since we are instructed to hold his little leash, he couldn’t get away.
We then switched for a smaller little grey owl. This one was so beautiful because he had huge eyes, with orange/yellow irises. His pupils expanded and contracted as he looked around the room. He also tried to fly away once. We put him on a little perch so we could stare at him and appreciate his beauty. You are allowed to pet them on their head and under their beak. They nibbled at Yuuki’s finger when he tried to pet them, but it didn’t hurt him.
I was conflicted by being there because once we arrived, Yuuki reminded me that owls are nocturnal. They should be have been sleeping right then (at 2pm), not being held by humans! Poor little guys. I had a lot of fun, but at the same time I don’t think I should be contributing to this unnatural animal habits. Cats and dogs have a history of being domesticated, but Owls? If the café was open only in the evenings, and if the owls were a bit happier, it would have been better, but since they were all a little cranky (except for the tiny baby ones), I felt very bad for them.
I really enjoyed looking at these beautiful creatures. I hope they aren’t too miserable in the Cafe, because it was a very enjoyable experience for us and I would like to go again. As we walked to lunch, Yuuki-san and I both said we wanted owls.
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