How many of you have read Harry Potter and wondered what it would feel like to have an owl as a pet? I know I certainly did, and thanks to Tokyoites’ obsession with animal cafés I got to find it out. Yes, you guessed it right, I am talking about the owl café. As I emerged from the elevator on the 5th floor of a random building in Akihabara, I immediately found myself in nothing less than a forest. Maple leaves, sound of trickling water, Halloween decorations, very dim lights and eclectic music – I knew I was in for a therapeutic experience. After receiving a brief instruction from a very nice hostess at the front desk – no flash photography, no sudden movements, no touching unless allowed, one free drink included in the ticket price – you are given an hour to spend with the birds. A tiny room inside was filled with approximately two dozen owls of different breeds, shapes and sizes. Some of the species included barn owls, eagle-owls, scops and tawny owls. I even got to see several hatchlings, all fluffy and adorable and sleepy. Majority of them sit perched on little bars (sadly, with a leash) in a verdant foliage. Some were snoozing and cooing, while others stayed wide awake and alert gawking at visitors with grumpy-looking expressions. To be honest, I have always had a mental fear of owls and didn’t think I would handle being so close to them, let alone pet or hold one. Indeed you are allowed to hold many of them. Feeling strongly intimidated I opted for smaller breeds, both of which turned out to be incredibly cute and cuddly little critters. Except, the affection was not quite mutual because the white one – Abiko – pooped on me and then looked at me with totally innocent eyes. Overall, it was a lovely and memorable experience. This place certainly offers a soothing respite from the buzz and neon glare of Akiba’s Electric Town. I left invigorated and completely freed from my fear of owls. I was also glad to see that each and every one of them was treated with great love and care by the staff.
What do you think? Would you want to visit owl café?
Owl No Mori | Soto-Kanda 4-5-8, 5F, Akihabara
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