Japan is known for their cute and quirky animal cafes: there are cat cafes, dog cafes, rabbit cafes, and even hedgehog cafes. But did you ever think about an owl cafe? There are a few in Tokyo, but today I’ll be focusing on the Akiba Fukurou Owl Cafe!
Akiba Fukurou (literal translation, “Akiba Owl”) is located in the Akihabara district of Tokyo, Japan. It’s a fairly large studio that’s nestled on a small street and a quick 5 minute walk from Akihabara Station.
Even though it’s called an owl cafe, Akiba Fukurou doesn’t actually serve any drinks or food. Instead, you get to hang out with your choice of over 30 owls! The staff is extremely friendly, well-dressed (something between Casino Royale and Casablanca couture), and attentive to each guest/owl.
One of the Akiba Fukurou employees (he’s also the photographer!)
Although you can walk up to the cafe and get lucky without a reservation, I highly recommend booking your spot in advance. Since Akiba Fukurou is a popular place for both locals and tourists, reservations go pretty quickly. The best way to get a reservation is to email them, and you can book up to 3 days in advance.
We actually got pretty lucky, considering that this was a last-minute idea – we emailed them about 6 hours before our requested reservation time! They were very prompt in responding to our request, and luckily there were 2 spots available after someone cancelled. Lesson learned: reserve in advance ;)
What do you get?
The price is 1,500 yen ($15USD) for a one hour visit to Akiba Fukurou owl cafe.
You’ll get a chance to hold two owls on your hand; a laminated photo of you and the owl; and unlimited petting of other owls (except for those marked).
The Akiba Fukurou cafe is a little hard to see immediately because it’s tucked away on a side street, so I recommend using Google Maps to make your way over there. Once you arrive, you’ll have to wait outside until the previous visitors leave (since the space can only hold so many people). In the meantime, you’ll get a cute folder will everything you need to know: how to interact with the owls, a list of the “owl family,” (like the photo above!) and fun facts.
Once your reservation time comes, an employee comes and takes the group inside. There were about 8 other people in our group, which was perfect – not too overwhelming for the space, and everybody had a chance to pose with their favorite owl. After we put our stuff down and got comfortable in the cafe, the two employees/owl handlers briefly told us the rules: no flash, pet owls with one finger, and don’t make sudden movements.
After the debriefing, it was time to check out the owls! I was instantly drawn to Gorilla because he was adorable, but now that I think about it (and look at the Owl Family photo), is that really Gorilla? Oh well! He was very patient as I held and petted him – just look at that serious face!
When your friends want a selfie and you realize that you forgot to put on makeup ಠ_ಠ
As mentioned before, some owls will have pink or blue stickers. These owls are *not* allowed to be touched, since they’re either sleeping or still in training. However, you can look and admire them from a safe distance :)
After you’re done holding an owl, you can ask an employee and they’ll carefully take the owl from you and place it back to its perch. I took a little break to check out the other owls before picking Charles Xavier…
“She’s making that face again, isn’t she?”
The hour goes by pretty quickly – there are so many owls to look at and pet! When your time is up, you’ll gather in the main room and the employees will thank everyone and hand out a laminated photo/postcard of you with the first owl. I thought this was a really nice and friendly gesture!
The people who run Akiba Fukurou really know how to make guests feel welcome and create an atmosphere that’s comfortable for both humans and owls. Some people might be worried if the owls are being treated fairly, but I think they are – they can freely fly around the room, have comfortable perches, bowls of water, etc. Most of the owls at the were raised around humans and have grown used to them, so they’re not freaked out by “guests” in their home :P
Overall, the Akiba owl cafe was a really fun experience- If I come back to Tokyo, I’ll be sure to stop by again.
Thanks for reading! :)
Name: Akiba Fukurou Owl Cafe
(English: 67 Kanda Neribeichō, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 101-0022, Japan)
Price: 1,500 JPY ($15 USD) for a 1-hour visit – includes laminated photo, holding 2 owls, and petting/photos with unlimited owls