Owls!! I’ve always wondered what it would feel like to pet them and have them perched on my arm and I finally got my chance at an owl cafe in Tokyo!!
Fukurou no Mise「フクロウのみせ」 is one of the few owl cafes that can be found in Tokyo and is quite easily accessible via public transport.
A friend of mine, Hannah, told me that it took her 3 trips before she successfully managed to get into the cafe as it is usually fully booked! (admission is by reserved slots and you’re only allowed to stay a maximum of 1 hour in the cafe) Prior day reservations are not allowed and their “reservation policy” is that on the day itself, you’ll need to queue to register for a timeslot and make payment on the spot. Hence, Hannah’s advice to me was that in order to ensure that I can be guaranteed a slot to get into the cafe, I’ll need to queue at least 1 hour before the cafe opens.
Unfortunately on the day of my visit, I was running late (had spent too much time indulging in yummy food at a restaurant! LOL!!) and only got to the cafe about an hour after it opened (it was a Friday and the cafe’s operating hours were from 2pm-9pm) and I was mentally prepared to be turned away at the door. The lady in the picture above was updating the status of the bookings for the day on the handwritten notice at the front door. I was surprised that the last slot of the day (i.e. 8pm) was still available but seats were being filled up fast! Wow…I quickly made my payment (2000 yen per person) and my reservation was confirmed! Yeah!!
We were told to return at 7:55pm (i.e. 5min before the appointed time), so we headed off to while away the time and came back at the end of the day a little tired (since we had done lots of walking earlier), but the sight of the adorable owls soon made us forget our weariness and perked us up!! ^_^
Upon entering, we saw 2 live owls housed in box-like enclosures against the left wall of the cafe.
Ama-chan was born blind and there was a sign telling visitors not to touch it, otherwise you will give it a terrible fright.
The other one, Mozuku-chan, was also not to be touched, but I must say that it looked cute!!
Here’s one of Mozuku-chan sitting down on its perch – KAWAII!!!!
Further into the cafe were several small owls and those at the back were having some “time off”, so customers weren’t allowed to touch them. The ones at the front could be interacted with – just let the cafe staff know which owl you would like to “befriend” and they will assist you by placing the owl on your arm.
Here’s a closer look at the owls (picture below) – the ones at the far end seemed to be checking me out and they looked SOOOO CUTE!!! (sorry, but I just can’t help repeatedly gushing about their cuteness!)
As a result, guess which one I picked to be my first owl friend? LOL…
You can choose to have these small owls perched on your arm, on your shoulder or on your head. If you choose any of the last two, the staff will ask whether you would mind if they pooped on you – if you tell them that you’re fine with that, then they will proceed to place them on your shoulder/head. As you can see from the picture below, this little one is actually quite tiny! Its feathers were surprisingly very soft and fluffy!!
The second owl, which I chose to interact with, refused to look at the camera and this was the best shot that I could get!
I love the patterns on this next little one’s feathers! I’m not sure why it was perched by itself, right next to the sitting area, but you can interact with it too.
I was rotating myself and turning my arm to try to get it to look at the camera but its head kept turning to look everywhere else except at the camera!
We finally managed to get a shot but with its head facing its back! LOL!! Anyway, this picture demonstrates the flexibility of an owl’s head!
Larger owls were kept on the right side of the cafe, just next to the entrance. We were told not to bring the small owls to this area and also not to bring these large owls over to the other side of the cafe where the smaller owls were. WHY? This is because the large owls will prey on the smaller owls and we do not want a bloodbath!
The first of the larger owls – gosh, it was heavy!! I didn’t have it for long on my arm before it regurgitated some food! Thankfully one of the staff pre-empted this and managed to catch that undigested gooey lump before it fell onto the floor!! I didn’t dare to look at what was purged out, just in case it was part of a mouse or some other rodent!
This next one was heavy too and I liked its hooded look! However, it seemed fascinated by the metal buttons on my coat and kept pecking at them!!
This Barn Owl had its own perch…
…and I was glad that I managed to spend a little time with it too.
Included in the admission fee is one drink – take your pick from the menu and you’ll need to place your order upon entering the cafe (i.e. before the owl interaction). If you want an alcoholic drink, you’ll need to pay an additional 200 yen.
I ordered Strawberry Au Lait and it came covered with a piece of cling wrap just in case there is an “accident” with feathers or bird droppings – it wasn’t much to rave about, but I was there for the owls, so the drink wasn’t really important to me.
Also included as part of the admission fee is a souvenir (one per person) and there are several to choose from, so you’ll need to raise your hand to indicate that you want it when they show the items one at a time.
As there were limited quantities of each souvenir item (all with an owl theme – earrings, bracelets, plushies, etc..), depending on the demand, if there are more people who want the item, you will need to play a game of rock-paper-scissors and the winners will get their “prize”.
There was only 1 handkerchief available and my hubby opted for that – the shop’s owner was surprised that there were no other takers, so he got it easily. I chose the mini owl plushie, which is actually a phone/bag strap, but as there were only 3 of these available and 4 of us who wanted them, we spent about 5-10 minutes “fighting” it out by playing jankenpon!! Heehee…somehow my plushie felt more “valuable” after all that hard work to earn it!
Alas, that one hour passed rather quickly and I didn’t have enough time to take selfies with every single owl! Took one last look at the cute owls and I was sad to bid farewell to my new found feathery friends but at least my little plushie was my consolation and will serve as a reminder of my experience there!
Fukurou no Mise 「フクロウのみせ」
Tōkyō-to, Chūō-ku, Tsukishima 1-27-9, Japan.
Take the Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line or Toei Oedo Line to Tsukishima Station. It’s about a 2 minute walk from Exit 10 – once you get to street level, you should see Hotto Motto across the road and there is a grocery store on its right. Walk along the street between Hotto Motto and the grocery store, keeping to the side of the grocery store and you should see the cafe after a short walk.
Wednesday-Thursday, 2pm – 6pm
Friday, 2pm – 9pm (English speaking staff is available every Friday)
Saturday, 12pm – 9pm
Sunday, 12pm – 6pm
Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Things to Note:
- Same-day reservations start an hour before opening time (on a first-come-first-served basis). You will need to pay 2000 yen per person to secure your reservation. Please inform the staff on your choice of preferred timing, your name and the number of people in your group. If you arrive at the cafe and none of the cafe’s staff is in sight, knock softly on the glass door and you may need to be patient and wait for a while before a member of staff comes out.
- Once you have a confirmed reservation, do ensure that you return to the cafe at least 5 mins before your appointed time and wait outside until the staff comes out to mark the attendence for the next session. Note that your reservation will be automatically cancelled if you are more than 15 mins late.
- At the time of my visit, each 1-hour slot can take up to 12 people (there were 6 seats around the sofa area and another 6 seats at the bar counter).
- Children under 2 years of age are prohibited from entering the cafe (for safety reasons).
- Videography is not allowed in the cafe but it is alright to take photos (no flash photography please!)
- Once payment has been made, there will be no refunds.
- An English-speaking staff is available only on Fridays, but do note that her vocabulary is quite limited. I tried to ask several questions in English just to clarify some of my doubts, but she didn’t understand me and it was only when I switched to broken-Japanese that she finally understood and provided the answers to my questions!
- Do listen to the instructions from the staff before interacting with the owls. If you happen to go on a day which isn’t a Friday and the instructions are only given in Japanese, please check the coffee table to see if there are any instruction cards that are written in English.
- DO NOT bring the large owls over to the section with the small owls and vice-versa. This is because the larger owls will eat the smaller owls and we do not want that to happen!
- If the owls try to fly, slowly stretch your hand (i.e. the one which is holding the owl) upwards and above your head, then bring it back down slowly and gently.
- Finally, DO BE GENTLE WITH ALL THE OWLS!! Yes, they are cute, fluffy and are silky smooth to the touch, so if you pet them, please ensure that you avoid any sudden movements and do not use force! I’ve kept birds (not owls) as pets before and you can actually tell if they get annoyed.