When I was first researching cafes in Tokyo, I noticed a lot of them were owl cafes. I immediately got excited. Owls are my favourite kind of bird, and I’d always wanted to see one up close. But when I looked closer at the reviews, they were quite discouraging. Many talked about the owls being stressed out, anxious, and some even plucking out their own feathers. I heard of one particularly bad cafe in Ikebukuro which was a combined fox and owl cafe! What an awful idea. But I knew there would be a cafe out there that treated the owls with the respect they deserved, while also giving people (like me) the honour of interacting with them. That’s when I found Akiba Fukurou.
One thing that really attracted me to Akiba Fukurou is the opening times. As we all know, owls are nocturnal animals, so are energetic at night time. The cafe is open from 12pm – 7pm. Working around the owl’s natural sleep schedule. Another thing is that bookings are strictly limited to about 10 people at a time. Everyone is instructed to be very quiet inside the room, and the owls are settled and not overwhelmed by heaps of people! Once inside the cafe, the owners also pointed out special signs above the owls. Some said that the owls were ‘resting’ from a previous session and we could not touch them. This was another great part of Akiba Fukurou – they really cared about their owls.
Careful instructions are provided about how to interact with the owls before you enter the cafe. The staff also keep a careful eye on guests. Once inside the cafe it is about 2000 yen for 1 hour + a special photograph. One important fact (they forgot to remind us of!) is that you can only hold 2 owls during this hour. So please choose carefully! I chose Arsene Lupin as my first, and then after 10 minutes with him put him back down! If i knew I only had one more owl to choose from I would have spent more time with sweet Arsene!
For bigger owls like Arsene you must wear a glove while they are carefully placed in your arms. Smaller owls can go on either your bare hand or shoulder. Once on my hand Arsene was so calm! He let me pat him and we were just chilling. My second owl was Sweet Potato. He was originally put on my hand but climbed his way up to my shoulder to relax near my face. Both owls were incredibly sweet and friendly.
I truly enjoyed my time at Akiba Fukurou, and would love to go back. For any owl cafe in Tokyo I really recommend choosing this one. The owls are very well treated, and every effort is made so that the owls and humans both enjoy the experience. You can even combine a visit with Akiba Fukurou with a trip to Akihabara! Book on their site over here 🙂! There is an English booking system – so it’s incredibly quick and easy.