Cat cafes have been around for years in Japan. Since owning a pet can be expensive and most apartments don’t allow them, many Japanese visit pet cafes to get their fill of animal love. Since Japan is always looking for new and exciting things, cat cafes are now being pushed out of the spotlight by a new café, Owl Cafés!
Photo: Nathan Cooke on FlickrThis article will specifically be about the Owl Family Café in Osaka!
The owl café is quite popular and will fill up quickly, so it is smart to reserve a spot early. However, they have no phone. One has to go in person and make a reservation for a later time for that same day. If luck has it, they might have an opening the same or next hour of showing up to reserve. Only about twenty people are allowed in the café each hour.
When entering the café, the first thing one will see is the seating area. Beyond the seating area is the owl area, divided by a waist-high fence. The staff will immediately take the customers to sit down and offers a menu of drinks. There is a large variety to choose from such as juices, teas, sodas and even alcoholic beverages.
Once all the drinks are served the staff will do a quick briefing on the rules of the café. The staff only speaks in Japanese, with a few “No flash” or “bad, scared” phrases thrown in. All the rules of the café can be found in English on the opposite side of the menu. The rules explain how to pet the owls (only on their heads or backs using the backside of the fingers) and that no flash photography or video recording are allowed. Owls can be placed on customer’s heads, shoulders or hands. Also, when handling an owl, one must hold onto the rope at all times with one hand. The owl area is divided into two sections, the active owl side and the resting owl side. While pictures of the resting owls are allowed, one cannot pet or pickup these owls. Only the active owls are the ones that can be held and petted.
Photo : Natalie Downe on Flickr
The café has a wide variety of owl types and sizes. From a very small owl the size of a sparrow, to one so big that it is not allowed to be picked up. The owls all look healthy and some were still very excited to see and climb on people, despite being handled all day. The staff handles them very well. On a small propped-up wall by the register are pictures and names of some of the owls in the café. With these pictures are prices. Apparently some of the owls are available to buy, but for very high prices! The cheapest owl was around $4,000.00. There are also a few owl related souvenirs available for purchase against the wall of the seating area. The towel with the cafés name was logo was especially cute!
Customers pay for everything at the end of the hour. For the drink and the hour with the owls it only costs 1,000YEN. A great deal if one is looking for a unique experience!
This particular owl café is open from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm every day except Mondays. Please check their website for more information!