Japan

Owl no Mori – owl cafe in Akihabara!

One would never guess that on the 5th floor of a building which opens out to a small street behind the Akihabara Donki (Don Quixote), there would be a forest of owls.

Elusive? Much like owls!

If I hadn’t been explicitly searching for Owl no mori, I 100% would not have found it. In fact, even though I knew the name, it was incredibly difficult to locate the cafe on our first night in Japan on this trip, and we almost gave up. Luckily we decided to pop into the grocery store and buy some discounted sushi, and I saw the sign for Owl no mori while we ate sushi at the side of the road lol

 

The decor is interesting (to say the least), with odd trinkets mixed in with faux plants, fluorescent tropical aquariums, fairy lights, and additional seating in the form of leather rotating chairs. Not what I typically imagined an owl cafe would look. On the bright side, it also did not smell heavily of birds either considering how many owls they kept in the establishment.

interior of the owl area of the cafe owl no mori
The owl petting area / shared space is all covered in little bark flakes on the floor. 

But what you want to see the most are the owls right?

When you first enter the cafe, there’s a payment area with drink vending machines on the left. Even as you walk through the door, a young owl will greet you from its perch next to the payment desk. From there on, you will be briefed on how the cafe operates, and led to the owl enclosure you see in the photo above!

There are so so many owls, I definitely did not capture all of them. The young ones you can hold and pet are only a couple months old, so certainly there will be new owls every so often.

sleepy barn owl owl no mori
The barn owl is always alert when moving around or when it’s not being pet, but when it’s perched or petted it looks so content/asleep!
warning signs around owls that could be dangerous owl no mori
Warning signs are around all the large owls, but some of the medium sized owls have them too
cute brown owl owl no mori
The brown owl is so chubby!
cute grey owl owl no mori
But so is the grey one~
some small owls perched quietly owl no mori
Some small owls perched quietly
proud owl - owl no mori
Proud owl. I think this one grows up to be the really angry looking owl…
owl doing head bobble owl no mori
Some owls bobble their head very quickly. It’s difficult to capture what they look like! And some appear to have no neck but can bobble so far!
owls are so regal! Hedwig and grey counterpart owl no mori
Owls are so regal!

The heavier owls could be more dangerous, but are also heavier. I guess both contribute to why customers are not advised to hold them or pet them.

angry owl owl no mori
Angry owl. There are several of these. From the side they just look stern…
angry owl from the front owl no mori
But from the front they just look really angry. And their gaze follows you as you move!

The angry large owls are kind of amusing to watch. I tried to have a staring contest with one but I lost by a long mile.

Naturally, they had a hedwig for all you harry potter fans –

petting hedwig! owl no mori
Hedwig wasn’t as soft as I imagined, but has a dense and sleek coat of feathers~

Look at it giving my bf the most unimpressed side-eye ever hahaha

We got to the cafe only an hour before it closed. It was pretty empty, just us and one or two other groups so we weren’t short on owls, but I only managed to hold two. There was a distinct language barrier which made it very difficult to ask for a particular owl to hold. The hostess at the cafe actually gave us a morepork to hold at first, after finding out we were from New Zealand. The morepork is really cute when it’s young ~

My favourite has to be the barn owl though! See all that fluff at the top of its head? The feathers are actually all puffed up about a cm or two so it’s super fluffy, light, and airy! It’s the softest cutest owl ever <3

photo with my favourite fluffy barn owl
My favourite fluffy barn owl. Its feathers are super puffy!

The entry fee for this owl cafe is very affordable, and a huge bargain for the experience of holding and petting an owl. It is honestly one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had and far more unique than any cat or dog or rabbit cafe could be. The owls are not scary – even the big ones when they fall off their perch and flap around to get back on aren’t actually scary (the hostess would go over and help them back onto their perch btw).

I would highly recommend you visit Owl no mori if you have the opportunity to. I believe they’ve expanded to several cities too!

  • David Wilson

    When I was living in Cleveland I frequently drove through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park at night while heading home from Akron.Quite a few times I got startled by something suddenly dropping down into my headlights and quickly manuvering out of the way before I would hit it.I tried to figure out what it was but it would happen so fast I couldn’t tell.One night I finally got a good look at the perpatrator.It was an owl.I honestly think that the owls were sitting in a tree by the road and playing some sort of game with the cars for fun.Owls are really cool!

    • Haha playful little characters, they are! I’d be wary of the ones in nature though – these owls have been raised with human contact and are really nice but owls are born carnivores, predators of the night!

  • omgsh!! Who knew it was right behind Don Quixote!! Wish I had known this sooner~ Oh wells~ I’ll pop it into my next trip to Japan plans 😛

    -LAZYPANDAH
    ♥ lazypandah blog (✪㉨✪)♥