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.
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.
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.
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 –
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
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!