Who Thinks Japan’s Owl Cafes Are A Hoot?

Who Thinks Japan’s Owl Cafes Are A Hoot?

Forget cat cafes. Or blackcat cafes. Or penguin bars. Japan’s latest novelty cafe is the “fukurou cafe” (フクロウカフェ), or the “owl cafe.”

Owl cafes like Fukurou no Mise (“Owl Shop”) and Tori no Iru Cafe (“The Cafe with Birds”) started getting noticed online in Japan late last year.

This summer saw more owl cafes open, and currently there are owl cafes like Fukurou Sabou (“Owl Teahouse”) in Tokyo, Owl Family in Osaka, and Crew, another owl cafe in Osaka, among others.

The owl cafes vary. Some of the cafes even serve owl-themed snacks. Some of them allow you to hold the birds while you drink coffee, while others have much stricter rules about handling then animals.

But before you think owl cafes are the greatest thing ever, here’s what one U.K. owl sanctuary has to say about keeping the animals as pets: “Our basic advice to those who may be considering keeping an owl as a pet is — DON’T.” The sanctuary added that they’re noisy, smelly, and warned that, yes, they can be dangerous. So, maybe don’t bring little kids to these cafes?

Then, there’s the fact that these are nocturnal animals, awake during the day for the customers… Maybe, they’re on a different sleeping rhythm, but still, I wouldn’t want someone screwing up my sleep schedule.

Photos: ayano19920319, Crew, AreaBaby, sleepykkk, aamemiii, 鳥のいる, Trendy, FG_75, Daily, diyghr, okhr24, ryukichisan, eiraku, tktk1031, supermillmill, kamb_or_tp, ikuyoueda, tech_k, りきや, おりと

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Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.


    • This is a very real concern tbh. I’ve seen kyoto zoo. The bear has an open gaping wound on it’s chest, and it looked more than a few days old. The tigers are so thin I doubt they have any fat at all, and they were trapped in what was basically a hot box in the middle of summer(the air con unit was turned off, as well). Next to them was a pretty decent open air cage thing they could’ve been let into safely. The lions were matted as hell – that’s how I got my dog, dirt encrusted hair stuck to the chest. I would not be surprised if there were ant colonies in that fur. Half the birds were in cages they couldn’t open their wings in, the baboon had some kind of scabies on her rump(oozing, and since she had a child..). Worst is the hippo, though. It’s in a tiny box, with nothing to do. I just floats in a swimming pool about half the size of the average backyard job. It’s in the ground with no windows it can see out of.

      I hope the owner of the cafe actually cares about the birds – there’s plenty of nice places for them to go after it’s all done. Wild may not be an option, but reserves or something..

      Now I’m sad again.

    • Same thing when people buy pets for Christmas they no longer want. Should probably deal with that first, then worry about these owls.

      • In Western culture, owls represent wisdom. I can see no wisdom in putting owls, creatures who are nocturnal in nature, in a cafe for humans to interact with.

        Edit: whoops. Accidentally replied to you, cilantro. It was just meant to be a general comment.

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