Everybody has most likely already heard about or been to cat cafes, which I suppose are definitely not considered any sort of novelty anymore. They have become an integral part of Tokyo — without cat cafes peppered around town, it wouldn’t be Japanese enough. Since Japanese people love new interesting things and they love animals — I’m not surprised that a new trend took off recently. The first time I saw that owl cafes exist and that they’re actually a thing, was when I watched my friend Laura’s video about one place in Osaka (watch the video →here←). Then a few days ago I read a blog post by Minty Lemony (read the blog post →here←) and thought that if there is such a place in Osaka, I was pretty darn sure I’d find a similar place in Tokyo. My hunch paid off and I was right, there are actually a few places and you can find some info about all of them →here←. The owl cafe I chose to visit happened to be closed on Tuesdays, but I found another one — and not only did it have owls, but also a small hawk and talking parrots!
Bird Cafe 鳥のいるカフェ
2 Chome-6-7 Kiba
Their website: http://www9.ocn.ne.jp/~toricafe/index.html
Their FB page: https://www.facebook.com/torinoirucafe
On that day I had my weekly Japanese class near Tokyo Station, so to get to Kiba (木場), I took the Marunouchi Line (東京メトロ丸ノ内線) to Otemachi (大手町) and changed to the Tozai Line (東京メトロ東西線) bound for Toyo Katsutadai (東葉勝田台). Be sure to use the 4A exit, which is the closest to the cafe. I had never been to Kiba before, but I found the place with little to no effort.
I was expecting long lines in front of the cafe but, well, I was wrong, there were just a few people inside. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that it was about 3 o’clock on a Tuesday and simply most people are working at that time.
When you see a place covered with bushes, YAY, you made it! You just arrived at 鳥のいるカフェ — Tori no iru cafe = Bird Cafe.
When you enter the place, you’ll be greeted by the whole gang. The owls and the hawk are in a special glass room, spending their time sleeping or gazing at the customers. But they’re not the only bird residents here.
The cafe itself is really small, there were about 16 seats and only two staff members. As you can see there’s a tree inside and it actually looked so real I didn’t really know whether it was fake or not. There were baby owls and some rather talkative parrots. They mainly shouted random things in their parrot language but there was one parrot named Ringo-chan which introduced herself (“Ringo-chan!”), greeted us politely (“Konnichiwa!” and “Ohayo!”) and reacted appropriately whenever she felt that her personal space was invaded (“Kowai! Kowai!” = “Scary!”).
A cute, bird-themed toilet
As I expected their menu had rather steep prices, but that’s not drinks or cheesecake that you’re paying for here. At first you need to order something and when you’re done drinking and eating, you can pay your bill and pay an additional 500 yen to spend 5 minutes with the owls.
I got this cheesecake & cafe latte set for 1100 yen. One more time – it’s not the food we’re paying for here but I must say that the cheesecake was pretty decent.
And a short introduction of the bird staff! Name, species, breed, date of birth, sex, weight, country of origin, special talents like talking, playful biting, cheerful singing, wiggle dance etc.
Apparently in other cafes customers are allowed to pet them and play with them for about an hour. One may think that 5 minutes is too short but there’s a reason for that. According to the guide we got from the staff, they simply get tired, and we don’t want the fluffy balls to feel bad, do we? From what I saw, they’re taken good care of, and I didn’t mind spending only 5 minutes with them. In fact, I thought that was just about right.
Here are some important rules, you’d better get familiar with before entering the petting room:
Time to go to the petting room!
This has to be the most dramatic owl I have ever seen. He played a tough guy at first and I was actually scared he would bite me, but he turned out to be a total sucker for attention. He seemed to respond with a quiet rapture when people would pet him!
Well, I actually didn’t have enough courage to hold any of the birds, but my boyfriend did and you can see that it was neither scary nor dangerous and the birdies were friendly.
It was sooo fluffy and cute ♥
Awwww look, someone was being shy ♥
These poor things…The notice says not to touch them because they’re still babies so their immune system is weak, but if you really want to pet them you should call the store assistant first.
After 5 minutes a bell rang and our time with the lovely owls was over. It was a nice experience, and as for the birdies, I’m positive they’re in responsible hands and the staff knows how to take proper care of them.
If you feel the sudden urge to be like Harry Potter for once in your life, come on by the Bird Cafe and find your very own Hedwig!
The most badass owl you’ve seen all day.