Cafe Owl Village in Harajuku
In the Harajuku area near Takeshita Street, there is a special store that allows the visitor to be in direct contact with real owls. The ‘Fukurou Café’ is an attraction that is gaining much fame among visitors from abroad. The store is in a building that at first glance is very common, but when entering the store you can feel the magical atmosphere that is produced by being able to be near these wonderful birds.
Owls are nocturnal raptors and they have raised feathers that look like ears. Their anatomy has fascinated humanity since the beginning of time. They can hear ten times better than humans and can turn their heads 270 degrees in both directions. They are fascinating birds and, throughout history have marveled at their presence in myths and legends. They are considered a symbol of light and wisdom.
Upon arriving at the store and registering, the staff in charge will give the visitor a menu to choose a drink and a small dessert before entering to see the owls. After the snack, the participants’ hands are disinfected and the rules that must be kept are explained:
-Do not take photos using flash.
-Before touching an owl first show them your hand so they do not get scared.
-Do not take any owl without the authorization of the staff.
-Be careful since owls do not have the training to control their physiological needs.
-Do not squeeze the owls or hug them, just gently rub them.
-Do not bring small owls closer to large owls as they could start fighting.
By understanding and respecting these rules, the experience in the cafe is very fun. The owls come from both Japan and from South American and African countries. They are very gentle as long as the hand is shown before caressing them. If you want to have more intimate contact with the birds, the staff will give you a glove (a bit heavy), where the owl you choose will rest on your arm for a few minutes, the perfect time to take photos or to bond with the little bird.
These owls are very well cared for and fed, therefore there is no need to worry about their bodily state. At the end of the experience, our hands were again disinfected and each of the participants was given a small souvenir.
This kind of cafe is not only found in Harajuku, there are similar cafes in most other parts of the city but the concept remains the same. If you really want to interact with an owl and have this unforgettable and unique experience, going to one of these cafes is a fun way to fulfill that fantasy.