Owls have always fascinated me, and it was an absolute delight to meet these mysterious creatures of the night up close. This café's name cleverly incorporates both its location, Ikebukuro, and the Japanese term for owl, fukuro (梟). It is home to many feathery and beady eyed “staff” members. It takes just 5 minutes to walk there from Ikebukuro Station.
The café is quite small, and you are advised to book in advance. Even on a weekday afternoon, it was at full capacity. There is no room to wait around, but there are plenty of shops in the area. They take customers in by one-hour slots on the hour, so you if you arrive late, you will only get to spend the rest of the hour before being ushered out. You will have a lot of fun interacting and taking pictures of and with the owls, and one hour will fly by very quickly.
The great thing about this café is the hands-on experience, and it comes at no added cost. You can the soft fuzzy owls as much as you want, and pose for pictures with them perched on your arm, shoulder and even head. For the bigger birds with sharper talons, you will be given protective gloves to wear.
There is a briefing at the beginning of each session, and instructions are provided on a sheet of paper in English if you can’t understand Japanese. One hour costs ¥1400 on weekdays and ¥1600 on weekends. You can get a ¥100 discount for tagging them in a post on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Payment is made for the full hour halfway through the session, and the price includes one bottled or canned drink that you can drink any time. There is also a small section of owl-related merchandise, but you will likely be too busy playing with the adorable owls to even think about drinking or shopping during the short session.
After hearing so much about the interesting animal cafes Tokyo has to offer, I couldn’t resist having a look at this unique concept myself. I was not disappointed and now firmly believe in the therapeutic effects of just being in the company of animals. In fact, it has been one of my most enjoyable experiences in Tokyo so far. If you are in area, I strongly urge you to drop by the Ikefukurou Café.