You might have heard about the themed cafes here in Japan-cat, rabbit, bird, hammock, maid, butler- the list goes on.
Personally, they’re one of my favorite things in Tokyo because there’s very few themed cafes and restaurants in America.
In June my husband and I visited the Fukuro Sabo Owl Cafe in Kokubunji, Tokyo to celebrate our birthdays (he is 1 day older than I am).
The cafe itself is about a 15 minute walk from Kokubunji station and is situated in a residential area, so prepare for a short walk downhill.
It is very small and seats maybe 10 people, so be sure to consider that if you decide to visit the cafe. You might even have to wait outside for a table, but you can pass the time by watching the huge brown owls who live just in front of the indoor cafe space. I do not know the species, but they are really large and beautiful.
The staff speaks virtually no English, and back then we spoke and understood even less Japanese than we did now. We still had a wonderful time even though we couldn’t talk with the staff as much as we wanted to. Now that I think about it, we might go back there since we can at least understand more of the language, even though we both struggle to speak it.
The menu is also in Japanese, but there are pictures of a few of the items. If I remember correctly we just bought soda, but they offer coffee, tea, sweets, spaghetti, and a few other simple menu items. You are also given a picture menu of the owls they have available for you to hold and pet.
You eat first, then the owl is brought out so there’s no worry about getting feathers in your food! First the staff brings a leather glove and a few towels, then they gently place the owl on your arm and show you how to pet him/her. You can take as many pictures (without flash) as you want, so it was a really nice experience.
I chose to hold Shiro, a barn owl. I told the staff that it was our birthday and she let me hold the other barn owl for free as a present! The Japanese people never cease to amaze and humble me with their hospitality and kindness.
This was an unexpected experience in the center of a large residential district, so if you get the opportunity to visit the Sabo Owl cafe, please do so.