When I first heard about the Owl Village my first reaction was . . . “Oh, those poor owls.” However, the more I read about the animal cafes that have become very popular in Japan my curiosity won out. So on a recent layover in Japan I decided to head to Harajuku and check it out.
Owl Village is open from 11:00am – 7:00pm with reservations being taken in 1 hour blocks. There is a limited amount of slots for each time period so make sure you get there early to sign up or you can make an online reservation ahead of time. Children must be 6 years or older.
When we visited Owl Village there were 3 packages to choose from . . .
We chose the Special Course (2000 yen) and received a drink and Macha Green Tea Shaved Ice dessert along with 2 owl souveniers.
Our package allowed us 35 minutes to spend interacting with the 8 owls. When your time comes, your small group enters a glass aviary where the owls are housed. First, the staff describes (in English) the various owl species, their specific personality traits and the best way to approach them. You can also purchase food (500 yen) to feed them.
Then they allow you to handle the owls including having them sit on your arm if you wish. Of course, because of their sharp talons you are required to wear a heavy duty glove that covers most of your forearm. Some of them will even fly to you and land on your arm.
My personal thoughts . . .
I really wasn’t sure what to expect but it did seem like the owls were being treated well with lots of downtime between the small groups of people visiting. I enjoyed petting them and found that they were a lot softer than they look. Some of them also close their eyes and start to purr when you rub their necks.
Most of the staff spoke English and were very friendly and accommodating . . . especially when we wanted to take photos with the owls. They went out of their way to get the owl’s attention so we could get the perfect photo.
This is Bob. He played Hedwig in the Harry Potter movie.
I wasn’t a big fan of owls beforehand but I have to say that I have gained a newfound love for them. How could anyone resist this adorable face?
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Owner of An Island Life. A flight attendant and mother to 3 beautiful girls. . . living a blessed life in Hawaii.