Written by: Kunihiko Miura
An owl was looking into my eyes through a glass wall at Tori no Iru Cafe (bird cafe) in the Kiba district of Koto Ward, Tokyo. Nowadays, cafes where customers can connect with owls are quietly gainly popularity in central Tokyo with people seeking comfort.
Mika Toriyama, 40, who opened the cafe in December, said, “I wanted as many people as possible to see beautiful owls.”
In the cafe, horned owls and other species of birds are kept in a glass enclosure. For a fee, customers can enter the enclosure and touch the birds.
Customers were happily chatting about the birds, saying, “The feather pattern on this bird is pretty, isn’t it?” while drinking coffee and other beverages.
At another cafe in the Tsukishima district of Chuo Ward, Tokyo, Fukuro no Mise (owl spot), more than 10 kinds of owls freely interact with patrons.
Customers are charged an hourly fee, which includes a drink. Customers can choose their favorite bird and place it on their arm or shoulder.
The cafe also sells birds, and the owner said more than 30 birds have been sold in the past six months.
The cafe is so popular that on weekends there is a long line in front of the shop before it opens.
Yukika Ofuji, a 34-year-old company employee who frequents the cafe, smiled with an owl on her arm and said, “I feel comforted as the birds closely watch me when I worry about illness or work, for example.”
Though it is unclear whether owls have a therapeutic effect on people, how about enjoying a drink with an owl on your arm, when you need a break from work?
If you enjoyed this article then please like my facebook page www.facebook.com/tokiotours