Most apartments in Japan have strict no-pet policies (including ours) which explains the allure and popularity of animal cafes here. After the first cat cafe opened in Taipei in 1998, the concept went on to blossom in Japan where visitors can spend time with all kinds of animal companions. You can find cafes dedicated to cats, rabbits, owls, goats, penguins and more.
Owl Village opened in Harajuku at the end of last year and is home to seven curious owls. It’s a small and peaceful space divided in two, separating the cafe from the birds. We were lucky to visit on a quiet day and spend some time alone with these incredible creatures. We were introduced to each one, learning about their origin and temperament before taking turns at holding them.
While I couldn’t help but worry how the owls feel about it all, I’ve never seen them so close and was fascinated by the different species, their giant eyes and astonishingly soft feathers. Introducing in order; Canon the barn owl (above), Kukku the bengal eagle owl, Ohagi the little owl, Bob the eurasian eagle owl, Schola the northern white faced owl and Wasabi the great horned owl.