Originating in Taiwan and reaching peak popularity in Japan, animal cafes have become a phenomenon all over the world. While cat cafes are the most widely popular iterations of animal cafes worldwide, different businesses host animals of all kinds, from dogs to rabbits, and even birds!
In Tokyo's famous Akihabara district sits Akiba Fukurou, a cafe that is hosted not by cuddly cats or bouncing bunnies, but by adorable owls! TikTok user @sam_thegirl and her partner documented their delightful afternoon at Akihabara's charming "owl cafe"!
OMG!!! So cute!!! As fluffy and adorable as some owls are, we've never really thought of them as social birds before. However, these birds are surprisingly social and friendly- perhaps being well-rested from their naptime. Sam and Scott got to do so much with these birds, from petting them to feeding them and even participating in their training! Those coffees looked totally delish, too.
Understandably, however, a few commenters were concerned about the ethics of such a business. "Owls belong outside, not in a cafe. Idk just looks sad to me but glad you enjoyed it," worried @phrogbiddie. "Do they not get to go outside? Aren't owls (or most) Nocturnal? If they aren't rescues - this just seems unnecessary and a little cruel," @kornii6 was concerned. It seems harsh, but these are fair questions to ask- not all animal cafes are ethical. "For people visiting make sure you do your research, cus not all are good. Some just breed these animals for cafe purposes only and they live there 24/7," warned @__marrriia__.
Luckily, however, this is not the case at Owl Cafe Akiba Fukurou. "Saw someone commented their research: The cafe is owned by a married couple, the owls are ex-pets or rescues who can’t be released. They are loved," said @teademon22. "Some of the owls have injuries or chronic neurological illness that prevents them flight, even with healthy wings. Staff walks the birds out to Yoyogi Park to get some time for them away from people," added @mandatorypp. The owners of this cafe are passionate about their birds and are committed to ethical animal behavior, ensuring that the owls lead healthy and enriching lives.
"Aight this, fox park, deer shrine, and rabbit island. Then I can die," resolved @usooooooooooo. This charming owl cafe has definitely made it onto our Tokyo bucket lists. Let's go- or as they say in Japan, ikimashou!
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