Forget cat cafes! Look whoooo’s in now!

From ninja or robot-themed restaurants, to the plethora of vending machines that spit out anything from cigarettes, hot/cold foods, and even underwear, Japan is well-known for their creativity and just plain weirdness with taking things to the next level. Especially with food, the Japanese are always coming out with new ideas and trends that are even more weird and crazier than the last!

One super popular and ever-growing obsession in Japan are cafes. Not just the regular cafes where you go in, take a seat, and enjoy your cup of hot joe and a book, but maid cafes and animal cafes! In the recent years, cat cafes have become something to talk about and experience. Everyone knows that cat cafes are just so kawaii (cute) and are beginning to draw attention in different countries all over the world. But now, there is a new kawaii animal that is making an appearance in cafes: OWLS!

I haven’t been to a cat cafe yet, and honestly, am not planning on it. Actually, as a friend once perfectly put it (when I’d explained the idea behind a cat cafe and how it worked), “that’d be like someone literally putting me in the middle of my worst nightmare!” I am not a cat person. I can make it through dealing with one, maybe two cats. But just the idea of sitting at a table trying to enjoying a beverage while many (and by many I mean at least 20) cats roam everywhere- above you, around you, on you..- is not my idea of fun or kawaii at all.

However, owls I enjoy 🙂 So wanting to explore all the rage of these animal cafes while being here in Japan, I jumped the moment I heard of owl cafes. And, as luck would have it, one had recently opened up near us in Fukuoka, Japan.

"Owl Hakata Family" or the owl cafe, is located inside the Kawabata Arcade in Hakata, Fukuoka. (It is at the end of the arcade by Canal City).
“Owl Hakata Family” or the owl cafe, is located inside the Kawabata Arcade in Hakata, Fukuoka. (It is at the end of the arcade by Canal City).

However, unlike any of your regular coffee shops, you can’t just stroll into this one and expect a seat right away. Reservations, in person, are required. They take groups of people every hour, on the hour, and you have one hour to enjoy the cafe. There is a one drink requirement for each person (we brought our 11 month old and had to pay for one for him too, so be careful it can add up).

Upon entering, you will be shown upstairs to a small cafe. Here you will spend the first 10 minutes or so ordering your drink, sanitizing your hands, and listening to the demonstration of rules and protocols (which they also have a copy of in English and Chinese if you can’t understand Japanese).

Table in the cafe with hand sanitizer and drink menu. Super cute wall decor!
Table in the cafe with hand sanitizer and drink menu. Super cute wall decor!
Cute!
Cute!
There is a one drink requirement for each person, starting at 1000yen. Alcoholic drinks are 1700yen/person ($15/16 US!!)!!
There is a one drink requirement for each person, starting at 1000yen. Alcoholic drinks are 1700yen/person ($15/16 US!!)!!
Protocols and rules for visiting with the furry friends.
Protocols and rules for visiting with the furry friends.

After the staff is finished explaining the rules of interacting with the owls, you are free to go downstairs (or finish your drink) and hang out with the owls. You do not have to stay the allotted hour if you do not want and you can also return upstairs to finish your beverage.

Heading downstairs to see the owls!
Heading downstairs to see the owls!
You can't touch the owls in the green area, they're resting.
You can’t touch the owls in the green area, they’re resting.

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Sleepy time.
Sleepy time.

The staff will assist in helping you hold the owls. You can hold them on your hand, arm, shoulder, or head- but they do warn you of getting pooped on if you choose your shoulder or head, so be forewarned!! There are many different sizes of owls there. There were about 4 or 5, small, medium, and large owls, that we were able to choose from to hold and pet (or you can hold them all!).

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Photo time.
Photo time!

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Me attempting owl eyes ;)
Me attempting owl eyes 😉

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Kawaii! Just look at his face!
Kawaii! Just look at his face!
Kawaii!
Kawaii!

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Looking off in the distance.
Looking off in the distance.
Me and the Big Guy!
Me and the Big Guy!
You can check out the owl trinkets and souvenirs upstairs in the cafe too!
You can check out the owl trinkets and souvenirs upstairs in the cafe too!

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Lindsay View All →

Our roots will forever be from here, America, born and raised. Yet, life requires us to move more frequently than we care to count. Whether living stateside or abroad, you can always find us traveling somewhere. We scout out places that you only think you can dream of one day seeing and we seek out those that aren’t found in guidebooks. We then bring them to life here in our travel memos, so hopefully, one day you too can visit them or at least be able to live vicariously through us. This blog isn’t just about crossing off places from a bucket list. It’s about absorbing and learning how other cultures grow and fit into the same world that we do. Life is short and the world is big. Enjoy and get out there!

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