I’m all about new experiences and trying something different. BUT, I also don’t like going too far to a location that would inconvenience me. As I was looking for things to do in Osaka on TripAdvisor that was near the hotel I was staying at (Best Western Fino Shinsaibashi Osaka), I found an Owl Cafe: Happy Owl Cafe Chouette. It only had one review at the time and it was close enough to check out.
We had our Japanese local with us but at the café they did speak enough English (with instruction card printed in English too) for us to get by. The price is 1500 JPY for 1 hour at the café and that includes one beverage. They didn’t have any alcohol but had a variety of tea, coffee and sodas. You can also extend your stay for 500 JPY for every additional 30 minutes.
After paying the entry fee we were escorted to a table and presented a drink menu. After ordering drinks, we were presented the rules of the Owl Café through an English printout. The first thing we were required to do was to sanitize our hands. This was of course to prevent the owls and other bar patrons from getting sick since we were all petting owls. It was intimidating at first since I didn’t know what to expect being around an owl. Their claws were very sharp and a lot of them didn’t look too happy. It makes sense because owls are nocturnal and this was daytime. Wouldn’t you be irritated if someone came into your home to take pictures with you at 3am?
The hostess showed us how to pet the owls. To pet the owl, gently stroke the beak. The owls did not like being touched anywhere else unless they were comfortable you. I guess I’m very similar. But, if you told me that I can pet an animal and only on the mouth, that sounds like you’re trying to get me to lose a finger.
All the owls had Japanese names. If I opened up my own owl café in America I’d give all the owls names like: Whitney Hoot-ston. Her favorite song is “Owl always love you.”