The Takeshita Dori in Harajuku, Tokyo is one the crowded streets in Japan especially on weekends. It is filled with fashion shops , souvenir stores, crepe stands and cafes. Talking about café, there is a newly opened one - Owl Cafe and Bar Owl Village right in the heart of this busy street. This doesn’t surprise me at all since theme cafes are very popular in the country.
pleas of once-caged owls
freed in a man-made forest
plastic autumn leaves
We went to the "owl village" one rainy Saturday. As we are only interested in owls, we purchased the Owl Forest Pass (with no time limit) for 680 yen. There’s a Bengal Cat Forest Pass too for 780 yen but it’s only good for 30 minutes. At the entrance, the shop explains some rules and how they take care of the owls. The place is suitable to give the owls a comfortable surroundings, closer to their natural home.
I always find owls mystical. And this is the closest encounter I had with them other than in fairy tales and movies. We were allowed to touch the back side of the owls. Some of the owls were sleeping. The shop is quite small but enough to accommodate 10 people at the same time. Since owls are nocturnal animals, the lights are kind of dim.
There were more than 10 species of owls at the village. Among them are Barn Owl, Indian Eagle Owl, Western Siberian Eagle Owl, Western Screech Owl. Perhaps we were drawn to owls’ mysticism that is why we forgot to record all of the species. I will not talk about environmental concerns and issues but I can sincerely feel that the shop is indeed taking good care of these owls.
Photography is allowed but flash photography is prohibited. These owls are great models, always ready for head shots. Just don't allow yourself to be hypnotized by them.
The staff can speak English so it won’t be a problem for tourists. As I mentioned earlier, you can stay as long as you want at the Owl Forest Café. We may return back for more photos.
Sherry, you may like these owl photos :-)
Photos taken with Nikon D7000,
lens: Nikkor 105 mm 2.8f