Translated byLester Somera
Just a Kansai guy trying to get by
Akiba Fukurou was the second-most popular tourist spot in Japan according to TripAdvisor last year. Hang out with the owls at this reservation-only cafe to find out why.
Located two minutes from JR Akihabara on foot, Akiba Fukurou is an intimate reservation-only animal cafe. Here, you can touch owls and take pictures with them at this comforting spot. On the TripAdvisor review site, it placed second on the list of most popular tourist spots in Japan for 2017, second only to Fushimi Inari in Kyoto. What is so captivating about this place?
When we visited on the appointed day, there was already a line out in front. On this day, more than half of the people in line were tourists.
While you wait, read the shop’s rules and introductions to the owls you’ll be able to meet, as well as their habitats. Currently the displays are only written in Japanese and English, but Akiba Fukurou is in the process of setting up a Chinese version.
・Remove any watches and accessories beforehand.
・Taking pictures is OK, but filming movies and the use of flash photography, selfie sticks or tripods are all prohibited.
・Set your phone to silent, as it could startle the owls.
・No whistling, tongue clicking, yelling or overly sudden movements.
・No children under seven.
Pay 2000 yen per person and put your belongings in the designated area. After disinfecting your hands, the staff will give you a simple explanation. There will be owls all over the interior, with a diverse range of sizes and personalities. When you find one that you like, tell the staff, and you can have an owl perch on your hand or shoulder, a maximum of two times a person.