Translated by Hilary Keyes
Meet Owls In Kichijoji: Musashino Cafe & Bar Owl Village
Written by OsawaKimie
Places that combine people's love for animals with relaxation are known as animal cafes. Quite popular with both locals and tourists, let's meet the owls at Owl Village in Kichijoji.
Only Japan? Animal Cafe Culture
Places that combine people's love for animals with relaxation are known as animal cafes. At an animal cafe not only can you enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of the cafe but you can get closer to many cute little animals, much as you would at a petting zoo. Originally only found in Japan, these cafes have been popular for many years and have now spread out to other cities around the world too. They are also quite popular with visitors to Japan.
Today let's visit an unusual cafe found in Kichijoji, the Musashino Cafe & Bar Owl Village.
Musashino Cafe & Bar Owl Village
A 2 minute walk from Kichijōji station is Musashino Cafe & Bar Owl Village. Within this shop you can meet barn owls, Bengal eagle owls and many other types of owls.
This cafe is always extremely busy. If you would like to get in to see the owls without having to wait, you should really make a reservation in advance. While the shop is relatively open during weekdays, there are some times when it is difficult to make a reservation and you may need to give a range of times available. If you can make reservations online via their website you can receive a discount.
There are two courses available at Owl Village.
Cafe Course (60 minutes)
Weekdays 13:00-17:00 Sat/Sun/Holidays 11:00-17:00
2500 yen per person (includes 1 drink and a souvenir)
Bar Course (60 minutes)
3000 yen per person (includes 1 drink and a souvenir)
For special discounts: reserve online, follow their Twitter or Like their Facebook!
If you would like more details about their coupons, please check out their homepage.
Now, let's find out more about the services and charms of Owl Village.
Point 1: Space to Relax and Meet the Owls
Owls are creatures that people in Japan seldom see in the wild. However at Owl Village, you can see them up close and even come into contact with them.
If you wish to know more about owls, please feel free to ask the staff any of your questions. The above photo is of Schola (who lives at the Shinjuku location), the northern white-faced owl. If you look closely, you can see that she is covered in small angled feathers.
For the owls that are comfortable with people, you can even experience having one rest on your arm, and even take a photo while it happens.
And, depending on the mood of the owls, you may even be able to feed them (500 yen). Watching charming scenes like this right before your eyes is sure to make you break into a smile.
Point 2: Foreign Language/Tourist Friendly Services
There are many visitors from abroad at Owl Village. For their sake the course guides, menus and prohibitions have all been translated into English, Chinese and Korean.
And, within the shops free Wi-Fi is available.
Point 3: the Original Owl Cafe
Isn't it a problem for nocturnal creatures like owls to be awake during the day? Actually, the owls eat only according to their own biological clocks. All of the owls found at Owl Village came from a breeder who not only raised them to be comfortable around humans but to also be active during the daytime; they also routinely undergo health checks.
As owls don't like the heat very much, the temperature and humidity of the shop are constantly adjusted, 25 minutes of every hour is spent taking a break, and in the early morning the owls are taken for a walk in the park. All the staff at Owl Village have been diligently trained in proper owl care and handling.
Point 4: Watch them Grow Up
All the owls at Owl Village have been with the shop since they were young. In the above photo, you can see just how different the barn owl Waltz is compared to when he was a month old. In the dining space you can see plenty of handmade photo albums chronicling their growth.
There are also some of the eggshells from the births of other owls on display here.
Point 5: Enjoying Drinks in the Cute Dining Space
At Musashino Cafe & Bar Owl Village, it goes without saying that the owl space and the dining space are separated. This makes it easier to interact with the owls and is much more sanitary.
In the cute dining space you can order drinks that have been designed based on the owls themselves. In the above photo are the option menus (500 yen) with the owl-designed drinks (such as apple juice, beer, etc).
Important Manners and Rules to Follow
When meeting the owls, there are many points that you must be aware of for safety reasons. If you want to truly enjoy your time with the animals you must remember the following:
1. No flash photography.
2. When touching the owls head, be very gentle.
3. Speak quietly (owls have very sensitive hearing).
4. Before touching the owls, disinfect your hands with the alcohol cleaner provided.
If you would like to see owls in person, want to spend time around animals or are looking for a date spot, why not give Kichijōji's Musashino Cafe & Bar Owl Village a try?
Musashino Cafe & Bar Owl Village
Address: Tokyo, Musashino, Kichijōji Honmachi 1-26-1 JK Kichijōji Building 201 (2F)
Hours: Café Course weekdays 13:00-17:00 Sat/Sun/holidays 11:00-17:00
Bar Course evenings 18:00-21:00
Closed: Every Wednesday (if a holiday, the next day)
Menus in Other Languages: English, Chinese, Korean
Price: Cafe course 2500, Bar course 3000
Nearest Station: Kichijōji Station (吉祥寺駅)
Access: 2 minute walk from North exit of Kichijōji station
Homepage: Owl Village
Facebook: Owl Village (mainly Japanese)