Before we talk about owls, I gotta show y’all some pictures from Osaka! We took the shinkansen (bullet train) there and back. It was such a whirlwind, literally. We were going 200 mph and Spencer and I both had “the flu” as my family would call it. Once there, we stayed at the Dormy Inn Namba which had an onsen (hot spring)!! The hotel was small (as I assume most are in Japan), but very nice and space efficient. We spent most of our time here at Dōntombori street. Which is comprised of shops, more shops, food stands, people, and more people. We tried a lot of food while we were here including takoyaki (fried octopus balls), okonomiyaki (cabbage pancake), but mostly importantly we had Kobe beef in Kobe. The multi-course meal was cooked right in front of us and was such a great experience!
Shinkansen (bullet train)
Manny and Spencer posing with the Glico Man. This sign has been up for more than 70 years and everyone was mimicking him!
Group photo with the head chef!
Now to the good stuff, the Owl Cafe. All over Japan are “themed” cafes/restaurants. Some are sumo or ninja themed and some are animal themed with live animals. I’ve seen owl cafes, hedgehog cafes, shiba cafes, cat cafes, and I’m sure there are a ton more I haven’t seen. Of course, I wanted to go to the first one I saw since it’s not something you see in the US. So within an hour of being in Osaka, I dragged the whole crew inside an owl cafe on the 3rd floor of some random building! The price was about $15 for 45 minutes and included a drink. Going up, I thought there was going to be 5 or 6 owls. I was wrong. There were probably 15 different owls, two hedgehogs, and two chipmunks. We were instructed not to make loud noises or use a flash while taking pictures. You were allowed to touch the owls, but only on their beaks. Some of the owls looked like robots you’d see in a theme park. Kind of freaky, but beautiful!
I left with mixed feelings about animal cafes. It seemed to me like the owls were being well taken care of and the owners made sure that customers knew how to properly interact with them. You can tell in some of the photos that the owls were tied down to their stand so they didn’t move. It was such a cool experience, but is that worth cooping up such beautiful creatures? What are your thoughts about them?
We all know I’d be a sucker for a snow owl named Harry.
Peko looked like he was a robot.