A Table For Whoo, Please

By stalking RocketNews 24 methodically and patiently patrolling The Interwebs, CO has managed to keep a pretty firm eye on All Things J. (As in All Things Japan.) Sometimes, though, we come across something that’s a hoot.*

Take for example, Owl Cafés!!! We’ve documented Kitteh Cafés, but this takes it to a ‘nuther level. Check these photos out! (Photos from Kotaku.com and Design Taxi.)


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(*Pun borrowed from Kotaku.com, couldn’t help it.)



  1. D’you have something in a Morpork?

  2. QUICK .. Someone call Harry Potter and tell him his owl is hanging out in Japan

  3. OMG…must start saving money now to go to Japan.

  4. While they are cute, can we get more details? Please tell me they don’t live in those teeny tiny cages.. please tell me it is a rescue and not just “pets.”

  5. I read the page it looks like they really are gimmicks for the cafe scene. This is definitely cute but sad. The owls are stunning, gorgeous and adorable but the conditions look atrocious! If you go to the site you can see how small the cages and shops themselves are. Holy toledo moly, those poor owls.

  6. This owl cafe sounds sad. Do the owls have a chance to fly or are their wings clipped? Are these nocturnal birds kept awake all day? I’m not sure what the laws are regarding pets in Japan, but it seems like anything goes.
    While living there I would often go to their pet stores to see the variety of animals offered. The most unusual I saw were owls, a shetland pony, a gigantic bunny, squirrels, and a marmot.

  7. Coffee Cup says:

    With cafes I always assume it’s a gimmick. Japan and certain European countries seem to be big on them, and while I think it’s adorable and I’d love to go to a cafe full of kittens, I know they’re not treated as pets. They certainly don’t get to bond with the same people all the time.

    Japan also has sleep shops where men pay for women to sleep next to them. “Odd” is the nicest thing I can say. So I wouldn’t be that surprised if Japan doesn’t have much on the books in the way of conditions for keeping animals safe and treated well.

  8. I’m with the Nuffers on this one. Too sad to be cute.

  9. Agree…this is sad, not cute. And while I think it’s okay to have a pup or kitty in a café, I wouldn’t want to dine with something that flies (and might er, “season” my meal).

  10. While we tend to think of owls as nocturnal, most of them are day creatures. I live on the border of town and country and often see owls hunting when I walk my dogs in the afternoon.

  11. sugrant42 says:

    I love owls and this just breaks my heart, what a terrible life for wild birds to be forced into.

  12. looks like the young girl is planning on having her hair streaked …

  13. Cambridge Rat Mom says:

    Agreed. Animals are not ours to exploit. This is incredibly stressful for them.

  14. Um… Do they think it’s a good idea to tie down those sometimes rather large birds with huuuuge beaks? So if they get bothered their only option is biting. And while cats can communicate their anger clearly I am not sure if I would detect an owls’ discomfort before it bites my finger off …

  15. If the Japanese really want to be adorable, they should stop chopping the fins off of sharks for their soup and throwing them back in the ocean.

  16. Not only that but very strong claws.

  17. Sure, it’s all fun and games ’til ya hear this from across the cafe:

  18. They are such utterly beautiful animals. But they are “wild” animals. While I agree with cat cafés being a great idea, cats are domesticated “pets”, whereas owls are not. To put them in an environment such as this is just cruel I think, and only serves our own amusement. To think that they are never able to fly properly (their wings are probably clipped anyway), makes me really sad… 😦

  19. Ditto, and ditto. Wild animals should not be forced into a domesticated environment for our amusement (and no, I don´t agree with zoos either, but hey ho…)

  20. I don´t know what the regulations are in Japan, but like Stephanie below says “anything goes” appears to be what is happening there.

    The few European cat cafés that have sprung up in, e.g. Madrid and London now, are *seriously* regulated by the RSPCA (in the UK), vets and health and safety and they would be immediately closed down if something was not right….

    Mind you, when I was in Japan in 2010 I visited a couple of cat cafés and the hygiene standards were extremely high and impressive (to the point that people had to take their shoes off so they don´t bring in germs – but that´s the Japanese in general! – and having to wash your hands before handling any of the cats), plus there was a “quarantine” section in which was a cat that was ill and being looked after by a vet…. and the cats all looked really happy, fat, content and healthy.

  21. I am a resident volunteer in a wildlife refuge. One night, about 1am, after finishing some “business”, I looked out the window and asked my half-asleep self, “what’s that bundle of rags doing on the top of that pole? No-it’s Spanish moss. NO! It moved! It’s a koala!” Waking up and opening both eyes and remembering there is a dearth of koalas in Arkansas, I realized it was a great horned owl. There she sat, 20 feet from my window. The next night, there was another one, slightly smaller. They have been hanging out for a couple of months now.

    While it’s not nesting season, it’s likely the smaller is a male. I’ve named them Hermione and Ron.

    They perch and look around before dropping to the ground. They hop a couple of times, then do the “John Wayne” walk to sneak up on prey. Totally cool!

  22. Here’s the thing I just can’t figure out: don’t they have health codes in other countries? No way could you get away with have so many animals (owls or cats) in a place that prepares and serves food around here. Unless you’re bribing your health inspector.

  23. lisaLASSIE says:

    And you are seeing them as they belong: out in the wild.

  24. lisaLASSIE says:

    Most owls are indeed nocturnal, not day creatures. They can and sometimes do hunt during the day, but that is usually only when they haven’t been successful at night hunting, and/or they have a very big brood to feed.
    And they should be out in the wild, not kept in a shop like this.