By Justin Schroth

Animal cafés can be found throughout Japan, and even a fair number of them showcase owls. However, when it comes to the Tokyo area many are not accessible. Luckily there is one not too far from a popular sightseeing spot, and it has more than owls to offer, so my mother and I had to check it out.

Owls Café OZ is a beautiful little well-kept café featuring several owls and other animals I was able to pet as I sipped my juice. The most obvious draw for us was the variety of owls nestled in the aviary section next to the café seating, owls which vary in size from that of softball to bigger than my head. The different breeds were amazing to see up close, and their beautiful feather patterns look more remarkable than seen in any pictures taken of them. Because of this we had a very interesting afternoon experience that wouldn’t really be possible in the United States where we came from.

When we first entered the Owls Café OZ we were given a few guidelines to follow, for both the safety and well-being of us and animals alike. These rules include keeping our voice to a minimum, proper treatment of the animals, how/which animal we can touch, as well as any fees involved. Then our hour began, and we started our visit. Throughout the visit the host not only served us our drinks, chatted about the animals, but also took loving care in looking after the animals’ needs as well. My mother loves animals, so I let her hold the owls, this also gave me a close-up view of them and an opportunity for me to snap a few pictures for her.

For anyone interested, admission is 1,500-yen per hour visit for 1-adult, drinks are +300-yen (A small selection of cold and hot drinks are available, no food). It is an additional fee of +300-yen to hold an owl (each) during your hour visit (a number of other animals are free to touch/hold, including rabbits, rats, lizards, and more). They are open weekends from 12:00 until 18:00, and weekdays from 13:00 until 18:00 except Wednesday when they are closed.

Owls Café OZ is in Taito Ward of Tokyo (Map). The closest station is a 4-minute stroll to Tsukuba Express Line Asakusa Station. However, the Ginza Line Asakusa Station is a 13-minute stroll away (more if you’re shopping), it’s a popular alternative as you can see the nearby Kaminarimon Gate, shop the Nakamise Shopping Street, and visit Senso-ji Temple on the way to Owls Café OZ. 

Owls Café OZ is on the ground floor and has no steps or major slopes to enter the shop. It has double doors at the entry, however I found that one door was sufficient for my motorized wheelchair to enter (currently they are doing some exterior renovations to the buildings the café is located in, but this didn’t hinder accessibility). The seating area was roomy enough to turn around and it was no problem to move a chair so I could sit next to one of the tables. 

The aviary area entry door is a bit slim, so entering it with a wheelchair (like mine) may not be possible if all you want to do is look (the alternative isn’t free, but my mother was able to hold the owls in the café area so we could get an up-close look). Also, the restroom entry is accessed through the aviary with a similar slim door, so I’d recommend using a station toilet if you need a universal restroom prior to your visit.

There are plenty of seats available for those who need to sit more than stand, and the aviary section is viewable from this area by large glass windows. If you still want to look up-close, it is possible to hold an owl at the table (for the holding fee) if you don’t want to stand in the aviary section. There’s also an outside seating area, however holding owls here may not be available.

Children may be able to get a discount depending on their age, otherwise price and fees are determined by what you choose to do.

If you are a fan of Owls and animals in general, I would recommend Owls Café OZ as a perfect quiet time-out from busy Tokyo. It is very accessible, and the host was very welcoming. It is a perfect stop to relax when exploring all that Asakusa has to offer.

Justin Schroth lives with Muscular Dystrophy, a disability requiring the use of a wheelchair, nevertheless he doesn’t let it dampen his passion. He is currently an Writer with Accessible Japan, helping those living with disabilities find access where they may not have known existed. Justin is currently striving toward his goal of working and living in Japan independently.

Be sure to leave a comment.  If you have any questions about animal cafes Japan, or anything else, come join the Japan group on tabifolk and ask!

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