This owl cafe in the center of Akihabara has a unique atmosphere - more like a theme-park attraction than an animal cafe. From the outside it looks like a repurposed downtown office, but inside it's a fantasy world of sleepy owls, crystal chandeliers, uniformed staff and soft classical music.
The cafe has been open since August 2014 and is popular with Japanese and tourists equally for its friendly vibe, high interactivity quotient and calming, relaxing mood.
It's easy to make an online reservation, and once the date and time are confirmed, you'll be asked to arrive ten minutes before the appointment. The uniformed staff hand out an informative folder (in Japanese and English) that goes well beyond the usual bird-handling etiquette tips. It also has pages of interesting info on owls' feeding habits, diet, eye color, pet laws, etc. Even the bird-handling talk is theatrical - while the manager makes the announcement, another staff member holds up a bird leash and shows how to return an owl to its perch - just like a flight attendant demonstrating a seat belt.
See more photos and details at Animal Cafes.com.