Allergic to cat cafes? Or want an up close and personal experience with an owl? Well here’s a place for you! Fukuro Sabo is an owl café out in a quiet residential area, about a 10 minute walk from Kokubunji Station. They have no parking and recommend you come by train.
No English was spoken here, but the two ladies who were working the day we visited were super nice and we muddled through with gestures and the little Japanese we had. For the minimum order of one soft drink or coffee (¥500), you are free to sit and observe the owls they have in a glassed in area. For those of you who are hungry, they have a pasta and drink set for ¥1200, and a few other items on the menu.
When we were done with our pasta sets, it was time to go to the main event, selecting the owl we wanted to touch! They had a photo menu of the owls with various prices (300/500/700/1000), depending on the owl species, or you could go up to the enclosure and point out which one you’d like to see.
Once you choose your owl, the staff sits you down on the bench side of the table and puts out some towels in case of bird has an accident. You are given a heavy leather glove for the owl to perch on. You get a few minutes with the owl perched on your hand for you to pet, then they put a towel on your shoulder and move the owl up to hang out with you for a few minutes more. You’re allowed to take all the pictures you want, but no flash please! Of course these are wild animals so they can behave unpredictably, one owl in particular lost its grip on a glove and was flapping about frantically trying to regain its balance. If you have small children, please watch them carefully as the owls will nibble and potentially bite. It is recommended that small children watch from a distance.
This is a non-smoking café, which has 3 tables of 4, and 3 barstool seats. No high chairs or changing tables, but the tables have bench seating on one side. A small umbrella stroller would fit in the shop but nothing bigger. On your way out you can buy some owl themed trinkets from a display of gifts they have. Key chains, bags and little owl statues galore!
Fukuro Sabo is cash only and has no parking. It is recommended that you arrive by train. Their hours are 11:00-17:00 Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and 11:00-19:00 on Saturday and Sunday. They are closed Tuesdays and Thursdays, please consult their schedule for off-normal closure dates. The phone number is 042-208-3400. Or check out their website http://www.hukurousabou.sakura.ne.jp/, though you may need to use a website translator. For their schedule, please check out this link http://www.hukurousabou.sakura.ne.jp/yoteihyou.htm, again, you may need a translator. Carmen, May 2014.
DIRECTIONS: To get there, head out the South Exit of Kokubunji Station, and walk down the road that is between a Mos Burger and a Matsuya beef bowl shop. Take the third small road on your left, you’ll walk past a post office on your left, continue straight and the road will go down a hill. Keep walking downhill, past the creek until you reach a T intersection, turn right and Fukuro Sabo will be on your right shortly.