[TRAVEL ★★★]


Owl Cafe

(P1) Tokyo’s Akihabara DISTRICT is popular with tourists who love Japanese “MANGA” comics, as well as electronics and video games.

(P2) But down a quiet street is a very different environment.

(P3) Shusaku Yasu, who loves OWLS, has created an “owl café,” Akiba Fukurou.

(P4) In the owl café, around 25 owls of varying sizes and BREEDS interact with human guests. It’s not a big space — around 400 square feet in total. The owls, which sit on PERCHES around the room. are well behaved and ENTRANCING.

(P5) Akiba Fukurou is the latest in a line of animal cafes that are POPPING UP up around Tokyo. First were cat cafes, then rabbit cafes, snake cafes, and now owls.

(P6) Yasu says that he’s had people return “60 or 70 times” to the owl café.

(P7) This might be because customers are allowed quite a high degree of interaction with the Akiba owls. For a fee of ¥1500 ($12) patrons are invited to pick an owl and sit at one of the small tables with it, petting their soft feathers.

(P8) Sessions with the owls last about an hour, and at the end of it Yasu or his assistant with take a photo of you with your new feathered companion.

(P9) The ‘cafe’ element of the experience is significantly LACKING, however. There is bottled water, but clearly the CLIENTELE is more interested in owls than coffee.

(P10) The owls are fed away from the café, on a diet of pink, frozen mice.

(P11) When you see the many different owls at the cafe, it becomes clear how big the owl kingdom really is. Shrimp, a pygmy owl who is new, is the smallest owl and is still GETTING USED TO people.

(P12) Others include Charles Xavier, a black owl, Snowman, Kabuki, Mr. Satoshi,  Sweet Potato, and Gorilla.

(P13) Yasu enjoys creating the names.

(P14) He gets the owls from a breeder friend. They are a mix of native and imported species, mostly from Europe.

(P15) “They’re IMPRINTED on humans as soon as they hatch,” Yabe tells us. “Humans are the first thing they see so they grow up used to us.”

(P16) At night, he takes them all home, for mouse dinners and bedtime. Although you wonder how much sleep he gets, in an apartment full of NOCTURNAL birds. Tokyo is noisy enough TO BEGIN WITH.

WORDS: 388

SOURCE: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/12/09/travel/tokyo-akiba-fukuro-owl-cafe/index.html


If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Would you visit this owl café?
  3. Have you ever been to a PETTING ZOO when guests can pet the animals?
  4. What benefits do you people get from interacting with animals?
  5. Owls are cute partly because of their big eyes. What other CHARACTERISTICS of animals do people find APPEALING?


What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.

  • Pop up
  • Get used to
  • To begin with

Cambly Practice Button


  1. I want to go here! I once held an owl in my arms (while volunteering at a rehabilitation center), and would like to interact with more of them. 🙂

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