Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Japan trip Spring 2015 part 2b - March 21, Day 1: Hawkeye Owl Cafe

At the end of my previous post, I mentioned that S and I needed to kill a little time in Shibuya before the next activity. That was because we had an appointment at Takanome cafe/Hawkeye Owl Cafe for 03:00pm.
Even with my limited Japanese, I was able to make a reservation for 10 people (yeah that's why I needed to make a reservation lol) at the owl cafe through email. [Their "contact us" page here.] Essentially, I just copied and pasted the information they asked for (in Japanese) into an email, typed in the relevant information and also added what I meant in English lol. They replied and confirmed in English, so even if you have 0 Japanese experience, I think it's worth it to at least try and make a reservation through email if you think you need to.

The closest station to the owl cafe is Oshiage, near the Sky Tree. It's kind of disguised among what seems like residences, but it's also near a grocery store. While we were waiting for the rest of the people to show up, S bought and ate a little ice cream from the grocery store, and he said it was fantastic considering it was 100yen lol.

inconspicuous entrance to the owl cafe
entrance with fake owl greeting you
back door
When you walk in, there is a bar area which seats about 8 people and faces a large window. On the other side of the window are the birds! There is a print out of the rules for the cafe in both Japanese and English. We also ordered drinks. For an hour with the birds + the drinks, I think it was 1500yen per person. I'm not 100% sure because the other family we were with sneakily paid the bill when we were inside with the owls! If you just want to sit at the bar area and enjoy looking at the birds but not go inside, I believe it's 1000yen. We all decided to go in!

The birds -
(Sorry I don't remember all the different names/types!)

My mom had the best time out of anyone I think. She didn't want to leave. And she wanted to pick up and touch all of the birds (that were allowable) lol.

with the super helpful Yuiko who aided in translation a lot! She's from Vancouver but now lives in Japan. She isn't an employee but rather keeps her owl in the cafe. It was so nice of her to be so helpful!
You can follow her on IG @kokaneeyui and find her on YT here

This was the biggest owl.
She basically sat on this barrel the whole time. You couldn't touch her or pick her up, but you could pose next to her lol. She dislikes men a lot though! Apparently her vet is a man. And she also dislikes selfie sticks. (My brother had his GoPro on one and she REALLY puffed up in anger, so he had to get rid of it!)

This is one of the little hawks.

On the hawk side, the employee would teach you how to hold the hawk and then one in particular would eventually climb onto your head. Because it likes to be high lol.
This one climbed onto like 4 people's heads. Whoever held it got to also have it on their head lol.

Thank you, Mitsu for the heads up about this place! And also thank you to Yuiko and the staff here who were so so nice! My family and everyone I was with had a great time. I knew that I wanted to try to go to an owl cafe during this trip because during my last one, my host mom had mentioned that she had gone to one (she loves birds lol), and it sounded really interesting! The one my host mom had gone to was in Sannomiya (in Kobe) but after searching a bit, I found Mitsu's Universal Doll post about Hawkeye Owl Cafe in Tokyo and definitely wanted to visit for myself.

The Sky Tree is definitely quite close to the owl cafe. It's basically just on the other side of the bridge.
We were already in the area so a few of us were going to try to go up but apparently it was a good weather day and the line for tickets and then entrance was estimated to be like 4 hours or something wtf. So yeah, we decided to skip that since it was already about 4:00pm.

My brother was only joining us for a short while during this trip (his spring break doesn't align with the others' and he can't miss school so he joined us for just about 2.5 days), and he wanted to eat good tonkatsu while he was in Japan. I did some research online and most sites pointed to Maisen when in Tokyo. (There were a few that also recommended Ginza Bairin but we have a branch of that in Hawaii, so I decided it would be more worth it to try somewhere else.)
There are multiple locations, and they even sell their tonkatsu in stations and department stores, but I opted for us to go to the original Omotesando location which is an old bathhouse. I figured this would be a popular restaurant, so we decided to go a bit early for dinner at around 5:30pm. Even though there were 10 of us, we were able to be seated pretty quickly. S and I had actually separated from the group to go exchange our Rail Passes at the JR Shibuya station so we could use them the next day and the rest of the group was seated before we even got there.
[Maisen Omotesando access] If you're coming from Omotesando station, exit out of A2, and the restaurant is a short walk away. This is such a popular restaurant that there are even helpful signs along the street to help you get there from the station exit wtf! Very useful.
They only have X number of each dish everyday (I think) so there were quite a few things we were not able to order by the time we got there. I guess people gobbled them up for lunch lol. Most of us got the Kurobuta Loin Pork Cutlet Set or Kurobuta Fillet Pork Cutlet Set. Most of our first choices were something on one of the first pages that were slightly smaller portions, but they were already gone!

Nevertheless, what we ordered was still really good! I'm really not a food person, so I'm not even going to try to explain the nuances of the meat/the dish or whatever, but it was definitely not disappointing. Most of the people I was with was happy with their katsu. Most (not all) because my brother's gf's mom doesn't like tonkatsu so she ordered something entirely different lol. But all of us were satisfied with the meal as far as I know.

From the restaurant in Omotesando, we decided to make the short walk to Takeshita Doori in Harajuku. Since we ate dinner on the early side, there was still about an hour to shop in Harajuku before most of the shops closed around 8:00pm.
I was already pretty tired from doing absolutely nothing except wait in line at Liz Lisa for most of the morning and being jetlagged, so I wasn't really wanting to do much shopping lol. I mostly wanted to sleep. I did pass and take a quick peek into the Harajuku Liz Lisa/Tralala, but decided not to really go in. I was still carrying my large Liz Lisa shopping bag from that morning lol. (I didn't get to go back to the hotel yet so I had been lugging it around with me all day haha.)

Instead, I knew I wanted to go to the Daiso over there. My coworker is part of the planner community, and before I left she had shown me some pictures of things she wanted me to buy (like washi tapes, deco tapes, clips, etc). I knew I would be able to find a few of those things in Daiso, so I was eager to start looking for things to purchase for her! I had to pick up a few cheap things for myself too lol. I also needed more legwear/tights/socks, so I went to Tutuanna. My night pretty much concluded with a quick look around the Paris Kids (accessories) store where I didn't end up purchasing anything, and then S and I went back to the hotel.
My Daiso purchases on the left. Wtf I had forgotten my tweezers at home, so I needed a pair to use ASAP because I use them to apply my false eyelashes lol. Also purchased the pushpins for work and the little plastic bin thing because it matched with something I had bought from Daiso during the last trip. 
Tutuanna purchases on the right. 40 and 30 denier tights and just a simple regular nude pair. It was a lot colder than I anticipated I would feel but probably because I had spent a fair amount of time outdoors this day.

While we were walking from Omotesando to Harajuku, I had decided to start wearing my new Liz Lisa puchase (faux leather jacket) layered over my cropped pom pom knit. Definitely kept me so much warmer. Essentially the same outfit as before but I guess technically this is my #ootn lol.

Thus ended my first day in Japan for my spring 2015 trip! Lol. The Yui Kanno Shibuya 109 event and the owl cafe were two totally new experiences to me, and it really seemed like the trip was starting with a bit of a bang! I did have to wait what I consider to be a long time at Shibuya 109 which may have been a little bit of a "waste", but I still was able to get what I wanted without falling apart, so it was a success hahaha.

[Btw some of the photos in this post and many in the posts to come will not only be from my camera(s) but also from my parents' phones as well. Pardon some of the weird lighting/cropping in some of them! There's just so many to go through, and I just feel like I can't edit them all lol.]


  Japan trip Spring 2015 posts
Part 1 - Pre-trip planning
Part 2a - March 21, Day 1: Liz Lisa Shibuya 109 Yui Kanno event
Part 2b - March 21, Day 1: Hawkeye Owl Cafe
Part 3 - March 22, Day 2: Kawatsura Strawberry Farm, Chiba, Shinjuku
Part 4 - March 23, Day 3: Tsukiji Fish Market, Yokohama, Machida
Part 5 - March 24, Day 4: Omiya, Ikebukuro, Takadanobaba, Asakusa & luggage forwarding
Part 6 - March 25, Day 5: Shibuya, Shinkansen & Osaka
Part 7 - March 26, Day 6: Tennoji MIO, Nara Deer Park
Part 8 - March 27, Day 7: Kobe (steak), Namba/Shinsaibashi & Keiko
Part 9 - March 28, Day 8: Kyoto, Berri & home
Part 10 - Hotels and Pupuru pocket wifi review
Part 11 - Liz Lisa shopping items/coordinates
Part 12 - Liz Lisa x My Melody 6th collab OPs and hand towel 

Japan trip Summer 2014 posts
Japan trip Summer 2015 posts