It wasn't even noon yet and I had already trekked halfway across a foreign city and had an owl sit on my head. It was going to be a successful day.
Recently I was in Osaka and my friend and I were able to visit Owl Family...a cafe where you can meet and hold OWLS.
Now, I have been to my fair share of cat and dog cafes but nothing could have prepared me for this.
(Excuse the photo edits - my face was a mix of crazy eyes and blush because I was conquering my fear of birds.)
You walk in with about 10 other people, order your drink (its a cafe after all) and then get briefed on how to act around the owls. No flash photos, don't let go of their leashes, and use the wet wipes if they poop on you (I was safe!)
And then you just......go hold them!
I'm TERRIFIED of birds so I never in a thousand years would have imagined myself holding an owl - but here I am.
I had to spend a few minutes petting one before I could even think about it sitting on me and luckily my friend is braver than I am and I watched her hold one without having her eyes pecked out.
They were all really sweet and made me much less afraid of birds, though pigeons will always be my enemies.
It cost 1000 yen which is about $9 and you get to spend an hour with them! It helped me conquer my fears (a little bit) and inspired me to look into more ways to help endangered owls.
Check out WWF and how you can donate time, money, or just spread awareness for these awesome creatures!