Arashiyama Forest of Owls and Leopard Cats

Animal cafes are one of my favorite things in Japan. There are the ever popular owl and cat cafes. In addition, there are bunny cafes, farm animal cafes, snake cafes…heck, there is even a penguin bar in Tokyo! And who knows what else there is out there to discover.

Today I want to introduce you to the Arashiyama Forest of Owls and Leopard Cats. Here you can see owls and cats in the same visit!

Arashiyama is an absolutely stunningly beautiful part of Kyoto. Here there is the famous bamboo forest, amazing views of the Katsura River, a monkey park, as well as many nearby temples and shrines.

The day we visited, as we hiked back down the mountain after taking in the view and visiting some friendly monkeys we found that we didn’t have a plan for the rest of the day. That was when we ran into the Arashiyama Forest of Owls and Leopard Cats. And I’m glad that we did!

If you’ve never been to or heard of an owl or cat cafe, the process is pretty straightforward – you pay a certain amount (here the fee is 1350 yen – about $12.50 – per person for a combined ticket to the owl and cat portions) per half hour to spend time with the animals.

The owl forest is a short path that you walk through with owls on either side of you. You can take your time to enjoy, take pictures, and even gently touch the owls with the back of your hand. The owls are of various degrees of friendliness and definitely take heed of the “Do Not Touch” signs as a few of them are a little cranky!

After getting to know the owls it is time to commune with the leopard cats. Here you can get a drink from the cafe machine, sit down, and enjoy these beautiful cats.

Having a cup of tea or coffee with a friendly cat on you lap just can’t be beat!

On your trip to Japan definitely try to scope out nearby animal cafes and if you have any interest at all, give it a try.

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