Hawkeye: Tokyo Oshiage

[UPDATE: The cafe has closed.] Billed as a "raptorial photo and snack bar," Hawkeye offers a couple dozen raptors - hawks and falcons as well as owls - for visitor photo sessions (including pictures with the nearby Tokyo Skytree in the background for an extra Y500). You can even borrow a tripod if you need one.

You can also pet a few of the birds - we had a pleasant session with a barn owl who really enjoyed having his neck rubbed. Be sure to ask the staff which ones are safe to touch, though. (We were informed that one usually friendly bird was feeling a bit moody because he was molting.)

We arrived just before feeding time (around 4pm), and it was a vivid reminder that these birds are carnivorous - the owner dispensed chunks of raw meat, which were caught by the birds in midair. The owner first became interested in owls and hawks after encountering them through his hobby of paragliding, and now he raises them from hatchlings and obviously has quite a bit of affection for them. The species here include Harris's hawk, buzzard, Eurasian eagle-owl, spotted eagle-owl and European scops owl.

The shop is divided into a cafe area - where you can order coffee and tea, beer and snacks - and two big bird rooms, visible from the cafe through glass walls. You can choose to just be an observer from the cafe zone or inside the bird rooms, or for an extra fee, handle the birds in the bird rooms.

Click on photos below to see larger versions
Tokyo Oshiage / Bird cafe
Open 1-7pm. Closed Mon, Thu.
Cover charge 1,500 per hour with soft drink, 1,700 per hour with alcoholic beverage, and bird-handling in the raptor booth. 1,000 yen per hour with soft drink without bird handling.
Average visit time: 60 minutes
Narihira 1-8-9.
Oshiage station (Asakusa line)