Why Owl Cafes in Japan are Just Not Cool

Among the most shocking and heartbreaking claims these owls cafes told the public that “The Owl have been adopted by a new family”. The reality is that, when the shop said this, the owl had likely died. This is one of the most told lies these owl cafes often told their customers.

Owls are bird of prey that needs a certain environment to live 

The living environment at these many owl cafes is often less than suitable for animals to live in. Most spaces in Japan, especially in Tokyo, is known for its notoriously tiny rooms. This applies to not just apartments or living quarters, but various places. Some cafes and restaurants are known to have extremely narrow spaces as well.

There have been cases of owl deaths at a cat cafe due to low welfare 

One of the most notable ones (that is known, at least) is seven owls death in one year. The source has refused to mention which cafe for privacy reasons. Owls’ sickness is often difficult to detect. These animals are not vocal and they often are not able to show that they are not feeling well. These owl cafe owners refuse to take the owls to the vet when they do notice signs of illness. It goes to the point that these owls finally died. 

Lack of record-keeping by business owners regarding sales of owls 

An inspection done by the department of public health in Japan have pointed out the evidence that these owl cafes are not keeping a record book of these owls at all. There is no record of the sales of these owls at all, and the living state of these owls are highly doubted. 

The reality of the owl cafe business 

An “owl specialty cafe” certainly paints the image that the people who run this place have a certain level of experience, or even expertise, regarding these owls. Most of the time, this cannot be further from the reality. Many people purchase animals for their supposed “value”—instead of compassion in order to give them a new home and the care they need. The desire to possess is often the motivation for these people. And there’s also the question of the procurement of the owls. Procuring an animal is certainly no cheap endeavor. Some cafe owners boasts that they have gotten “rare” owls rarely found in Japan. So where do they get these owls? Why is it so easy for them to dispose of these owls when they’re sick?

Animals in captivity: it’s always a complex subject 

Confining animals to a small space is one of the most common forms of abuse. This has largely been the case with zoo controversy. Apparently, these “cafes” are not much different. An exception may be made for domestic animals such as cats and dogs, that have evolved to stay indoors and be in the company of humans. But even then, the quality of life of these animals must be evaluated regularly. Some cats cafe are known not to provide sufficient veterinary care for their animals. This includes basic things such as spaying and neutering these cats, and even vaccinations. 

How to Not Over-Plan in Your Next Travel

A too-detailed itinerary would only stress you out. Planning out your itinerary by the hour would only leave you with a vague sense of failure, in the end. Planning itinerary that is too detailed is a one way ticket to disaster. It’s simply going to stress you out. So don’t!

But most people are also going to be stressed out when they don’t have anything planned. Not everyone can pull of “making it up as you go along”. Usually, it would either end up in anxiety-ridden planning or a half-cooked plan. So find a balance in between. Having plans is almost always better for most people wanting to travel.

Planning itinerary—What to do instead? 

Plan your itinerary using the method of grouping or categorizing. One of the ways of creating a realistic itinerary that you’d actually follow is that when the list of those places or activities are actually convenient for you to do in a set amount of time you have. Plan a group of places or activities that you can do in one area. When your itinerary is realistic, it would be so much easier for you to follow through. This way, you’ll have several groups of todos that you can choose from.

Don’t stuff too much activities 

Give yourself one or a couple of extra days that are unplanned. When you’re planning, you’re in the mindset of creating “an ideal trip” and ideal rarely ever happens. For example, plan only 5 days of itinerary when you’re going on a seven days trip. This way, you can go back to do whatever activities or places you might have missed before. And not having too much things or places on your todos or itinerary would make it easier for you to go back to do it rather than feeling as if you missed something because you’re leaving something else out. Trust me, having so many missed points on your list is never a pleasant feeling!

Where to find inspirations for your activities and places to visit? 

Some people browse flights on places like Google Flights when deciding their destinations. A good airfare deal is sometimes all the push you need. And of course, browse various sites for ideas and inspiration from your best friend. By best friend, we obviously mean the internet. Sites like instagram and Pinterest are great places for you to find visual inspirations. 

Ask around in forums—be clear and specific about what you have in mind 

Generally, people on the internet have a lot of ideas they can recommend. But in order to get the most satisfying replies from those strangers, be specific about what you’re asking. You don’t have to know where or what exactly you’d like to do. But you can and should let them know of what types of activities you find engaging or fun in your past travel, what kind of place do you find relaxing, fun, or worth exploring? Sometimes, you’ll be surprised of what people recommend. They usually speak from their own experience, and what you’re getting would be something of a genuine experience. 

When the Wanderlust Kicks In: Inspirations and Finding Ideas for Your Travel

Why do you want to travel? Many people often do not ponder over this. Especially the impulsive kind. But the whys may be important for you who still don’t know whether travel is the best option for you at the moment. So figuring this out may be an important step for you. 

Think, where or how the idea first strike? Is it when you’re just idly browsing some stuff during work? Is it because you’re intrigued by your friends’ trip? Are you inspired by a stranger on the internet? Or maybe you simply need a reprieve from your everyday routine and you’ve decided travel is the way to escape for a bit? Figuring out why you want to travel may help you answer some important questions in the process of your travel planning. 

Where do you want to go? 

Are you one of those people who want to go somewhere, but you don’t know where? This often happens to both veteran travelers as well as the average folks who simply wish for a memorable vacation. Whether it’s a week-long holiday, a month-long, or simply a weekend getaway, finding out where to go can be a bit stressful sometimes. But finding out your motivations (or the source of your impulses) can help. Aside from figuring out why you want to travel in the first place, like what we’ve addressed above, you can also try some of these methods: 

Browse forum websites for ideas, one of the most resourceful ones out there is Reddit. There’s a subreddit /r/travel that is full of treasure and information not just about where to go, but wha to do in the destinations as well. This particular method is useful for those who love to go to places off the beaten path. This is where you can get insights from real people. 

Browse some inspiration from visuals on sites like Pinterest. it’s a great place to collect ideas and look at some travel pictures that may pique your wanderlust. Create a board and pin some images to store away and research. Once you’ve gotten around to finding out the destination, you can decide if it’s your kind of trip or not. 

Another way to decide your travel destination is by searching Google Flights and find out costs of flying to random destinations. You may be surprised at what you find. It’s also a neat way to find some deals you wouldn’t have otherwise gotten if you have a fixed destination in mind. You may even end up going to amazing places you wouldn’t have otherwise considered before. 

The next step? Deciding how much you can afford to spend 

Your budget often dictates how long you can travel and many other factors. This can even be something you decide first thing—if you don’t find it way too limiting. Understanding your budget and planning things around it would create a realistic plan for you. You can also set a plan in saving up. Save as early as possible. Travel can be so overwhelming for you if you’re pressed for budget at the last minute.