Allow me to jump on the bandwagon of the highly raved animal cafes in Japan. I mean, they’re just too cute not to write about. How can you not head to animal cafes in Osaka while you’re there?

Also read: Osaka Budget Guide — Travel for under S$70 incl. accommodation

Speaking of animal cafes, Japan has got to be the world leader when it comes to this. Never mind the world economy, I’m confident that the animal cafe industry is going to strive to the end of the world. Who doesn’t love our furry counterparts!

1) Owl Cafe – Owl Family Cafe (Fukuro-no Mise フクロウのみせ)

Hendric taking a selfie with an owl in the Owl Family Cafe Osaka

I’m not sure about you, but how did the Japanese identify this owl trend way before we even thought about visiting animal cafes? (On our first day in Osaka, we headed straight for the owl cafe.

Owls perched on bars at Owl Family Cafe

As we entered the cafe, we were greeted by more than a dozen owls perched on bars throughout the cafe. Some asleep and resting, others wide awake and alert. There were big and fierce looking ones, as well as small and cute looking ones. Some seem to have really sweet and cuddly appearances, but others seem to hold rather threatening glares that warn ‘rest time, do not disturb’.

Owls perched on bars at Owl Family Cafe

We settled down and ordered the drinks that we wanted. Weirdly, there was a peculiar mix of excitement and hesitation building up within me as the staff explained the dos and don’ts.

Perhaps, I was drawn to the mysteriousness of an animal that I wasn’t yet familiar with. We were told that we could pat the head and the back of the owls, but they wouldn’t like being touched anywhere else.

Rachel holding an owl at the Owl Family Cafe

Somehow, within that hour of interacting with the owls, the weariness and hesitation within me dissipated. The staff held the owls delicately and placed them on our wrists. The owls were gentler than we thought. But just in case they decide to take flight, there’s actually a safety rope tied to their leg to stop them. We were allowed to hold them by our arms or let them rest on our heads. Beware though, they have no control over their bowel movements.

Ding Yi holding an owl at the Owl Cafe Osaka

All you have is just an hour. So treasure your time there. Pat them loads, hold them more, and take loads of photos before you bid your farewell. *sniff*

Cost: ¥1,500 per hourly session with 1 drink (+¥200 for beers)
Opening hours:
Tuesday to Friday 12:00pm – 8:00pm
Saturday, Sunday, PH 11:00am – 8:00pm
CLOSED ON MONDAYS
Address: 1 Chome-10-13 Tenjinbashi, Kita-ku, Ōsaka-shi, Ōsaka-fu 530-0041, Japan
Closest Station: Minami-Morimachi Station on the Sakaisuji or Tanimachi Line

*Pro-tip: They let in groups of people by the hour so head there earlier to leave your name before exploring around the area while waiting for your turn.

2) Reptile Cafe – Rockstar Cafe

Ok, I know it’s a little bit of an abrupt shift to the other end of the cute spectrum, but hey, it’s all about the novelty experience, isn’t it? Besides the cutesy fluffy animal cafes that are littered across Japan, quirky cafes like these can also be found in alleys of Japan. We found this oddball in a quiet corner of Osaka.

Reptile Cafe Osaka - Rockstar Cafe

Stepping into Rockstar Cafe, I was somewhat met with a strange eeriness in the air, much like that of a witch’s den. This cafe is filled with creatures you cannot possibly imagine. If you’re one who has a strong aversion to creepy crawlies and lizards, then it’s best that you DO NOT continue reading. Everything distasteful awaits below.

[WARNING: Potentially disturbing images below. Not for the faint hearted.]

One glance around the cafe, I saw chameleons, lizards, tarantulas, snakes, centipedes, iguanas… I shan’t go on. For each of the creatures, they have not one, but many species.

Already, there were customers seated at tables, sipping at their drinks and caressing snakes.

Reptile Cafe Osaka - Rockstar Cafe

Centipede Alcohol served at Rockstar Cafe - Reptile Cafe Osaka

We settled down at a table and struggled to read the menu as we tried to order a drink. The staff wasn’t good at English but he knew enough to name the drinks and briefly explain to us what they were. From the words we managed to pick out, we could decipher things like “centipede alcohol” and “bee beer”. Nope. No way was I going for that. Almost instinctively, I quipped, “Coke please! Thank you!” So, yes, of course, they do have normal food menu as well.

Holding a chameleon at Rockstar Cafe - Reptile Cafe Osaka

I attempted to cradle the snake without fear, yet my expression betrayed me and unfurled my anxiety and fear. Thereafter, I went from tank to tank, trying to find a creature that seemed the least threatening and I found it – a mint green coloured chameleon. For the next hour, I held the chameleon to me like a pet I never had.

Holding a lizard at Rockstar Cafe - Reptile Cafe Osaka

Ding Yi holding a chameleon at Rockstar Cafe - Reptile Cafe Osaka

Dings was pretty much fearless when it came to lizards. Just look at her, she’s a natural with them.

Cherie holding a tarantula at Rockstar Cafe - Reptile Cafe Osaka

Cherie was just an ordinary extraordinary spider whisperer, yup.

Hendric holding a snake at Rockstar Cafe - Reptile Cafe Osaka

Hendric? He was probably made for Fear Factor.

To be honest, it was a creepy but cool experience. Though I doubt I’d put myself through this scare again. So yes, for a one time fee of ¥1,000 (non-incl. of drinks), you get a membership which allows you to visit the cafe again in future for free. Enjoy your unlimited play time with these reptiles and creepy crawlies. Go if you dare.

Cost: ¥1,000
Opening hours: 12:00pm – 11:00pm
Address: Naniwa-ku, Osaka-shi Nanbanaka 2-7-7 Namba FK building 3F
Japan, 〒556-0011 Ōsaka-fu, 大阪市浪速区Naniwa-ku, Nanbanaka, 2 Chome−7−7, ナンバ FK ビル 3F

3) Cat Cafe – Ragdoll Cat Cafe

Also commonly available in other countries, cat cafes are probably one of the most popular animal cafes in Japan. Ragdoll Cat Cafe is one of the many cat cafes you can find in Japan.

A Norwegian Forest Cat Ragdoll Cat Cafe - Cat Cafe Osaka
Pudding, a Norwegian Forest Cat. Photo credit: Ragdoll Cafe

They’re unlike most cats that you find in Singapore. The types of the cats at Ragdoll ranges from Munchkin to Norwegian Forest Cat, with way more breeds than I can list.

Bombay cat at Ragdoll Cat Cafe - Cat Cafe Osaka
Tom, a Bombay cat. Photo credit: Ragdoll Cafe

Sale of snacks for the cats are also available at ¥100. But if you’re there on weekdays, there are weekday deal plans! Pay ¥1,600 for 2 hours or pay ¥2,200 for 3 hours, prices inclusive of a drink for you and a snack for the cat 🙂

Abyssinian cat at Ragdoll Cat Cafe - Cat Cafe Osaka
Abyssinian cat. Photo credit: Ragdoll Cafe

These cats are so gentle and peaceful, they make an absolutely puuuuurfect afternoon cuddle buddy. I mean, do any other cats make nap time seem more enjoyable than they do?? They curl up in any boxes, buckets or shelves they can find and get all snuggled up for nap time. Cat lover or not, you should definitely head down to Ragdoll to laze with them 😉

Cost: ¥1,000 per hour
(Time extension is ¥400/30min or ¥700/h. Any additional drink is ¥300)
Opening hours: 12:00pm – 10:00pm
Address: Yubinbango542-0075, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi Nanbasen’nichimae 13-6 Daiichi building 5th floor

4) Dog Cafe – Dog Tail Cafe

Maltese at Dog Tail Cafe - Dog Cafe Osaka
Photo credits: Dog Tail

Whether you’re a dog owner or not, spending your afternoon with these pups at Dog Tail is sure to brighten your day! Dog Tail has all kinds of small dogs that will definitely come rushing to welcome you once you enter the cafe 🙂 You’ll be assigned to an area to be seated where your drink will be served. Choose from hot or cold coffee/tea or fruit juices.

A Pekingese at Dog Tail Cafe - Dog Cafe Osaka
Photo credits: Dog Tail

In this huge playroom, these canine friends run and prance around everywhere and attempt to get your attention to play. I can be sure that it’d be hard to ignore any of them!

Toy Poodles, Chihuahua, Dachshund… There’s an overwhelming army of cuteness running around the place! If this isn’t lively enough for you yet, you can try playing a mini game of fetch with your furry pal!

Dachshund at Dog Tail Cafe - Dog Cafe Osaka
Photo credits: Dog Tail

But really, who can get bored with these cute pups? Especially when they flash their playful puppy eyes at you, cocking their heads to the side, wagging their tails, eagerly anticipating your next playful move too! Is your heart not already melting?

Cost: ¥1,000 for 50 minutes (Price depends on how long you want to spend inside)
Opening hours:
Weekdays: 12:00pm – 10:00pm
Weekends & PH: 11:00am – 10:00pm
Address: Yubinbango 542-0071, Chuo-ku, Osaka Dotonbori 2-4-6 Yoshie building 4F


5) Bonus: Nara Deer Park

Deer at Nara - Animal Cafe in Osaka

While Deers aren’t found in Osaka, there’s no reason not to check them out being just an hour away by train! Just hop on the train to Nara and you’ll find yourself in a deer paradise where deers roam freely.

The best part, the deers can be found all around the city, even at temples and shrines so technically, admission is free. Just buy a pack of biscuits (specially for the deers) and they’re bound to come to you.

Cost: ¥150 for a pack of biscuits for the deers
Opening hours: All day long
Address: Nara Deer Park, public parks, near famous temples

Also ReadNara Budget Guide

In case you’re wondering what else there is to do in Osaka, do check out our Osaka Budget Guide – Travel for under $70 a day including accommodation too!

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