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Owl Village Café and Bar Harajuku

Owl Village Café Harajuku Tokyo Japan

I took a trip to Harajuku to visit Owl Village, not even a block away from Harajuku’s famous Takeshita Street. I had heard about Tokyo’s animal cafés and have plans to go to every single one, so I figured an owl café would be a great start. I was so right.

Take the elevator up to the fourth floor and enter the little café. Here, you will be asked if you have a reservation. Oops!  I didn’t have one, so I had to wait an extra hour. To avoid the wait, make a reservation on their website (reservations can be made up to one month in advance).

Owl Village Café Harajuku offers several packages. There is a walk-up package (the one I took) is for 30 minutes with the owls for 1000 yen. The standard course is a 60-minute package (reservations recommended) that provides for a drink in the café (with a view of the owls), 35 minutes of owl-time, and a souvenir for 1500 yen. The current special package offers a dessert with your drink, 35 minutes with the owls, and two souvenirs for 2000 yen.

If you didn’t think owls were cute before, I’m positive this experience will change your mind. They have seven owls, all super friendly and adorable. You are allowed to pat the heads of the owls and hold them using special gloves. The handler will take pictures of you with the owls, so be sure to bring your camera! Of course, there are rules such as no quick movements, no loud noises, and no camera flashes as to not frighten the birds. Please be kind to our feathered friends!

For anyone concerned with the well being of the animals, I’m not an owl expert, but they seem well cared for. They are kept on tiny leashes, because they could not survive on their own if they flew out of the café. One owl was in a bad mood on the day of my visit, so visitors were asked to let him be.

I would give the whole experience a 10/10, and am already excited to bring my friends back. So if you’re in Harajuku and are looking for a unique experience with these beautiful birds (and want to make your friends back home super jealous), stop by Owl Village Café Harajuku!

Owl Village Café Harajuku Location Information

Website (Google Translated) | Facebook (Japanese only) | Twitter (Japanese only) | Instagram

Nearest Station: 1-minute walk from JR Harajuku station (Yamanote Line) (click on the google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: 11:00am- 7:00pm (19:00)

“Why Go?”: Owls! Owls! Owls!

Click on one of the tags below to explore other experiences in Tokyo–

July 5, 2016 0 comment
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Kiso Valley Nagano Japan

Kiso Valley Nagano Japan

Not all Japan travelers want to stay in cities like Tokyo and Osaka, and that’s okay. If you are an outdoorsy type, consider heading up to Nagano Prefecture for a few days to hike the Kiso Valley Nagano Trail and staying in a tradition ryokan.

The Kiso Valley Nagano Trail runs between the towns of Magome and Tsumago. During the Edo Period, the trail was used as a part of the road between Tokyo and Kyoto.  The trail winds through the rice paddy fields, villages, and beautiful forests along the Kiso River. The entire trail is clearly marked in both Japanese and English. It is a two to three hour hike, if walked at a moderate sightseeing pace.

If you want a downhill walk, head from Magome to Tsumago. If you are looking for a challenge, do just the opposite. Both towns have Tourist Information Centers who can help with your luggage, should you have any–one center will deliver your luggage to the other if dropped off between 8:30-11:30am.  and picked up after 1:00pm. This service only operates from late-March through November, and they charge ¥500 per item.

During the summer, Kiso Valley has many opportunities for outdoor activities such as rock climbing, bicycle touring, canoeing, and kayaking. Not coming until winter? Well, that’s the perfect time to enjoy one of Kiso Valley’s many ski resorts.

But you’re not just going to walk the trail and leave, are you? Both Tsumago and Magome’s architecture are reflective of the Edo Period and are gorgeous in their own right. Once you arrive in one of the towns for the night, go the traditional route and stay in a Minshuku-style ryokan.

Kiso Valley Nagano Tourism Information Offices

Tumago Tourism Association Tourist Office

Website

 Hours of Operation: 8:30am- 5:00pm (17:00)

Address: 2159-2 Azauma, Nagiso-chou, Kiso-gun, Nagano

Phone: 0264-57-3123

E-Mail: info@tumago.jp

Ryokan in Tsumago:

Yamamizuki URARA Tsutaya

  • Address: 2012-4, Fukushima, Kiso-machi,  Kiso-gun, Nagano
  • Phone: 0264-22-2145
  • Booking: http://travel.rakuten.com
  • Expected Price: Around ¥15,000 per night

Minshuku Murachiya

  • Address: 5373-1 Yasawa Fukushima, Kiso-machi, Kiso-gun, Nagano
  • Phone: 0264-22-3186
  • Booking: https://www.tripadvisor.com
  • Expected Price: Around ¥6,200 per night

Tsutaya Tokinoyado Kazari

  • Address: 5623-2 Kaida Kogen Suekawa, Kiso-cho, Kiso-gun, Nagano
  • Phone: 0264-42-1188
  • Website: http://www.kiso-kazari.com/lg_en/
  • Expected Price: Around ¥22,500 per night

Ryokan in Magome:

Tajimaya

  • Address: 4266 Magome Nakatsugawa-shi, Gifu-ken
  • Phone: 0796-32-2626
  • Website: JapaneseGuestHouses.com
  • Expected Price: Around ¥7,000-¥10,000 per night

Magomechaya

  • Address: 4296 Nakatsugawa-shi, Gifu-ken
  • Phone: 0573-69-2038
  • Website: JapaneseGuestHouses.com
  • Expected Price: Around ¥7,000-¥10,000 per night

Iwatake

  • Address: 4254 Magome, Nakatsugawa-shi, Gifu-ken
  • Phone: 0573-69-2201
  • Website: JapaneseGuestHouses.com
  • Expected Price: Around ¥7,000-¥10,000 per night

Nearest Station: Kiso Fukushima station

“Why Go?”: It’s a great opportunity to explore the Tokyo-Kyoto road as it was in the Edo Period, and stay in a traditional Japanese ryokan!

Click on one of the tags below to explore other cultural options in Tokyo and beyond–

July 1, 2016 0 comment
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Snoopy Museum

If you are like me, a chunk of your childhood was spent at the kitchen table, reading Peanuts comics in the Sunday paper. So when in Tokyo, why not revisit one of the world’s favorite comic strip characters?

Snoopy Museum

The Snoopy Museum is located a short walk from the Roppongi train station. Beyond his fantastic work with the Peanuts strip, the museum has several exhibits related to Charles Schulz’s personal life. The biographical exhibits include photos of the cartoonist, sketches and pre-Peanuts comics, and vintage Peanuts mementos. The displays change periodically, so there’s always something new for a a Peanuts fan to discover!

Snoopy Museum

The museum’s gift shop, “Brown’s Store,” sells unique Peanuts-themed merchandise, available only at the Snoopy Museum. “Café Blanket,” named after Peanuts character Linus’s security blanket, has a relaxing atmosphere and is a fantastic place to grab a snack after exploring the museum. Before you leave, make sure to take pictures in front of the Snoopy statues out front!

Snoopy Museum Information

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Get advance tickets through Voyagin!

And if you like to visit Japanese characters, check out Voyagin’s 45% discount on tickets to Sanrio’s Hello Kitty Puroland!

Nearest Station: 7 minute walking distance from Roppongi Station, and a 10 minute walk from Azabu-Juban Station


Hours of Operation: Everyday 10:00AM-8:00PM
Estimated Price: Adult admission is ¥1,800. Admission for university students is ¥1,200, high school students is ¥800, elementary school students is ¥400, and children under three years are admitted for free.
Online tickets may be purchased for five time slots: 10- 11:30 am, 12:00- 1:30 pm, 2:00- 3:30pm, 4:00- 5:30pm, and 6:00-7:30pm (18:00- 19:30). Online tickets can be purchased at all Japanese Lawson stores.
Why Go?: The Snoopy Museum features original drawings of Peanuts comics and other memorabilia, which can’t be seen anywhere else. Exhibits change twice a year, so you can keep coming back for more!
Click on one of the tags below to explore other places in Tokyo–

June 16, 2016 0 comment
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Paris Kid’s is one of the most famous fashion stores in Tokyo, located right at the entrance of Harajuku’s Takeshita Street. Every single piece of jewelry I have purchased so far in Tokyo has been from this store. Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with the store’s owners about the most beloved store in Tokyo’s fashion capital. Read on, because they gave us a special discount for EnAble Japan readers!

Paris Kids Storefront Watermark copy

Paris Kid’s was founded 38 years ago, selling accessories outside of the building it currently occupies. The founder, decided to sell accessories because he could fit many of them in the wagon’s small space. On Sundays, the original Paris Kid’s wagon would open up and sell trinkets and fashion accessories to junior high and high school girls.

Today, Paris Kid’s bright pink sign draws tourists as well as teenage girls. Although their original accessories were simpler, Akihiro Miyakoshi, the owner, says they had to adjust quickly to the kooky fashions that put Takeshita Street on the map. Their customers love wacky accessories such as neon hair extensions, giant puffball earrings, and colossal patterned bows. Foreign visitors find items featuring anime characters, Kanji lettering, and their starfish and seashell hair clips and earrings especially appealing.

Paris Kids items watermark copy

Recently, sales of tattoo chokers have spiked, since they’ve been coming back in style. However, not all of their items are so over the top; many of their accessories look delicate and expensive, even though the majority of their inventory sells for ¥324.

Paris Kids items 2 watermark copy

If you aren’t in Japan right now, or are in Japan and can’t make it to Paris Kid’s to get in on the fun, you’re in luck! Paris Kid’s has launched its first online shop (and in English!!).

But if you can stop by the Paris Kid’s store, good news! If you show the following picture at the register, you will receive an 8% discount on your purchase. Now that’s a great accessory!

pariskidsticket

Paris Kid’s Store Information

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Rakuten
Nearest Station: 2 minute walk from Harajuku Station on the Yamanote Line


Hours of Operation:
Weekdays 10:00am-7:30pm
Saturday 10:00am-8:00pm
Sunday 9:00am-8:00pm
Estimated Price: Accessories start at ¥324. Don’t forget the discount!
“Why Go?”: Get great accessories at a great price from one of the most famous stores in Tokyo. And you’ll have a great story of your Tokyo trip to go with it!
Click on one of the tags below to explore other shopping options in Tokyo –

June 14, 2016 0 comment
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Kiertsin Tokyo Hair Salons

When you are staying in Tokyo, finding the perfect hair salon for you might pose a challenge. A Western friend of mine lived in Tokyo for years, and she said that finding hair dressers was especially difficult, since they were all used to working with thicker Japanese hair. Average Japanese salons would fry her hair. So not only will you need an English-speaking hairdresser, you also may need a hairdresser that can cater to thinner Western manes. Here is a list of our top ten salons for foreigners.

 

Tokyo Hair Salons : Assort International Hair Salon

According to Assort’s website, they are, “recognized as Tokyo’s #1 English-friendly hair salon with great services with international experience.” They are located in Minato. A standard cut is ¥6,000, and they also do eyebrows, styling, treatments, color, perms, and make up. First time clients can receive a free treatment and a ¥1,000 discount. Reservations can be made on their website.


Nearest Subway stop: 5 minute walk from Gaien-Mae Station, on the Ginza Line
Telephone: 03-5772-6461
Website
Hours of Operation
Tuesday-Friday: 11:00am-9:00pm (21:00)
Saturday: 10:00am- 8:00pm (20:00)
Sundays & Holidays: 10:00am-7:00pm (19:00)
Closed on Mondays

 

Dude

Dude is another salon that caters to foreigners as they speak English fluently and import hair colors specifically for Western hair. The salon is located in Shimokitazawa, and is known for its laid-back atmosphere. Standard cut prices are ¥6,600 for men and ¥6,900 for women. Dude also does color & cut, highlights & cut, and super blonde highlights & cut. Furthermore, Dude offers free consultations and free color sample tests.


Nearest Subway stop: 3 minute walk from Shimokitazawa Station, on the Keio-Inokashira and Odakyu Lines
Telephone: 03-3468-9116
Website
Hours of Operation
Wednesday-Friday: 10:00am-7:30pm (19:30)
Thursday: 10:00am- 8:30pm (20:30)
Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays: 10:00am- 7:00pm (19:00)
Closed on Mondays & Tuesdays

 

Gold Salon Tokyo

Gold Salon Tokyo staffs only foreign hair professionals, all fluent in English. A standard cut is ¥8,500 yen, and a cut without shampoo is ¥5,000 yen. Gold Salon also helps with coloring, straightening, hair extensions, and hair treatments, including keratin and conditioning treatments. They have been featured in Metropolis magazine, and appointments can be made on their website.


Nearest Subway stop: 4 minute walk from Azabu-Juban Station, on the Namboku and Oedo Lines
Telephone: 03-6436-0228
Website
Hours of Operation
Monday, Wednesday-Saturday: 10:00am-8:00pm (20:00)
Closed Tuesdays and Sundays

 

Hayato Salon

Hayato Salon has branches in the USA and the UK, so they have a lot of experience working with thinner hair. Most of the staff is bilingual and have worked in either London or New York. They offer a relaxing environment. Cut prices range from ¥5,000- ¥15,000, depending on the stylist. They also offer straight, wavy, and curly perms, coloring, styling, conditioning treatments, and hair extensions. If you share your new hairstyle to social media, they will even give you a ¥500 discount.


Nearest Subway stop: 6 minute walk from Roppongi Station, on the Hibiya and Oedo Lines
Telephone: 03-5574-8844 or book your Hayato appointment through Voyagin!
Website
Hours of Operation
Weekdays & Holidays: 10:00am- 9:00pm (21:00)
Sundays: 10:00am- 7:00pm (19:00)
Closed Tuesdays

 

QB House

QB House Tokyo Hair Salons

Editor’s note: Ok, I have to step in here. This has been bothering me ever since I published this article, and I can remain silent no longer.

Hi, guys! Yes, I’m speaking specifically to guys. Because men are the only people I have ever seen inside the QB House. This is not a place my wife would be caught dead in.

Have you seen the prices at some of the other places in this article? It’s going to cost you at least 5000 yen to get your hair cut at one of those salons. This is fine if you’re one of those guys with gorgeous locks who is still grinding it out on the dating treadmill. Me? I’m not that guy. I have a sports cut, which requires no maintenance and makes a neat scratching noise when I move my head back and forth on my pillow at night.

That’s why I prefer the QB House. 1080 yen gets you a serviceable cut in 10 minutes or less. Obviously, this is not the place to get fancy–they got a barber chair and a barber and that’s it, friendo. If you’re looking for a shampoo or highlights or whatever, go somewhere else. But if all you want is to keep from having to comb your hair in the morning, this is your spot. Some rudimentary Japanese will be required (“suportsu-cutto”) but you should be able to handle it. And if you can’t? Well, it’ll grow back. Until the day it doesn’t.

QB House barber shops are small businesses, but they’re all over the place. I prefer the one on the Keikyu train platform at Shinagawa Station, but you can find your own here (or have someone find it for you, because the QB House’s only English websites are for Singapore and Hong Kong).

And the “How-to” is even printed on the outside, for your convenience.

QB House Hair 2

And now, back to the fancy places.

 

Shinka

Shinka is an originally Australian hair salon with a branch in Roppongi. It serves customers from all around the world, and features happy customer reviews on their website. A regular cut is about ¥6,250 for women and ¥5,750 for men. Shinka also does coloring, perms, airwaves, straightening, hair treatments, highlights, hair styling, eyebrows, and head spas. They will also cut children’s hair for less.


Nearest Subway stop: 8 minute walk from Azabu-Juban Station, on the Namboku and Oedo Lines
Telephone: 03-5575-6768
Website
Hours of Operation
Monday- Friday: 11:00am- 8:30pm (20:30)
Saturdays & Public Holidays: 10:30am- 6:30pm (18:30)
Closed Sundays & the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month

 

Sin Den

Sin Den is a salon that specializes in foreign hair, so no matter what hair you have on your head, Sin Den will accommodate to your needs. Many of their hairdressers are foreign themselves. Located in Shibuya, basic haircut prices range from ¥6,500 to ¥9,500. Discounts are given for children, and special styling is an extra cost. Sin Den also can help you with make-up, bridal packages, hair treatments, hair coloring, and nails.


Nearest Subway stop: 8 minute walk from Gaien-Mae Station, on the Ginza Line, and a 10 minute walk from Omote-sando Station on the Chiyoda, Ginza, and Hanzomon Lines
Telephone: 03-3405-4409
Website
Hours of Operation: Wednesday – Monday 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Closed Tuesdays.

 

VIP Creative Hair International

Vip Creative Hair International is a foreigner favorite salon, and their website features many positive testimonies from English speaking clients. A haircut for women costs ¥7,000 whilst a men’s haircut is ¥6,000. They will also do styling, color, perms, hair treatments, facial waxing, make up, and eyebrows. Specific directions to the salon can be found on their website.


Nearest Subway stop: 9 minute walk from Hiro-O Station, on the Hibiya Line
Telephone: 03-6408-6132
Website
Hours of Operation
Tuesday- Saturday: 10:00am-8:00pm (20:00)
Sundays & Holidays: 10:00am-7:00pm (19:00)
Closed Mondays

 

Watanabe Hair

Although the website’s English may not be perfect, Watanabe Hair is regarded as one of the top hair salons in all of Tokyo. Women’s and men’s standard cuts are both ¥5,500. Prices may vary based on the stylist, and children’s cuts are discounted. Watanabe also can color and perm your hair.
Address: 3-25-6 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001


Nearest Subway stop: 9 minute walk from Harajuku Station, on the JR Yamanote Line
Telephone: 03-3405-1188
Website
Hours of Operation
Tuesday- Friday: 11:00am- 9:00pm (21:00)
Saturdays: 10:00am- 9:00pm (21:00)
Sundays & Public Holidays: 10:00am- 8:00pm (20:00)
Closed Tuesdays and the 3rd Monday of the month

 

WEC Hair

Tokyo Hair Salons WEC Hair is a salon located in Ebisu. The owner has worked in London, New York, and on Hollywood movie sets as a stylist. He also speaks English fluently. A regular cut is ¥5940, with discounts for kids. They also do color, perms, straight perms, hair treatments, hair sets and blows, and head spas. Appointments can be made on the website or by calling the salon number.

 


Nearest Subway stop: 5 minute walk from Ebisu Station, on the Hibiya, Saikyo, Tokaido, Shonan-Shinjuku, and Yamanote Lines
Telephone: 03-6277-4344
Website
Hours of Operation
Weekdays: 11:00am- 10:00pm (22:00)
Saturday: 10:00am-7:00pm (19:00)
Sunday: 10:00am- 6:30pm (18:30)

Did we miss anybody? Do you want your salon featured in this space? If so, send us an email and let us know!

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May 31, 2016 0 comment
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