Creature comforts

Feasting and sightseeing are fun, but what makes a holiday even better is getting a generous dose of cuteness. Here are the top spots around the world to get your furry (or feathered) fix.
By Gillian Lim
Published on Thursday, 09 March 2017

If like us, you can’t take two steps while travelling overseas without stopping to pet a random dog or coo at something furry, add these unique animal-themed tourist attractions from around the world to your itinerary. From islands filled with fluffy free-roaming bunnies to a cafe housing dozens of owls that won’t hesitate to perch on your arm, going on holiday has never been this warm and fuzzy. Read on to find out where and how to get your furry (or feathered) fix on your next flight out!

Akiba Fukurou, Tokyo
This cafe doesn’t serve food or drinks (so technically, it isn’t a cafe), but it doesn’t matter because its feathered residents are the main attraction. Perched across the cafe are close to 20 owls that customers are allowed to approach freely. “Before entering Akiba Fukurou, everybody is briefed on how to behave when handling the owls,” says Cassandra Chen, 25, who visited the owl cafe last October. “You have to speak very softly, and if you want to touch them, you can only do so gently with one finger.” 

You need to make a reservation beforehand as the cafe caps the number of guests allowed in the room at any one time, and each guest can only stay for an hour. If the birds poop on you, don’t be alarmed! Owls cannot be toilet trained, so simply arm yourself with wet wipes and wipe away their waste should they go potty on you. You can take as many photos as you wish, but remember to disable the flash! 

67 Kanda Neribeichō, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 101-0022

Price: ¥2,000 (S$24) per adult/child admission

Website: www.akiba2960.com 

Tashirojima, Miyagi 
Home to hundreds of free-roaming kitties, this rural island is paradise for cat lovers. Besides snuggling with Cat Island’s purring residents, you can also visit the cat shrine at the centre of the island or stay in cat-shaped cabins at the south of the island—the lodging is only open from April to October though, and you need to make reservations at least two weeks in advance. 

Tashirojima, a rural island off the coast of central Ishinomaki City in Miyagi Prefecture

Price: Ferry costs ¥1,230 (S$15), but entrance to the island is free.

This is an excerpt from an article in our Around the World column. For the full story, flip to pg 18 of our Feb-Mar 2017 issue!