Coffee Sights: 4 Cafés In Asia Offering Unique Experiences

From play time with adorable owls in Tokyo to an open sunset and ocean viewing experience in Jeju Island, these engaging cafés in Asia are far from ordinary. 

Many of us usually visit coffee shops to chat with loved ones, accomplish work, or simply unwind. Though most of these establishments offer similar set-ups—namely a cozy space, nice background music, and a delicious roster of beverages—some cafés offer entirely unique experiences. In Asia alone, there are plenty of coffee shops that make each customer’s stay quite special through inimitable surroundings, and yes, even the presence of adorable animals. 

If you’re planning a trip to any of these countries and are looking for cafés that offer unforgettable sights and sounds, the following establishments may just give you all that and more: 

READ ALSO: Cafe Landmarks: 5 Historical Coffee Shops Around The World

Owl Cafe Akiba Fukurou (Tokyo)

Just a three-minute walk from Akihabara station in Tokyo is the Owl Cafe Akiba Fukurou. As the name suggests, the café is home to a family of friendly owls—a bird enthusiast’s dream. A Japanese couple runs the establishment, and both are passionate about their feathered friends, making sure the owls are part of a loving environment that aims to “create a space where owls and people can spend a cozy time together with mutual respect.”

Owls inside the Owl Cafe Akiba Fukurou
Owls inside the Owl Cafe Akiba Fukurou/Photo from the Owl Cafe Akiba Fukurou Facebook

As such, the café only accepts guests through online reservations with limited seating (and short opening hours from 12:00 noon to 6:00 PM) to ensure that the birds are comfortable and happy. The establishment earned a number one ranking from TripAdvisor as a “Top Activity in Japan” for five consecutive years (2016 to 2020), and continues to educate the public about these birds and how to treat them with care. 

Of the 300 owl species in the world, people can legally breed 50 of them as pets in Japan. The Owl Cafe Akiba Fukurou houses 40, including a barn owl named Whitebait, a spotted little owl named Sweet Potato, and a long eared owl named King Crimson. The café also has an official Instagram and YouTube channel for those who want to see the birds of prey in action.

Cafe Noeully (Jeju Island, South Korea)

While coffee shops with a view have existed for quite some time, there are a few that execute the entire concept to a whole new level. Take Cafe Noeully in South Korea’s Jeju Island, a hidden gem (at least for those who aren’t locals) that’s not only large in size, but also picturesque in every way.

The café’s first floor already offers a stunning, open-window view of the cliffside and ocean (which becomes more magical during sunset hour), surrounded by a tropical garden. Meanwhile, the second floor is an airy rooftop and the third an open sky garden that both offer some of the best views on the island within a relaxing atmosphere. 

Cafe Noeully in Jeju Island offers open-window views during the day
Cafe Noeully in Jeju Island offers open-window views during the day/Photo via Instagram @noeully

There are plenty of different seating arrangements to choose from: customers can sit on tilted couches that provide the best angle for sunset watching, or enjoy drinks on one of the charming wood or rattan chairs with matching tables. 

Beyond that, the coffee shop also offers tasty drinks and desserts, including a lush strawberry shortcake and their special coffee with Jeju’s famous hallabong—a particularly big and sweet orange that grows on the island. 

The café normally opens from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM, and is located within the premises of Uni Hotel Jeju at 656 Aewolhaean-ro, Aewol-eup, Jeju-si. Those who are interested in paying it a visit can also check out its official Instagram for updates and more information. 

The Note Coffee (Hanoi, Vietnam)

The Note Coffee in Hanoi, Vietnam has a story in every corner—quite literally. The café is covered in hundreds of sticky notes from visitors around the world, from its tables to the walls. The colorful pieces of paper have everything from sweet proposals to sage advice from strangers, and this is what has made the establishment a joy to stay in for many visitors. Each one has left their mark, passing it onto the next set of customers and building a living narrative by doing so. 

Inside The Note Coffee in Hanoi, Vietnam
Inside The Note Coffee in Hanoi, Vietnam/Photo via Instagram @thenotecoffee

It’s worth noting that the café also serves a variety of pastries and drinks, including Hanoi’s popular and unique egg coffee. The drink is steeped in the city’s (and country’s) history, as bartender Nguyen Van Giang began whisking eggs into coffee in response to a milk shortage during the French War (First Indochina War) in 1946. Today, both locals and tourists alike enjoy the indulgent, sweet drink as a treat even if there’s enough milk going around. 

The Note Coffee is usually open 8:00 AM to 10:30 PM on weekdays, and 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM on weekends at 64 Luong Van Can, Hanoi 10000 Vietnam. The coffee shop also has an official Instagram for those looking for more information or updates. 

Pythonism (Taipei, Taiwan)

Ending the list is another animal café, and certainly one of the more unconventional ones. Pythonism houses an assortment of reptiles for both reptile-lovers and those seeking something truly different. Like the owl café in Japan, Pythonism is typically open for shorter hours from 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM via online reservation. Interested visitors can find it at 103, Taiwan, Taipei City, Datong District, Section 2, Chongqing N Rd. 

Customers can enjoy tea, coffee, and other beverages in the company of Pythonism’s roster of reptiles
Customers can enjoy tea, coffee, and other beverages in the company of Pythonism’s roster of reptiles/Photo via Instagram @pythonism_studio

It features an assortment of scaly creatures that not only serve as the coffee shop’s residents, but also potential pets to those looking to purchase them as responsible owners. This way, guests are given a chance to get to know their reptilian companion before buying them. However, most guests can simply enjoy the company of these creatures over tea, coffee, and other beverages. These include (as the name suggests) pythons and lizards, which visitors can hold or interact with under the supervision of the café’s staff. 

The coffee shop has an official website, Instagram, and Facebook for those who are curious and want to learn more. 

Banner photo from the Owl Cafe Akiba Fukurou Facebook

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