Translated by Eri Sasaki
An Icon Of Akihabara's Otaku Culture: What's A Maid Cafe?
Written by Miku Yasuda
Ever hear of a "maid cafe"? Ever been curious what they're about? Here we'll let you know what maid cafes are all about this part of Akihabara's otaku culture!
Does everybody here know what a maid cafeis?
It's a concept cafe in Japan, where women dressed up in maid outfits serve the customers. They call their customers "master" and "mistress." As the headquarters of otaku culture, Akihabara has quite the number of maid cafes.
How do they Work Anyways?
The pricing and system vary among stores. There's normally a table charge, aside from the costs of the food and drinks.
Some cafes set a time limit, so it's better to check out the system of the cafe you want to visit before going there.
There isn't much difference from ordinary restaurants in terms of ordering and paying for food and drink. Also, some cafes offer English explanations and menus in multiple languages because there are a lot of non-Japanese speakers.
The Best Part: Cute, Unique Services!
The prices for food and drinks are relatively higher than at normal cafes, but don't forget that they come with an exclusive service! Maids draw pictures on the food, and perhaps perform charms to make it more delicious!
Apart from the food, you can also play games with the maids or watch live performances too.
Casual, fun conversations with the maids are the best part of the maid cafe.
Follow the Rules to Get the Most Out of your Experience!
Maid cafes are an amusement facility. Thus, most of the cafes ban touching the maids (this includes even shaking hands). This form of body contact might be okay in different countries, but if you try this at the cafe, you will be asked to leave, so please be careful.
Additionally, not only men but also women and those with children can of course enjoy maid cafes! You can have fun with your family or loved ones. This is yet another one of the maid cafe's merits.
Evolving Maid Cafe - Samurai and Train Crews Serve You in a Cafe!?
The first maid cafe in Japan is said to be CURE MAID CAFE, which opened in 2001, Akihabara. Afterwards, ＠HOME CAFE was opened in 2004. This cafe pretty much sculpted of the image of today's maid cafes. From then, the maid cafe culture flourished in Akihabara, and it remains the centre of this particular culture.
A lot of new unique cafes have been opened recently: LittleTGV, whose theme is railways and trains, Maid Cafe & Bar MONONOPU, whose concept is, maids coming from the warring states era, so they wear samurai costumes.
The maid cafe was much more friendly and laid back than I had imagined. Would you like to be a master for a day, and enjoy some Japanese otaku culture at maid cafe?