Translated by Shinji Takaramura
@Home Cafe: The King Of Akihabara Maid Cafes
Written by Miku Yasuda
This is a report of the MATCHA staff's visit to @Home Cafe, for the readers thinking of visiting a maid cafe someday.
A maid cafe is where cute waitresses, dressed up as a maids, serve the customer. In Akihabara, many people enjoy maid cafes, as if they were going to an amusement park.
This article will show what it's like at a maid cafe, for those readers who are thinking of visiting.
@Home Cafe: A maid cafe in the limelight
We visited @Home Cafe, a very popular maid cafe.
@Home Cafe received a "Certificate of Excellence 2015" from TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel website. It is a first-rate sightseeing spot, as well, and this definitely helped to raise the bar.
@Home Cafe is celebrating its 11th anniversary, and has thrived in Akihabara, despite the large number of maid cafes in the area.
This is the cafe's exterior. It's near Akihabara station, and you can easily see the huge poster of the maids on the wall. Although the cafe is huge in terms of space, being located on floors 4-7, it's not rare to see a long line of people waiting to get inside. According to the cafe staff, it's not so crowded during mornings and nighttime, so for those of you who don't want to wait in line, take note of this.
A cute maid welcomed us inside the cafe.
"Welcome home, master!"
This is Hitomi-san, one of the "premium" maids at @Home Cafe. Premium maids are also active in various live events and some are famous as a pop idols, so they are very popular with the customers.
Hitomi san showed us to our seats. The interior is mostly pink, bright colors.
The admission charge is 600 yen, and there is also a service charge, along with the price of food and drinks. The time limitation is one hour, and the payment is made after all foods, and services have been ordered.
Depending on how crowded the cafe is, there may be no additional charge after the first hour. You should ask the staff about the pricing system. It's also possible to leave before one hour.
The menu itself is also cute. There are English versions for both the cafe's system and the menu, so overseas tourists have nothing to worry about.
This is our first order, Magic Sketch ☆ Iced Caramel Latte, which is 480 yen.
Hitomi-san drew a picture with the caramel sauce, on the fragrant latte. The customer can request whatever they wish, so we asked for the picture of a cat.
As you can see, the drawing is excellent. There are some guests who ask for difficult drawings, such as trains and buildings.
The maids will do their best to comply to the customer's requests.
Before taking a drink, we put a heart-shaped spell on it, with Hitomi-san.
Our next order is the pipiyopiyopiyo ♪ chick pea rice, the most popular dish in the menu. The price is 1,100 yen. As you can see, all the items on menu have very unique names.
We had Hitomi san draw a portrait of one of the MATCHA editing staff.
How about this! Hitomi-san is a great artist.
The egg is creamy, and the ketchup-flavored rice is marvellous. With Hitomi san's drawing, it tastes even better.
You can take photographs, or play games with the maids. The charge for the standard-size photograph is 570 yen, and a larger size is 750 yen. The charge for playing games is 570 yen. We took a photograph with Hitomi san. This makes a nice souvenir, as it can be printed on the spot.
The maids held a live performance, and the cafe rocked with the cute maids' fabulous singing and dancing.
The performance is conducted on a irregular schedule, so if you want to see it, you have to visit the cafe frequently.
@Home Cafe also welcomes women and children. On the day of our visit, there were children with their parents, couples, women in groups, and overseas tourists. A maid cafe is an amusement park featuring otaku culture, so anyone can enjoy it, with a cup of coffee or a glass of juice. Don't be afraid, and just give it a try.
Address: 1-11-4, Sotokanda, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo Mitsuwa Building
Access: 6-minute walk from JR Akihabara Station Central Exit
Closed: Differs according to the cafe's schedule.
Fourth Floor 03-3255-2808
Fifth Floor 03-5294-7709
Sixth Floor 03-5294-7708
Seventh Floor 03-5294-7707
Charge: Admission 600 yen, service charge and the price of food and drinks will be added to the admission price
Credit Cards: VISA, MASTER, and UnionPay are accepted.
Official website: @Home Cafe