Hubby and I agree that one of our fondest moments at Akihabara district in Tokyo is our first encounter of a Maid Cafe. Every time we are reminded of what others would rather consider an odd experience, we look at each other and start to giggle like little kids who had sworn to secrecy that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Apparently, odd is the norm here in Japan and what happens in Akihabara does not stay in Akihabara. It somehow ends up in my blog!
WHAT IS A MAID CAFE?
Sometimes ignorance is a bliss, at least in my case. We have been in this country for quite a time now and I could not believe how I had been oblivious of maid cafes until that afternoon we walked the streets of Akihabara and saw these cute girls in fancy French maid costumes. My curiosity got us finding ourselves sitting inside one of the pink rooms of Maidreamin Cafe and I remember having the best giggle of my entire life.
Maid cafes are cosplay restaurants of some sort where waitresses are dressed in fancy costumes such as French maids. They were originally conceptualized to cater to male otakus (reference to geeks) who are anime, manga and video game fans, but it has grown much popularity nowadays and has attracted more than the male population, even children are welcome and encouraged to visit. The maid cafe waitresses are normally young and attractive girls although some cafes have males crossdressing as maids.
THE MAID CAFE EXPERIENCE
Immediately after we had settled ourselves in a pink-lit cafe, hubby and I had this I-cannot-wait-to-tell-our-friends-about-this look. One maid approached us and introduced herself. She welcomed us to the cafe and although I do not understand mostly what she was saying, I remember her very well uttering “Today you are a princess and you are a prince”. She then took out an electric candle which she asked us to blow as part of the opening ritual. She also made us wear headbands – I had an animal ear with a bow and hubby had a lion hair. I thought I was thunderstruck for a minute.
What really cracked us up was when the maid asked hubby and I to use his right hand and my left hand to form a heart and swing it sideways while chanting “Delicious, delicious, moi moi cute.” I am not exaggerating when I say I had the best giggle in my entire life. I thought I was being rude so I started biting my lips to stop and hubby also started pinching me. That became our household chant until today. Delicious, delicious, moi moi cute!!
MAID CAFE SERVICES
There is a 1000¥ (~~$10) entrance fee for each person to sit down. Food menu consists of the regular entrees, drinks and desserts but they are ultra adorably decorated. A number of the menu are sets that include a photograph with the cafe maids. Typical menus but not your typical price. Be warned that we paid around $80 all for the entrance, a slice of cake and a glass of drink for each, and a couple photographs. Not cheap but it was worth all the exuberance and memories. Some cafes offer other services like massages, grooming services and even playing cards or video games with the maids for an additional fee.
MAID CAFE RULES
There are many maid cafes around Akihabara district and every cafe has different rules. The common rules, however, are no touching a maid’s body, no prying into the maid’s personal information, and no photographs of the maids or of the cafe’s interior. But as mentioned above, an extra fee is required for a photograph or it comes in a menu set like what we had where two photographs from our own camera were allowed and two hand-decorated photographs were given to us as our souvenir from the cafe.
MAID CAFE PHENOMENON
My giggles do not mean to insult but rather to praise the surreal maid cafe experience. Maid cafes actually have a light and the friendliest atmosphere and the maids were really treating everyone like royalties. The food and the cafe interior were not bad either. It is no wonder that maid cafes are also found in other parts of the world like South Korea, Canada and USA. Good food, friendly service and undoubtedly one of a kind otaku experience – not the best and most practical way to spend a dime but definitely worth a try.
Delicious, delicious, moi moi cute!! Delicious, delicious, moi moi cute!!
Check on Google Street View below for an additional information and perspective on Akihabara District where Maid Cafes are located: