Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Maid Cafe in Akihabara - Tokyo, Japan

My most recent adventure was in Tokyo where I went to a maid cafe, as a curious female who wanted to observe a different side of Japanese culture.  My Japanese friend, a male, was surprised that I had been interested in visiting a maid cafe, but I never fully understood why.  In my mind, a maid cafe was a fancy, theme-based coffee shop.

On the streets of Akihabara, you may notice maids handing out flyers to potential customers - men.  As a tourist, you may not notice that men are being targeted because there are barely any women around!  However, a maid cafe is a man's world which I quickly learned upon stepping into one, as a female.  It was an interesting experience.

As a maid was walking by, I asked her about the cafe she was promoting.  She quickly took us there and announced that there were two females entering the cafe - my sister and I.  It immediately became awkward, as  I stepped into a smoke-filled cafe with men because I felt I was disturbing their "home."  It was a true sausage fest.

Supposedly, maid cafes are for awkward, nerdy men who have difficulty with women.  The mentality is that the customer (male) is the master and the maid is a subservient and obedient female that will cater to his needs.  I can understand that maid cafes may appeal to these types of customers, but the men I noticed weren't all nerdy and did not fit this image.  It seemed like a hang-out spot for all sorts of men, particularly younger ones.

While I was in the cafe, we ordered some food:  nachos and a chicken basket.  We also ordered some drinks. One thing you should know is that people don't go to maid cafes for the food!  It is the WORST food you'll probably eat, especially for the price.  For the four of us, we paid about $74.00 USD for crummy food.  The nachos were microwaved and tasted stale while the amount could fit into my palm.  The chicken was also microwaved and soggy.

Also, depending on how long you stay, you are charged. Some cafes will charge you every 15-30 minutes and others by the hour.  It's not cheap either, so be prepared!  Thank God we got out of there around 30 minutes, but I believe we got charged another $5.00 each just for being there a couple minutes longer (times that by four).

I was shocked to see that one item cost nearly $380.00!  Depending on what you order, the maid will "cast a spell" on your food (pretend, of course) or entertain you.  I wasn't sure what this entertainment entailed until I noticed a maid do a child-like dance for a customer where she sang and rubbed a stuffed animal on a man's leg.  I also saw a man being fed.  It seemed like men would tell the maid to eat something they ordered  too unless this was a part of the act.  I'm really not sure, but it was unique.

A maid cast a spell on my sister's drink, swirling her coffee with the words "make it good!"

As a male, if you are into this type of thing, you may enjoy the attention of maids at a maid cafe.  However, some of you may feel uncomfortable and uneasy, as you watch men being babied by maids in the most unusual ways while you sit awkwardly at your table eating the worst, most over-priced food  -  ever.  It all depends on your perspective and your reason for being there.

Now that I have been to a maid cafe, I completely understand why my friend was shocked that I was curious about visiting one.  It isn't the theme-based, upscale coffee shop that I imagined, but it plays on men's fantasies.  As a woman, it was interesting to observe a maid cafe, but I think I'll check out another themed-based coffee shop, although I was happy to experience this one as an outsider.  I think I will check out a cat-themed coffee shop next time!


  1. Fun to hear about your experience, Mary! How much longer will you be in Japan?

  2. Hey Willow!! How are you?? Nice to hear from you. I'll be here until late August. Are you Indonesia right now?? =)


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