This is a summary of my first (and probably last) experience at a maid cafe in Japan from over the weekend. The cafe was called ‘MaiDreamin,’ which, if read in the unintended way (as I choose to do), is an unfortunate choice of names and leads me to believe the owner is unaware of what it means to ream a maid. I can’t speak for the customers.
Anyway, two of my friends wanted to experience a maid cafe for the first time while we were in Akihabara, so we set out on a mission. We were troubled momentarily by the fact that none of us actually knew where one was. Luckily, if you’ve ever been to Akihabara, you know that you don’t have to walk very far to find a maid on the street handing out fliers to attract customers. So we literally just crossed the street, and lo and behold a super cute maid was awaiting our arrival.
She had medium-short hair and an adorable costume, complete with what I assumed were fake bandages on her arm, thigh high black stockings, and super cute glasses. One of my friends waited in the background suspiciously while my other friend and I went up to talk to her. She told us that the cafe was nearby, and that she’d be more than happy to guide us, so we all tagged along. By the way, letting a maid guide you through back alleys in Akihabara is a very surreal experience. Looking back, that was probably my favorite part.
We only had to wait a few minutes before she guided us into the very small cafe on the n-th floor of a cramped building. I couldn’t be judgmental too quickly though – most Japanese businesses seem to be located on the n-th floor of rundown buildings. It’s just normal. The cafe itself was pretty crowded though. There was a small bar with an aisle down the middle and 2 sides ready to accommodate any number of “single” men, and a few glass top tables meant for small groups. I bet it wouldn’t hold more than 30 customers at a time. Even so, the stereo system was playing Perfume songs very loudly, so everyone was shouting and it felt pretty noisy.
Because we were clearly not 30 year old businessmen ready to spend lots of money on them, the waitresses didn’t pay particularly much attention to us. But there were about 6 to 8 girls running around in different maid costumes. After a very deep discussion on the matter, we decided that only about 3 of them were really really cute. We spent a lot of time looking around at the other customers as well — some of them were clearly very comfortable and familiar with the atmosphere, and others were obviously like us, checking the place out for the first time with that “I don’t belong here” look on their faces. I’ll also say that the majority of the customers were men, but many of them were younger than I expected.
There wasn’t much going on until a super regular customer ordered some champagne, and they had a mic and spotlight on the girl who came out to serve it to him. She couldn’t open the bottle after several attempts, and ended up making a struggling “eungh!” noise that was so girly and sickeningly moe it made us all laugh, albeit as quietly as possible. If that wasn’t on purpose, I’d be very surprised.
After all is said and done, I don’t think I’d be interested in going back. I didn’t exactly have high expectations to begin with, but for one friend in particular, it was kind of a let-down. In my opinion, the service was not great at all, but like I said, we weren’t exactly their target customers. The lighting was also way too bright, which I suppose is for the sake of being able to see the cute waitresses as clearly as possible. And ultimately, the drinks were not made well, and everything in the room was pink, which made me wonder if maid cafes would be better suited for elementary school girls instead of men who are interested in elementary school girls. Still, this is something you should experience for yourself, and I’m sure that every cafe is different.
Walking back to the main street, we passed another maid leading a group of guys down a back alley of Akihabara.
They were pretty finicky about pictures so we didn’t bother taking any. The ones in this post are from the cafe’s website.
Sounds like it was an interesting experience.
I’d still love to go to one, despite what you said. :v
So they want me to be blowing my nose with 10k yen bills before they give me a blow job?
akihabara.. eh good thing i didn’t visit it during my short trip in tokyo
God-Knows: it wasn’t so much an issue of money so much as the fact that we weren’t, uh, .. men.
Jello: I still encourage other people to try it out : ) With friends it should be fun, but not in the way they intend perhaps.
muahaha 2d girls look much better in maid uniforms
i think they should stop with this whole “made cafe” buisiness and go with the much better alternative. The Tsundere/Yandere cafe. Only, with the yandere one, they recreate the ending to “school days,” while actually killing you…for fun.
I think Akihabara actually does have a tsundere cafe though.
I’ve read quite a few experiences which have conveyed similar feelings. Regardless, going to a meido café is definitely something I would like to experience once, for the surreality of it all, and to say I have (durr), but I sure wouldn’t go with any high expectations… *cough* God~Knows *cough*
I wanna go to a maid cafe.
i had no idea what ‘ream’ meant until i googled/wiki’ed it. i couldve stayed ignorant i guess. ^^;;
i guess id have to go to one at least once to judge for myself.
3D maids huh, quite possibly the scariest thing ever.
ROFL. “Two of my friends” wanted to go to a maid cafe…oookaaay buddy XD
Man, those maids should seriously consider having a bisexual role and start flirting with other girl customers.
Interesting experience to hear about, but ya i don’t really wanna go somewhere where girls are used to cash in.
lol my friend was in japan and they asked if they could take a picture of them and the maid and she said only if they paid her XD
japanese girls are greedy as fuck but who can blame them
were there any female customers?
Unfortunate name is unfortunate… and hilarious!
“it wasn’t so much an issue of money so much as the fact that we weren’t, uh, .. men.”
Trillian, are you a lady? I wouldn’t normally inquire, but it would put your experience in quite a different light.
I assume that he is a ” Boy ” not a ” Man ” . Or more pointing to that hes 20’s rather than the typical 30+ business man like he said up the top of the post. i think?
for those who didn’t catch on (RTFA u noobs), trillian is our resident female.
No wai! So couldn’t tell. It was totally, like, there were no hints to work off of. So cuhrazy. Anyways, if you take a look at the menu, the facial expression for the #9 Chocolate Cake with “Maid Reamin” accompanying text is priceless. Quite the cast of staffers. o_O
*nods* agrees with the run down buildings in akiba… i didnt have an easy time crawling to every building’s nth level to hunt down my figurines. word of advice : to go hunting in akiba, strong legs and stamina is essential.
Gomen.. I never spell it out because I like to be treated like a human instead of a girl. I swear there’s a difference. Plus I don’t think it affects how I write or how I want readers to interpret things.
The internet is great for that reason. In “RL” (is Japan RL?) I get far, far too much attention for being different on many levels, so I appreciate being treated the same as everyone else occasionally.
Also, I’m just not that girly. I thought that would be obvious ; P
OMG!!! HAI 2u!
When ever I go to Akihabara, I’m far to terrified to walk within 10 feet of the girls in the maid outfits. some of them… I’d say 3/10 are smoking hot, but I don’t want to be affiliated with them. I already get enough glares for having anime stuff on my backpack.
Just curious, are you 100% fluent in Japanese?
I’ve been wanting to go to one, but I’ve also heard they don’t really welcome foreigners. My Japanese is a bit of a hodge podge of everything, so I was wondering if it would be possible for me to go.
Should go check out their website and the english menus ROFL ROFL
Well I guess you ended up in a maid cafe which wasn’t that good. I have never been to one, but I guess it’d be funny experience.
However as you only one time. I have no interest in maid cafes nor would I go there to stare at girls all the time, I’m 23 now and left that age long ago where I stared after women.
What I’d do is bring a cute girl with me, just to annoy the maids working there 😛
I’m surprised you didn’t spot @Home cafe. They just opened up a huge new place last week I think takes the top 3 or 4 stories of a building don’t remember the exact location but its on the same side of the street as the that new black office tower. I couldn’t really tell since I was just walking around. They also got one at the Don K for some reason too.
I would prolly never go into one of these places. Also if they are going to market themselves for cuteness they should put their cutest girls out front handing out their flyers. If they are doing that then i’d say a lot of these cafes have some problems in the cute department then.
Oh btw did you see that store that was showing off a maid cafe game? (its right next to the new traders) that was hilarious, also kinda creepy too.
@Fumika – we never had a problem, first time we did a pretty big run on Maid cafes and bars, eventually settling on Littlepsx funny girls, late drinking, and darts – place reminded me of an old fashioned British Dive. It was more or less our base of operations when we weren’t off seeing concerts or hitting real clubs. When I’m on holiday in Japan I like to geek out to the maximum.
However I think this maidreamin place may have been the only one we had problems in, the maids were in a rush and not very attentive. Great outfits though if I recall.
it was pleasant reading that
nice experience! are they english-friendly?
i like to think that the owner knows……
never thought sickenly and moe could combine in one sentence… guess it worked…
if they open one or if i find one in England.. i might just give it a go… >:)
So Maid Cafes are no different to Nightclubs?
Probably people that goes to nightclubs want sexy/hot babes while people that goes to Maid cafes want cute/moe teenaged(underage? XD)girls lol
But back to the topic, after hearing ur experiences, i will probably prefer maids/maid cafes from animes or mangas forever. Good bye my dream…T_T
PS. How can they hire those 2 ugly peachers… LMAO XD
So 30++ year old Japanese businessmen really went to these kind of ‘cafe’ eh? Are they tired with ‘normal’ club?
i would like to go just to c it. if i went there i’ll bring my girl and my cousin, just to try it out.
I’m going to be in Akihabara this fall for 2 weeks, I don’t know if I’ll go to one of these if a simple meal is over 3,800 yen! thats crazy for a hamburger set! I know that you can get side dishes but crap thats expensive!
This is definitely my favorite anime this season,hmm bakemono)spelling?) is a close second this season is the best since Code geass R2’s season.
AHHH REALITY IS TOO HARSH, THERE IS NO HARUHI IN MAID UNIFORM
The place looks nice…based on the pictures x____X
If I can go to a maid cafe with some friends I guess I wouldn’t mind…although being a girl would make it pretty awkward D: And too much pink and cutesy stuff might be pretty blinding…Actually, maybe I should try out a host club instead? XD Hehe sounds like these places are pretty hard to find though
I dropped by @home cafe once during my trip to tokyo/hokkaido. I was reluctant to go but my friend insisted and even offered to pay for food and drinks (we paid for our own cover charge). As someone mentioned earlier, the thing has 3 to 4 different floors, which i assume each carried a specific theme. Since none of us knew Japanese, we were directed to a floor where there was supposedly maids who knew ‘English’.
It ended up being 1 maid who knew very basic conversational english, but obviously it was expected. I commend her efforts in trying to communicate with us, because she seemed to be trying real hard to explain the menu and ‘services’ to us. Aside from her, no one else really paid attention to us..that and a majority of the maids had to participate in some group games. So basically we sat there ate, and got the hell outa there once we finished.
Overall, just as i anticipated, it was an awkward experience. Not knowing japanese enhanced the awkwardness of the experience. One interesting thing was we got this fake credit card looking thing which identified us as ‘lvl 1 masters’, and if we were to collect 2 more stamps, we’d acquire enough exp to lvl up to lvl 2 masters lol. Makes a good momento since it’s highly unlikely we’d ever visit one again.
oh yea, and i was surprised to see so many female customers, and whats more, guys bring their gf there
Oh yea failed to mention the highlight of the visit…
Before we entered, the manager gave us a lamenated waver thing with a list of conducts we were supposed to agree to before entering. This list included stuff like:
1. ‘No taking pictures inside the cafe’
2. ‘No touching of maids’
3. (my favorite of all) ‘Maids are not allowed to leave the premises’
Forgot the rest, but they were all humorously outrageous…at least to me that is
Hehe, I’m studying abroad in Tokyo now. From everyone that I’ve talked to, they could only say that maid cafes were 「面白い」, interpret that as however you want. I think in most maid cafes, if you pay an extra fee you can get your photo taken with a maid.
I went to a suit and spectacles themed cafe in Ikebukuro a couple of weeks ago, and the service was impeccable! “Love-all Japan” is the name. Adorable men in suits and glasses who can actually make decent cocktails at your table. You might have a better experience than at the maid cafe. Website: http://www.love-all.co.jp/
@Fumika: You can still go even if your Japanese isn’t that great, most Japanese are shy around foreigners so they don’t know how to approach you (and will assume that you don’t know any Japanese). I have the opposite effect, I’m Asian American so I’m always assumed to be Japanese. Well as long as you can use the basics to order from a menu you should be fine. Might be helpful to know some keigo since that’s how restaurant and store workers converse with customers.
@pong: Oh yes, the point card! A lot of places in Japan like to give out point cards and such to draw in regulars.
It’s one of those things I want to experience. Being served badly prepared food by average looking girls in adorable outfits. Hmm. I’m sure there are good ones (though I’m not prepared for the old middle aged men who huff over young girls).
It all sounds like a hilarious experience. It’s like a strip club, except not as raunchy and younger servers.
Ugh…I’m too much of a wuss to even board a plane to Tokyo. Sheesh!
Why through the back alley? Is it illegal and have more than just girls in maids costumes serve you food and drinks?
I’ve been to a maid cafe once. it was all at once very cute and less than expected. i think a little too much anime made me disappointed. it’s one of those experiences that you try out once, because it just seems so silly or enticing, but once that’s over you’d really have to crave those maids (or omelet rice)to have to go back.
My wife and I went to Tokyo twice in 07 and the first time we went to @home and the 2nd time we tried a nekomimi cafe near Animate. My Japanese is horrible and only my wife could pass for Japanese, but in both cases it was surreal LOL. We decided to go the 2nd time to see if our experience from the first time would be similar. It wasn’t, but everyone was really nice and considering the combination of my gaijin presence, broken Japanese, and their broken English… it was better than expected. Also, I noticed a TON of girls at the @homecafe one as well as a lot of younger guys and a lot of groups, very loud, ver. the other place which had single men of all ages and kinda quiet. I have to say though, it was pretty fun and interesting in many unexpected ways. 1-comparing my anime-brainwashed version to RL!!! and 2-the GLARES I was getting bringing my wife with me HOHOHO! 3-The Maids seemed less guarded because I was with her LOL. OH and FYI my wife actually liked @homecafe cause she’s really into cute stuff and she thought that their outfits were cute and well made. She even took pictures with the maids and she didn’t even know what they were saying, I was doing my best translating like an idiot LOL.
Honestly though, it’s strange, cute and happy, if you can leave it at that or not take it too seriously. if you are curious, you HAVE to at least try it before you say you would never walk into such a place, etc. At least you can get a reaction when you say “yeah I’ve been to a Maid Cafe before”. Even my friends in Japan *GASPS* when I told them we went there LOL.
But I think we were pretty lucky in our case, I’ve heard more stories like Trill’s than my own.
What is the average age of the patrons of maid cafes? Younger guys? How young?
I’d love to go to a maid café for once, even if my expections were to be brutally chrushed by reality. The problem is: how do you get the money for a trip to Japan? Well, of course I would assume that supportive parents would be one way, but as I don’t have my last hope rests in university during my free period.
@Forest: I think it all depends on what time of the day you go. We went around lunchtime on a Sunday so it was crowded with a much younger than expected groups. There were a few gag parties there too, either bday or bachelor parties, not sure, but all young guys in their 20s with the guest of honor wearing WHITE PANTIES … yes white panties on his head… it was like his punishment as the man of the day. Most of the girl customers were in their late teens early twenties, and of course all the guys ignored them, but the maids kept coming back to their table more often so made me think they were friends or something. Strange as it might sound I only saw 3 business suit guys (easily +33, cuz I’m 33 and they were older than me) on lunch break playing the parlor games with the maids while having lunch. Those 3 were in a group tho so I didn’t see any solo-suit-maidcafe-commandos. But we went on a Sunday, the official day off of Japan LOL… except for salarymen and farmers! 😀
trillian’s a girl???