Maid Café In Tokyo – The Strangest Service On Earth?
Café is a very common service all around the world, but have you ever heard of maid café? Yes, it sounds crazy but you don’t hear wrong. Maid café in Tokyo (as it was first established in Akihabara, Tokyo) is a famous type of cosplay restaurant in Japan. This service has been so ingrained in Japanese culture that it is a must-try destination for tourists when visiting the country.
- 1 Discover A Very Strange Place In The World – Maid Café In Tokyo
- 2 Conclusion
Discover A Very Strange Place In The World – Maid Café In Tokyo
1. What Is Maid Café?
1.1. The Concept
Maid café is a type of cosplay restaurant which originates from Akihabara, Tokyo. The first café was open in March of 2011. Since then, it has become increasingly popular as its concept is so unusual that it attracts thousands of customers.
In maid cafés, the waitresses dress like maids, act like servants, and treat the guests as if they are masters or mistresses. The costumes of these waitresses are based on the French maid’s costume. They wear a dress, a petticoat (a garment worn under the skirt/ the dress), a pinafore (like an apron), a hair accessory (such as a frill or a bow), and stockings (an elastic garment covering the leg from the foot to the kneel). Sometimes, the staff also cosplay famous or iconic characters from anime (a Japanese comic).
Most of waitresses are young, beautiful and innocent-looking girls and more importantly, they have the ability to intimate or portray the character that they will cosplay.
1.2. The Rules (Rituals, Etiquettes,..)
In this strange café, there are many rules and rituals that the staff have to perform and the customers need to follow. When a customer come in the café, maids greet “Welcome home, Master (Mistress)” and then offer he/she a towel and menu. Maids also need to kneel down to stir the coffee for their guests. Maids must be caring and attentive and available when the customers need something. Extra services such as massages, game – playing, singing and dancing are available with extra fees.
For customers, they are not allowed to:
- touch the maid’s body
- ask for the maid’s personal contact (phone number, email address, …)
- invade the maid’s privacy by asking when she gets off work
- stalk and pick up a maid all the time
- linger outside the café to wait for her coming in or going out
- take photo of the maids, food or the interior of the café
- stay for more than 2 hours
To identify the typical customers of this kind of café, first you need to know about “otaku”. “Otaku” is a term to denote the people who are obsessively interested in anime and manga (Japanese cartoons and comics). The image of pretty and innocent-looking maids is very iconic in anime and manga. Therefore, the clients coming to maid café in Japan are mainly male otaku. Actually the hidden culprit for otaku attraction is moe. “Moe” is a slang that refers to a strong affection towards anime characters (often female). As a result, people with moe feelings will come to stores where they can have direct interaction with their favorite fiction characters.
Maid café is becoming phenomenal along with the otaku culture. Nowadays, Tokyo’s maid cafés attract not only otaku but also tourists, couples, …
Most maid cafés offer menus like other coffee shops. Customers can order coffee, other beverages (iced latte, milkshakes,…) and desserts. However, the food (spaghetti, salad, rice) have kawaii (Japanese term means “cute”) decorations.
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2. Best Maid Café In Tokyo
Now let us walk you through best maid café in Tokyo.
Cure maid café
Cure maid café was the first café open in Akihabara, Tokyo. It was established in 2001 with the concept of healing maid café. Cure maid café distinguishes itself from other similar services by the sophisticated atmosphere with polite maids in Victorian costumes. There is much greenery, decent food and classical music. The café also offers the excellent tea and it is even certified by Japanese Tea Association.
Maidreamin is the largest maid café in Japan with 15 stores all over the country. The café is famous for its lighthearted, entertaining and lively atmosphere. Customers in Maidreamin are served by cute maids (like anime characters) and they can also enjoy chatting and playing games with them. Besides just eating or drinking cute desserts and beverages, Maidreamin allows customers to take a Polaroid photo with the maid as memorabilia. Moreover, guests can enjoy a two-hour live show that the maids perform. This place is so fun, not only for males but also for families and couples.
@home café is a famous moe café in Japan. It received “Certificate of Excellence 2015” by TripAdvisor – the world’s largest travel reviewing website. When a customer comes in the café, those extremely moe maids would heartedly greet “Welcome home, my master!” There are premium maids at @home café who are very active in live events and famous as J-pop idols. The admission charge is 700 yen and there is service charge for food and drinks. Customers make payment after ordering all services.
Let’s visit @home café, you can even follow its youtube channel here to explore more interesting services.
The menu is so cute and has English versions for foreign guests. The typical dish is omelet rice with cute ketchup decorations and hand-writing of the maids.
Like Maidreamin, there are also singing and dancing performances at irregular basic and customers can take photos with the maids.
MIA is short for Maid in Angels. As the name suggested, the maids here are like angels: beautiful, attentive, warm and caring. There are some English – speaking staff in MIA Café so it is a worth – visiting place for foreigners. The café even offers hand or shoulder massage services. Visiting MIA Café is truly a relaxing and healing experience.
Akiba Zettai is an outstanding Tokyo maid café with the very kawaii theme: cats. The waitress still wear the typical maid dresses but with cat ears on their heads. Some maids even behave like cats! The customers can wear cat ears, chat and play with the maids. The menu is of course cat-themed including many cute – decorated food and drinks like pick soda, the omelet rice with a cat face on it, unicorn-like parfait and so on.
Akiba Zettai is a perfect café for cat lovers who are huge fans of anime.
Schatzkiste is a German word that means Treasure Chest. This café is unique as it is themed like antique German tea house combined with a private library. Therefore, there are hundreds of books on the shelves. Customers can play American broad games, build models or draw manga. The maids here dress in black and white and they are so gentle and nice. The atmosphere in Schatzkiste is very special and extremely different from all of Tokyo maid cafés: cool, quiet and not energetic with extra cuteness. There are only 30 seats and the time limitation is 30 minutes.
Despite the globalization with the greater penetration of exotic cultures, maid café in Tokyo is an indispensable part of Japan’s otaku culture in particular and Japanese culture in general. It is hard to imagine an Akihabara without maid café.