I have visited a maid cafe years ago when I went with a group of friends, but Ryan had never experienced one before, so we made sure to visit one this time while we were in Japan. Maid cafes have been in Japan for awhile now and they are popular among otakus (Japanese term for people with obsessive interests, commonly the anime and manga fandom) and tourists. They are cafes with waitresses dressed as maids and they treat their customers as “masters”.
Maid Cafes are all over Akihabara, which is a popular city in Japan well-known for its electronic shops and anime subculture. If you love Japanese anime and manga, this city is your mecca. There are countless numbers of stores that have otaku goods and collections. There are also tons of themed cafes like the Gundam Cafe, Owl Cafe and the train cafe.
I decided to go to a maid cafe called Maidreamin because I read reviews that they are really laid back and don’t mind you taking pictures inside the cafe. Most maid cafes will not let you take pictures at all for the privacy of the staff and customers. I didn’t take any pictures of the maids, but I did take some photos of our cute desserts.
Before you enter the cafe, there are usually maids outside the building advertising the cafe and if you’re interested in visiting, they escort you up to the cafe, which is exactly what we did. We entered a little cafe and sat down at a tiny table. We arrived around 11AM, so it was a little empty since it wasn’t lunch time yet. We were given a menu as the waitress explained all the combinations they offered. This explanation went on for about 5 minutes and we didn’t understand a single word she said in English. Most of the maids know a little bit of English, but this particular one we had was just mumbling a bunch of random words. Thankfully, the pictures on the menu pretty much explain everything.
You can either order a la carte or order a combo. Combo A (~$48) came with food, dessert, drink, gift, a samurai stick (a.k.a. glow sticks), photo with the maid and a live performance by the maids. Combo B (~$34) came with food, dessert, drink, gift and photo. Combo C (~$21) came with dessert, drink, gift and a photo. We went with Combo C and got bunny and cat ears as our souvenir gifts. Ryan wasn’t really digging them, but I loved my cat ears so much that I wore them pretty much all day.
The desserts were uber cute and came in a shape of a bear. Before we ate our desserts, the maid had us do a chant with her saying “Moe moe kyun!” as we made a heart symbol with our hands. This is supposed to make our food taste good. Too funny!
After we enjoyed our drinks and desserts, it was time for us to take a picture with our maid waitress. We had a choice of taking a picture on a polaroid or on our camera and I chose to take one with my camera. Of course, we had to wear our animal ears and make some hand gestures again as we cheesed for the camera.
We stayed there for about an hour, which was more than enough time. The maid cafes charge an extra fee of 500 yen (~$5) for each hour, so we didn’t want that extra charge on our bill.
Maid cafes are fun, but they can be a little awkward and it’s not for everyone. I’ve noticed that my male friends especially feel more uncomfortable than the women do. The girls can giggle with the maids and act cute like them. The guys have a harder time giving in to these cute hand movements and phrases and hesitate to do them. They almost don’t know what to do with themselves because they are so confused by the whole thing. I personally think it’s hilarious and get a kick out of people’s reactions to the cute maids.