Tokyo Maid Cafes
Made in Japan, The Maid Café is a result of the ever growing Otaku sub-culture, media and shameless businesses.
The maid café in essence is simple. It’s a café. You go and sit, and have a snack. With the slight difference of the café being interior decorated Princess Peach, the waitresses wear French Maid costumes, with tremendous embellishments, lace and a whole lot of ‘cute’.
But don’t think that only the geeks and socially inept frequent these establishments! You might be surprised that it’s quite common to find the following:
- families with young children
- teenage girls and adult women (I’m at a loss to say why)
- curious foreigners
- geeks (otaku)
You are treated as if you are a ‘master’ and they are your servants. For example when you enter they will say in a high pitched voice: “okaerinasaimase goshuujin sama” “welcome home master”.
When your maid comes to serve you a drink, she will do a ritual to put magic into it in order to make it more delicious, it usually involves magic words, special hand movements and clapping, (and they will insist upon your participation by repeating after them and clapping your hands).
Depending on where you go, after they seat you they will kneel down on the floor, purse her lips and blow into an electric candle (in order to activate it) in an innocent yet suggestive manner. It’s this kind of sexual overtone that makes the maid café experience extra weird. It is noted that the blowing of the candle is free and not a premium service.
It costs around 10 – 20 USD (1000-2000 yen) to stay in the Café for one hour. And chances are you’re not going to want to just sit there, and so there is a menu with various drinks, appetizers, snacks and desserts to indulge in.
- French fries
- Chicken fingers
- Buffalo wings
- Mini hamburgers
- Ice cream floats
- Ice cream Sundaes
Around 5 USD for each.
- Do not touch the maids
- Do not ask for maid’s phone number
- Do not invade their privacy
- Do not stalk or wait outside after hours to talk to them
- Photographs are forbidden
- Do not look the maids in the eye. (joking, gotcha!)
Nothing is free at the Maid Café, here are some of the extra services:
- Photographs with maids
- Play games with maids
- Ear cleaning (not all of them offer this, and no, I’m not joking this time)
However weird and uncomfortable it may be, the Japanese experience wouldn’t be complete without at least trying a Maid Café. (I can’t help but feel I’m insulting the spirit of Japan by asserting that Maid Café’s are an important part of the Japanese culture)