Sunday, April 3, 2016

Tokyo Akihabara Maid Cafe Experiences

One of the most interesting experiences I had in Japan was at Maid Cafe in Tokyo Akihabara. In general, Japanese Maid Cafe consists of waitress in maid outfit that serves up a cute show, drinks, meals and dessert. This blog post is written to show and tell about my few visits to some of the most popular maid cafe in Japan.
Maid Cafe Capital: Japan Tokyo Akihabara

- To read about my recommendations of affordable, Reasonable, Convenient hotels in Tokyo, visit: Affordable Cheap Reasonable Hotels in Tokyo
- To read about my recommendations of affordable and reasonable hotels in OSAKA, visit: Osaka Reasonable Affordable Hotels
- To read about my recommendations of reasonable, affordable, and convenient hotels in KYOTO, visit: Kyoto reasonable, affordable, and convenient Hotels
-To read about my recommendations of best food in Tokyo, visit: Best food in Tokyo Japan

Akihabara is historically known to be the place for the most advanced electronic goods, however in the past 10-20 years, this amazing area has evolved to be an area for the breeding ground for Japanese pop idol culture, anime, and Maid Cafe phenomenon. 
Colorful advertisement on high-rise building in Tokyo Akihabara

Entire building of cosplay and maid outfit shop in Tokyo Akihabara

After arriving in JR Akihabara station, exit toward northwest direction, you will be greeted with AKB Cafe and Gundam Cafe. Go further northwest, colorful advertisement on high-rise building will start to appear. At the ground level, there will be many girls wearing cosplay themed maid outfit on the streets passing out flyers and inviting guests to their maid cafe.
AKB48 themed Cafe and Shop in Tokyo Akihabara

Gundam Robot themed Cafe in Tokyo Akihabara

Kawaii girls in maid cafe outfit on the streets of Tokyo Akihabara

In 2008, I visited "At Home Cafe" (@Home Cafe) Maid Cafe in Tokyo Akihabara with a couple of my friends. After taking the elevator to the cafe, we were greeted and seated at the table ready to be served by young girls in "conservative" french maid outfit. Being a foreign visitor, we were given a page of English-language recommendations/instructions on how to enjoy the maid cafe experience.  Our maid spoke enough English to communicate with us. It was easy to order off the pictorial menu, the items range from coffee, slice cake, fruit punch, spaghetti to omelet rice, etc. After the maid waitress brought over our drinks, we were instructed to repeat after her magical spell phrases in order to make the drinks tastes better. The entire maid cafe experience was fun and the presentation of the magic spell was cute.
"Welcome home, master" Entrance of At Home Cafe in Tokyo Akihabara
If it runs on electricity, you can find it here at Tokyo Akihabara

In 2012, I visited "Maidreamin" Maid Cafe in Tokyo Akihabara. The maid waitress happened to have had studied abroad experience in Australia, she came by our table and chat with us in English a few time during my visit. One of the perks of Maid Cafe is that the maid cafe waitress will personalized food or dessert dishes by drawing or writing on the plate with ketchup or chocolate syrup. 
Two floors of Maid Cafe. Maidreamin in Tokyo Akihabara
Cute drawing on your dessert plate at Maidreamin Maid Cafe in Tokyo Akihabara

Blurry pictures of the Maids at Maidreamin Cafe in Tokyo Akihabara

In 2014, I visited "At Home Cafe" (@Home Cafe) Maid Cafe in Tokyo Akihabara with a high school buddy of mine. Probably due to the recent tourism surge, we had to wait in line for about 20 minutes before we were seated by the cute maid waitress. Once again, one of the maid waitress was fluent enough to communicate with us in English and made sure we had a good time. There were cute activity performances on stage and Polaroid picture time. In general, customers were not allowed to use own camera to take close up pictures of the maid waitresses, however, they do offer opportunities for guests take Polaroid pictures with selected cafe maid at about 500 yen per picture. 
Cute dessert and latte/cappuccino at At Home Maid Cafe in Tokyo Akihabara

Flan on cute syrupy fruit slices at At Home Cafe in Tokyo Akihabara

1. Japanese language skill is definitely not needed to enjoy authentic Akihabara Maid Cafe experiences.  The magical spell presentation is meant to be cute, just repeat after the maid waitress, no one cares about the correct pronunciation. Most of the maid waitress have enough English skills to do their business with foreign visitors. In 2014, I saw many foreign travelers visiting maid cafe and Akihabara on their own.

2. Try to retrain from using your own camera to take pictures of the maid waitress on the streets or at maid cafe, it is consider a taboo to take close up pictures of them without their permission or without paying the ~500 yen Polaroid fee.

3. Magical spell presentation and Polaroid picture service are usually carried out at every Maid Cafe. The Polaroid picture makes great souvenir for foreign visitors.

4. Solo guests were welcomed at At Home Cafe. I saw a few Gajin solo travelers visiting the cafe during my visit in 2014.

5. Price is a bit steep at Maid Cafe in my opinion. There were table charges and the food and beverage prices were a bit higher than expected. However, if I think about the fact that I was paying for an unique experience in Japan, the money was well spent.
About $45 USD for table charge, two Polaroid pictures, one dessert, two coffee drinks at At Home Cafe in Tokyo Akihabara

At Home Cafe Original Store (Tripadvisor page)
Mitsuwa Bld. 4F - 7F
Sotokanda 1-11-4, Chiyoda, Tokyo
101-0021, Japan


Maidreamin Akihabara Original Store (Tripadvisor page)
Sumiyoshi BLDG.6F 3-16-17 
Sotokanda Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 
101-0021 Japan

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