One of the unique things to do in Japan is visit a Maid cafe. But wait… just what exactly is a Maid cafe?
It’s a cafe staffed by young Japanese girls dressed in french maid outfits. And it’s a huge thing in Japan! They even have Butler cafes now where men dress and act like old Victorian butlers. It’s a must-try experience when visiting the country.
My friend and I went to Akihabara district where most of the popular themed cafes are. Right off the bat, there were dozens of maid cafes as we walked by. We didn’t know which one to choose (having zero maid cafe experience), but then we saw this girl in a french maid dress handing out fliers for Maidreamin. We came up to her and she happily took us to the cafe nearby.
By the way, you’ll see a number of these girls out on the streets of Akihabara. They lure people in to get more customers to come see their cafe. Photos above taken from Maidreamin’s Facebook Page.
Maidreamin’ – Akihabara’s No. 1 Maid Cafe
We were cheerfully greeted by the staff and bowed in unison as soon as we entered the place. It was a bit cramped and sloppily decorated with frills and lights so I was kind of disappointed that we weren’t at Maidreamin’s main branch. But it’s not much of a deal really since we went there for the experience!
One of the maids ushered us to our table and handed out the menu. I was overwhelmed with the food choices and wanted to try everything. They all looked so cute and delicious! Seriously. I mean… just look at it.
There was a floating bear swimming in curry with fried pork cutlets so I ordered that one for myself. My friend got Omurice which is the Japanese take on fried rice with an omelette. The maid drew a cute character on top of the scrambled egg of what looked like a cat.
One thing I learned about Japan is that there is little to no false advertising when it comes to food. What you see is what you get. The meals served look exactly like the ones in the picture or the artificial food displays outside their restaurant. The food was pretty good. I know they are not Michelin star grade food, but they taste quite decent for an entertainment cafe.
Part of the experience was the language barrier. Most of the maids only speak minimal english and we were having a hard time explaining what food we want to order and services we want to avail. We managed by pointing at things and making elaborate hand gestures. They were talking in Japanese most of the time and somehow understood to shout “Nyan Nyan!” (or Meow in English) when we call for service. They even encouraged us to say cute chants and incantation spells with them to make our food taste better.
They don’t allow taking photos inside though especially with the girls since the cafe makes some of their profit by charging you for that kind of service. So I can only do so much by sneakily taking a photo of my best friend, Joel. It costs 500 Yen by the way if you really do you want to get your picture taken with a maid. Just let them know and they will happily pose and take selfies with you.
As a foreigner visiting Japan, it was an interesting experience. There might be some misconceptions circling around about maid cafes, but trust me, there’s nothing shady about it. It was just good, wholesome fun. I would definitely recommend but do go to the main branch. It’s an experience not to be missed when in Japan. Remember to keep an open mind and prepare your wallets! Because our bill though… it came in at around 6,000 yen.