Experience Cuteness Overload In Tokyo’s Maid Cafes
When you get off Akihabara station in Tokyo, you will be immediately captivated by the shimmering lights that seem to emblazon every building. And those high-reaching luminosities will take you to another world. This district is known for its many electronic shops and it is a very popular meeting point in the otaku-scene.
Hence, wherever you look, you’ll see many of the famous Japanese manga and anime figures decorating the surroundings and you will feel part of this universe as well. And what you will also notice soon are the many dressed-up girls in short maid costumes and very cute make-up, smiling with their most charming smiles at anyone who happens to be close.
And that’s how our adventure began. My friend from Germany, who came to visit, and I got captivated and had the evening of our lives – but even now, we can’t recall exactly how we ended up there, despite the fact that is an experience none of us will forget.
So, there we were, impressed by this flashing light show surrounding us, not knowing where to look first and breathing all of this amazingness in, when we ran into one of the costumed girls, who, we would find out later when we got back to our senses, were literally EVERYWHERE. But this one was brave enough to talk to us, or rather, jump right in front of us. We were clearly tourists and did not know any Japanese, and she asked us if we’d been in a Maid Café before. She saw our bewildered faces (probably wondering if we really understood her right) and then the next thing we know, we were standing in a small café in one of the tall buildings where the other super cute and dressed-up girls shouted in unison: “Welcome to our Maid Café!”
The waitresses could speak English very well, and I have to admit we were mesmerized by the whole atmosphere, having never seen anything like it before. What was relieving was that we were not the only tourists sitting and enjoying the entertainment, and all of them were in awe. We got our bunny ears put on and then the entertainment began – and they really did an awesome job. There was not a minute where we were bored. Everything was a show. Even when ordering a single drink, you get a show as well. While just pouring juice in our glasses they animated the whole café to stand up and make these super “kawaii”(aka. cute) hand gestures, and sing and clap and there was even a lightshow. For one grapefruit juice. It was incredible.
So, you can imagine how interactive this evening was. But even during the meantime, when everyone was slurping their pink juice or enjoying their omelet (with very artsy Pikachu drawings on them; we learned a lot on what you can do with Ketchup), the amazement did not stop. No matter how small we thought the room was, there was still space for a stage (which are in every Maid Cafes as we’ve been told). The Maids rock the stage, honestly. They danced and lip-synced like there was no tomorrow, and when we took the picture with one of them (which you have to pay for by the way, and taking pictures other than that is not allowed in the café – those maids are still part of the entertainment industry and that is a tough business for people, after all), they did not show a single drop of sweat. They didn’t even show any sign of exhaustion nor wavered once in their smiling.
There is this misconception rumoring around that Maid Cafes are something dirty or belong to the sex industry – which is not true at the slightest. Many college students work there, and when we asked our waitress why she chose this workplace she answered instantly: “I wanted a place where it is fun to work, and where our costumers go out as happy as when we go in to start our work!” If that isn’t convincing, I don’t know what is.
Even though you have to pay a certain price to enter, I would recommend this to everyone visiting Tokyo – it is definitely an experience worth paying for bunny ears, which you will look at later at home and wonder, “Where on earth did I go that time!” You are going to have a great story to tell. I can’t wait to hear about your experience!