How should I describe this…? A maid cafe is a rather over-decorated cafe selling food/drinks with one BIG difference – waitresses dressed in French maid costumes! Most of us probably already know Japanese cosplay (“Costume Play”) as one of the best and most famous in the world. I am only referring to ‘maids’ cosplay here, which appears to be the most common ones you will see littered all over the streets of Akihabara begging you to come to their ‘maid cafes’:
The best description I have for these ‘maids’ in Akihabara, is that they are pretty girls dressed up as French maids, to serve you food/drinks & provide some sort of entertainment through performances like singing/dancing. Each maid cafe is different in what they do, and how they dress, what they perform etc etc.
For myself & my Finnish travel mate, we decided to pick Pinafore Maid Cafe, located off the main street of Akihabara. You can see their website here:
As expected, the interior is rather ‘colourful’ (Let’s not say that it’s ‘Childish’):
For us, we did get to pick our personal maids to serve us. There were restrictions on photo taking though, like most maid cafes do. In fact some maid cafes prohibit photo taking altogether! This one is no different, and we had to resort to some sneaky tactics to get one:
All I remember was that there were plenty of super high-pitched welcome screaming every time a guest comes into the door. Once you subject your auditory senses to this type of overwhelming pitches for too long, you will get a headache!! I did!! To get a sense of what you hear in these cafes, here’s a very short promotional video from the cafe:
Try repeating that 20 times, and let’s see if you get a headache!!
If only our Japanese were any good, we had to resort to a lot of sign language to order our food. Mind you, we paid something like 1600yen each (~AUD$22) to get the privilege of being able have the maids take photos with us. The normal price is 500 yen cheaper. The food was rather simple:
It’s essentially instant noodles with a little bit of rice, and some seaweed and wasabi on the side! You didn’t think anyone came here for tasty food did you?!
The fun of it, was when our ‘maids’ actually helped us make and mix the dish above right in front of us. THAT is what we really paid for! There were a lot of “Ma-ze! Ma-ze! Ma-ze!” (meaning “mix! mix! mix!”) which we had to scream with them together. We also had to imitate them doing “Meows”, and form “Love” signs with them, all of which were a little embarrassing given there were other guests watching! Fortunately, all of the guests go through this, and we get our chances to laugh at each other when these maids serve them. This is what we eventually get when the maids were done with our dish:
I like how my Finnish travel mate (His name is Mika) described the experience. He said, “That’s the best fun I have ever had with my food!!” I couldn’t agree more!
After the meal though, we were left feeling hungry still. At least we get to take these Polaroid photos home as evidence of our visit!
Yes, I had to go buy some more food elsewhere afterwards, but hey, both of us had fun. For that money, we could have bought some pretty fancy Japanese food that filled us right up. But, I bet you can’t get a waitress to play and ‘meow’ with you, except in an Akihabara Maid Cafe!!!