Japan is not only famous for beautiful shrines and traditional culture but also for a very modern and unique pop-culture.
While being in Japan I always recommend visiting theme cafes/ restaurants. I guess the most famous ones are cat cafes and Butler or Maid cafes.
I visited different cafes until now and want to report this time about my experiences at a maid cafe.
What is a maid cafe?
A maid cafe is a restaurant where young waitresses are serving food while wearing a European style maid uniform. The original idea was to create a space likely to a rich household in Europe with maids and butlers who are taking care of their “master”. In Japan flats are very small and the daily routine can be very stressful. Maid cafes are supposed to be a space where people can relax and escape the daily routine.
You can find different types in Japan. At some cafes the waitresses are just serving the ordered items politely like at the Cure Café in Akihabara, while other waitresses are also entertaining their guests with games or live music shows.
You are not allowed to touch the maids and to take pictures of her. You can buy a picture afterwards, which is normally taken by another maid. Also calling her if you don’t want to order something is mostly prohibited.
Generally you are paying a certain fee (about 0-1.500 yen) for a certain time frame. Mostly it will be about an hour. At some maid cafes you are also obligated to order a certain amount of drinks or dishes.
Dishes and drinks are a bit more expensive than the average Japanese restaurant although the prices can differ a lot between the cafes.
Sometimes you also can buy merchandise or order stuff like a picture with your favorite maid or a live concert.
Which maid café would you recommend?
I always like to visit the Maidreamin maid café. Maidreamin is a Maid café chain and has stores through the whole Japan.
It is very easy to find the cafes because you can check out the locations at their homepage or just look for a maid in their uniform standing around at the street in Den Den Town (Osaka) or Akihabara (Tokyo).
Maidreamin is the only Maid café I could find where pictures, except of the maids, are allowed. Mostly you are not allowed to take pictures at all.
They also provide English menus and have sometimes English speaking staff (although we always needed Japanese, because the English was very basic).
Maidreamin is a maid café where maids are behaving like a “kawaii” (cute) maid. The maid uses magic spells to make your food tastier, talks with you, play games and sometimes sings for you at the stage (I visited 2 times and experienced 2 concerts).
I also like, that every Maidreamin café has another setting. My favorite so far was the Mario Café where you have Mario boxes hanging above you head.
The dishes are tasty and always arranged cutely. You are paying an admission fee about 500 yen (1.000 yen if you want a special seat, so be careful!) for an hour and are obligated to buy a drink and a dish.
Dishes and drinks are starting with 500 yen.
Set menus are starting with about 1.500 yen and are mostly including a picture with a maid, a drink and food.
I have never been at the @home café before but I know it is very famous along foreigners.
They also provide English menus and have cafes especially for foreigners.
They own several stores in Akihabara, located at the Don Quiote with different settings and also have a traditional setting for where the maids are wearing Kimono orientated uniforms.
The follow the same “Kawaii” concept like the Maidreamin café but pictures are prohibited. So you can’t even take pictures of your food or your friends while enjoying the maid café expect paying a certain fee for taking a picture with a maid. The admission fee for an hour is about 600 yen and they have a strict ranking of their maids. You can see at the ribbon they wear which ranking they have.
Food and drinks are starting with 500 yen.
The reason why I never visited this café before was, that you need to line up. Waiting can take until 3 hours. I tried to visit this café 4 times and always needed to wait between 2-3 hours.
So be prepared to wait or visit the café at 10 in the middle of the week to prevent lining up for hours.
Cure Maid Cafe
Café cure is the first Maid café in Akihabara located in a side street in the 6th floor. Everything started with this maid café.
This café is very different compared to the other two maid cafes mentioned before.
The waitresses are wearing traditional Victorian style maid dresses and the setting is based on a typical European café.
The waitresses are extremely polite and very well mannered (it was very embarrassing how they talked to me…).
The food is very good, priced average and if you are looking for a place to enjoy and relax in the busy and bursting city Tokyo, this is the right place!
You don’t have an admission fee but you are expected to leave the café after an hour.
The coffee is very good and the drinks are starting with about 300 yen.
Pictures are not allowed, even if you want to pay for it.
I really like visiting theme cafes and it is always a great experience to visit a maidcafe.
It is a unique but still important part of Japanese cultur.
Sometimes it is very difficult to go without any Japanese knowledge. So I would recommend to take at least a Japanese speaking friend.
If you have questions don’t hesitate to ask.