Weird experiences in Japan: Maid café

Akihabara is a district in Tokyo full of stores which sell electronic items of any sort you can think of. A lot of ‘otaku’ (term used to refer to people with obsessive interests, particularly anime and manga) hang out there and ‘maid cafés’ originate from this area.

As the name ‘maid café’ already implies, all the waitresses are dressed like maids, mostly with white lacy aprons, little white crowns and short skirts which look kind of like a dirndl. Furthermore and most important maybe is, that they all look alike some manga and anime character.

The idea of a maid café is to serve the guests as master or mistress. Unfortunately I do not understand Japanese, therefore I did not really understand in the first place how we were welcomed at the ‘@ home café’ we went to. Maybe it sounded something like this: “Welcome home, Master(お帰りなさいませ、ご主人様! Okaerinasai, goshujinsama.
But when we ordered some coffee and soda, we found out about the quite subservient attitude of the girl serving us. She even stirred the sugar into my coffee in a very suave way and she asked which colour of straw we would prefer. It seemed very strange to us. Others were playing cards with one of the maids, so you can even ‘use’ them as your friend and companion, if you are e.g. an otaku who has no friends to join you for visiting a maid café…

Another common habit for fans of maid cafés is to get some collectable pictures together with friends and/or a maid. We did not really know what will happen to us, when we asked about this ‘photo booth’ we saw in the @ home café. The maid serving us asked us to join her and we took some pictures there and here is the result ;-)

maid café

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