It was great to check out a major tourist spot, even if only for a couple hours. With all the electronic stimulus in and around Tokyo, seeing something intricately handcrafted, and with some older history behind it was a welcome alternative. Not to mention the chance to snack on the good eats (Takoyaki PWNS!), and an opportunity to start shopping for xmas presents for the fam.
Apparently these Sensō-ji Temples aren't as old as they appear, the originals were destroyed, and these were rebuilt sometime after WWII. Or so I overheard from the local tour guide. After we looked around, and picked up some souvenirs, we met Koki in Akihabara for some Maid Cafe action.
To the Maid Cafe in Akiba!
I can't say I felt at home at @homecafe. Maybe if I were hardcore into the Maid Mangas I would be, but even without being an obsessed Maid fan, I can appreciate the, ahem... experience.
Less hottchie than TGS babes.
It was, how you say... a very high-pitched, pink, and cheery, funny, and fun time. You step into a fantasy-land, where the waitresses are deep in their roles as maids, though as we soon realized, they were just regular as you and me, doing their jobs waiting tables, sometimes with not so 'maidy' attitude. Role-playing! They weren't anime drones after all. The smiles, and signs of interest in their guests are only acts they put on is just for the customers, and if you think this is some sort of sexual maid fetish cafe where they do 'favors' for guests in the back room, think again brutha. This ain't that kind of place. Though, I think as first timers to the maid cafe, we all assumed it'd be something kinda sleazy like that. However we did see some older geeky looking guys who looked like they hadn't left their bedrooms at their parents house in at least a week, really getting happy off the fact that maids were serving them. Oh wait, but isn't that who these cafes are catering to? The lonely Otaku with minimal social contact with the outside world? Yeah, but the vibe from the cafe was still welcoming for those sight-seeing tourists such as Keito, Koki, Cdn, and I.
There also happened to be a lot of girls, eating at the cafe too. Or maybe they were there for a job interview? Or so we joked.
There are rules.
Such as no touching the maids, and maids not touching guests. Also a requirement to order drinks for everyone at the table, and ordering more drink or food every 30 mintues... I think... or was that the 8-bit Cafe in Shinjuku. All these cafe rules I can't seem to remember. No taking pictures was also a rule, and taking pictures with the Maids, costs 5 bucks only via their Polaroid camera. I never did have a chance to do that, since they were so busy that night, they flat out denied my request and their duty of taking pictures, singing on stage, and playing games with guests! I feel like I never got the whole Maid cafe experience. Looks like I'll have to go back.
We sat down at our table which featured a nifty bell, that we'd have to ring for service. (We rang it quite often even if not ordering anything to see if they'd get annoyed.) The menu consisted of your usual drink selections, coffees, teas, birus, and food like Spaghetti with different sauces like tofu, meat etc. Real Otaku meal.
CDNgrrl ordered tea, and I ordered spaghetti, while Koki ordered an ice cream Sunday thing. With dishes that require stirring, the maid would do all the work at the table, like stirring in the sugar, and mixing up the noodles. The amusing part is that these "Maids" had special magical powers that they'd get everyone at the table to repeat and chant over the food/drink, and then form the shape of a heart by putting our hands together. Good laughs. I can still hear her high-pitched spell casting voice up to now. Super anime Kawaii.
Going to a Maid cafe with funny company adds to the madness, too. My friend Koki, (pictured) and I kept thinking of ways to try and get the maids to break some rules. He intentionally put a mark of whip cream on his face, and called the maid over. She then pointed out that he had something on his face as anticipated, but she didn't wipe it off for him, rather gave him a napkin, and tried pointing out and describing where the whip cream on his face was. Koki kept missing the mark hoping that she'd touch his face, but she was on to us, and didn't bother helping him. You just had to be there to understand how funny that was.
As part of their act, the even have to lie about their ages. We asked one Maid, and she said she was 17. Though legally you can't work in Japan, until 18. They all looked fairly young to me, as most Asians never really look their age, but to my Japanese friends in attendance, they could tell the Maids were somewhere in their twenties.
All in all, I think the Maid cafe is an entertaining experience once and a while, that isn't dissimilar from other "themed" restaurants out there. Speaking for only this @homecafe, it's actually pretty tame, less sexualized, in an innocent, less hootchie sense, in my opinion. To be honest a few of the girls were pretty nice looking, while the others were unattractive. This definitely ain't no Hooters. Though, Hooters girls never put magic spells on your food, or even mix it up for you! If you think about it, this could be the Japanese Hooters equivalent? I would go back to the Maid cafe next time I'm in town. Hehe.
Well, if you thought the Maid Cafe was weird... check this out.