Hi, I'm Ryan. I was in Japan recently and decided to check out one of Tokyo's infamous maid cafés. If you've never heard of one before, it's exactly what it sounds like.
There about a hundred meido kafe in Tokyo right now. Most of them are in a neighborhood called Akihabara. Akihabara is the otaku or nerd district.
The point of a maid café is to be as cute as possible.
This is me being cute.
The women working at maid cafés are usually between the ages of 16–25 and they make about 900 yen an hour. Which is actually fairly standard for the restaurant industry in Japan.
There is a lot of dancing and chanting at maid cafés.
I am not good at singing in Japanese.
I first ordered a cappuccino.
My maid server drew a little bunny on it because of the ears they gave me when I sat down.
And then we sang another song. This one had hand movements.
Next up, I ordered a combo item. I wanted the full experience.
It came with my very own bunny ears to take home.
Oh, and, in case you're wondering, the way the women dress is super deliberate. You can tell their seniority by the type of ribbons they wear.
The most senior woman at the café I went to had been working there for about five years. This is her senior maid ribbon.
Along with the bunny ears, my combo came with a cocktail. They asked me if I wanted it to be alcoholic or nonalcoholic.
Guess which option I chose.
Oh, but before I could get down to drinking, another song!
My drink was blue. I asked them what was in it but they didn't know the English word for it. After some googling, we figured out that I was drinking peach liqueur. It was delicious!
My combo also included a Polaroid with a maid.
They drew on it! I love it and I will cherish it forever.
The last part of my combo was "a performance" just for me.
I wasn't sure what that meant, but apparently, it means they turn the lights off and one of the women gets on the stage and sings a song.
I have to admit, the whole thing was super fun and the woman who was performing was very good. She even figured out a way to fit my name into the song!
Oh, also, there was a smoke machine, obvz.
There are misconceptions about what a maid café is in Japan. Many think the women who work there are doing some kind of sex work. But in truth, it's all really innocent. It's just about being cute and have a fun time.
So while it might seem a bit odd, it's all pretty harmless. And ultimately, the women working there are having a great time.
Anyway, that's a maid café! You should totally check one out if you're ever in Tokyo. But most important, be polite, have fun with it, and don't be a creep to the maids!