Maid Cafe Tokyo – When visiting Japan, some of the quintessential experiences that first come to mind would be bathing in an onsen, sleeping in a Ryokan, exploring castles, walking the Shibuya crossing, eating fresh sushi and takoyaki, and taking photos with the cherry blossoms. However, one unique and eye-opening experience that you can only get in Japan is visiting a Maid Cafe, and it’s woefully underrepresented in the tourism scene for Japan. We’re confident that it’s an experience you’ll remember for life – we’re talking dancing, singing, costumes, kawaii fashion, cute girls, photo mementos, food and drinks, pretty much the works.
As you walk along the streets of Japan, especially within the city of Tokyo, and especially especially within the suburb of Akihabara, you’ll definitely notice that there are girls dressed up in maid costumes standing on the streets, hoping to entice people to head up to their cafe for a special kind of fun. And before any of you ask, it’s completely P-G rated! Anyone can enjoy this experience, really, even kids!
If you’re interested on what a Maid Cafe is, read on as we detail what you can expect and how you can get yourself an experience of this kind!
What is a Maid Cafe?
Maid Cafes originated early in the 2000s, when some genius thought of a way to appeal to the otaku crowd in Japan. What better way than to dress over-enthusiastic girls in adorable maid costumes and have them fawn over you in an intimate cafe setting? If that sounds like your cup of tea, then we highly recommend you get yourself down to Akihabara and book yourself in to a session because it’ll be unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.
What happens when you tentatively nod yes when a Maid bats her eyelashes at you and asks you to go upstairs? Well, firstly you’ll be led away from the public to the cafe (most cafes are secluded and extremely private, as you are paying for the entertainment first and foremost, and this must be done away from the public eye). You will then pay for the service package that you’re after – some people go for the meals, whilst others just want a sundae, and others still just want the entertainment.
When the session before yours is finished, you’ll be seated, and that’s when the wild ride starts.
Maids pretty much have free reign as to how they want to entertain you, and whilst it can get a bit crazy with yelling and singing happening all at once, it’s never explicitly sexual, and the often diverse crowd (with female friends, co-workers, and sometimes children) is a testament to this. You and your company will most likely be assigned one Maid who will enthusiastically introduce her name and be your main entertainer for the session – they will even call you Master. Place your food and drink order, and sit back and (try to) relax as the maids begin their singing and dancing routine. You might expect it to be super polished, but quite often it’s just a jumble of loud noises and overenthusiastic dance moves. If you happen to be sitting in a session with regulars (often men), they might even unabashedly join in on the dancing and singing. The Maid’s will walk around at some stage and put the spotlight on certain guests, asking them cute questions and getting them to do some unique dance moves whilst everyone else breathes a sigh of relief that it’s not them and watches on. Don’t be alarmed if you hear the occasion yelling or even get yelled at – it’s part and parcel with the experience, and it’s just what they do.
If we had to describe the food at maid cafes in one word, it would be cute (let’s be honest, you probably weren’t expecting any other word). There will always be a face drawn on the curry rice, or the burger, or even the sundae, so remember to take some pics before you dig in! When they bring out the food, they’ll probably ask you to pose like the animal face on the food as well…just giving you a heads up! We wouldn’t describe the food as 5-star; however, it’s definitely worth a try just for the experience.
Maid Cafe Tokyo – The Maidreamin
If you do wander the streets in hope of finding a random Maid cafe to head into, chances are, you’ll probably end up at one of the many Maidreamin cafes that are present across the country. Maidreamin is one of the most popular Maid cafe franchises, and it’s one of those places that you know you’ll come out on the other end having a great time and experience. Maidreamin doesn’t skimp out on quality in all aspects, from enthusiastic girls that throw themselves into the role or the food and drinks that you order. All Maidreamin cafes are decked in colourful lights and wonderful interior that will capture your attention the moment you enter the scene. The maid waitresses are extremely attentive without being uncomfortable, so you can rest assured that you’ll have a great time. It’s one of the biggest Maid cafes in Akihabara, and across Tokyo, it’s also got presence in Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, and Shibuya.
Because of this, we’re offering you a chance to book the experience through Klook. Klook offers the best prices in the market for experiences, and Maidreamin is no exception. There are a variety of packages to choose from, and you’ll be guaranteed a spot in the session that you’re after, without having to wait in line. The confirmation is instant! Check it out here to make a booking and/or learn more about it.
So yes, we dedicated an entire section to Maidreamin, but in saying that, there are plenty (plenty) of other maid cafe options that you can choose from. Below we’ve listed some of the more popular ones that you can choose from:
Maid Cafe Tokyo – @home café
This chain is definitely a contender for being one of the most popular maid cafes in Akihabara. Like Maidreamin, the concept here is super cute and adorable. It’s actually got quite a few chains in Akihabara, however, they all tend to get busy during the day, so it’s best to visit during the morning or late afternoon/night time if you don’t want to wait too long. Here, you will need to pay an admission charge of 600 yen, but be wary of the additional service charge as well as the charges for food and drinks. There are multiple sets here for people to choose from, from a drinks only set to a drinks, food, and dessert set, all of which include a snapshot opportunity with your designated maid (yep, this is a thing! Most cafes will make you pay to take a photo of the maid, and snaps without permission is not tolerated).
Access: From Akihabara station, take the JR Central exit, and it is a 6-minute walk from there.
Hours: 11:30am – 10:00pm
Maid Cafe Tokyo – Pinafore
As one of the longest standing maid cafes around (it began operations back in 2003!), Pinafore is a local favorite, and definitely ranks up there with one of the better maid cafe experiences one can have. The cafe itself isn’t as spacious in size, however, this doesn’t detract from the experience at all. They pride themselves in offering distinctly original cocktails, so definitely order one if you’re the type to like trying new and different things. They also offer non-alcoholic versions as well. Drinks here are around 1,100 yen each, and food averages at around 2,000 yen. There’s also a service charge of 500yen p/hour here.
Access: From Akihabara station, take the Showadori exit, and it’s a 1-minute walk away.
Hours: Sun-Thurs: 11:00am – 10:00pm, Fri-Sat: 11:00am – 5:00am
Maid Cafe Tokyo – Cure Maid Café
This maid cafe differentiates slightly from the previous ones mentioned, as this one offers a more Victorian-style ambient and look to its customers. It’s a quaint cafe that values quietness over loud singing and dancing, and this is reflected in their maid’s behaviors – they’re always prim and proper, and act quite demure. They even dress differently, wearing outfits with lace and long sleeves to really pull off the olden-era vibe. This place does not have a cover charge, but you’re also not allowed to take photos of the inside of the cafe at any time either. The menu items here have a distinct European vibe, and we highly recommend ordering a variety of their cakes and desserts.
Access: It is a 5-minute walk from Akihabara Station.
Hours: Mon-Thurs: 11:00am – 8:00pm, Friday-Sat: 11:00am – 10pm, Sun: 11:0am – 7:00pm
Maid Cafe Tokyo – The Granvania
This is a great maid cafe to go to if you want something that’s a cross between overtly gimmicky and low-ley. The Granvania was actually just your average cafe before it became a maid cafe, so its tavern-like layout and ambient is a lot more casual than your usual maid cafe. It also offers a range of European beers that’s unique to the maid cafe scene. It doesn’t charge a service charge, however, after 6:00pm, there’s a table charge of around $3USD. We recommend heading here during lunch time, as they offer cheap lunch deals that come as relatively large portions. Whilst you won’t get the screaming maids and the hyperactive dancing here, you can still participate in cute mini activities such as charades with the maids.
Access: It is a 1-2 minute walk from Akihabara station.
Hours: Sun-Thurs: 12:00pm – 11:00pm, Fri-Sat: 12:00pm – 5:00am
So, we hope we’ve been able to provide you with some insight on what a ‘Maid Cafe’ is in Tokyo, and that you do decide to give one of these (if not all!) a go. As we’ve mentioned before, this experience is unlike anything you’ll ever be able to come across in another country, and in the grand scheme of traveling, the cost of this activity is quite small. For first-timers, we recommend going with the whole package deal, however, if you want to save your stomach for some of the other gastronomical delights of Japan, then maybe the drink set will be the better option. Either way, we guarantee it’s something you’ll be spinning stories about when you return home.