Today I'm writing about the @home Maid Cafe in Akihabara, (English website)which I visited waaaay back in May with Thomas and Sakie! It was a really fun way to meetup, and it also was really nice to have the maid cafe experience with people who were open to it. Honestly maid cafes can be silly, campy or downright uncomfortable depending on several factors, so it's a good idea to go with some friends!
Maids coming out into the waiting area
We chose the @home Maid Cafe because it really is the most well known/trafficked maid cafe in Akiba. A nice thing about going to a famous cafe is you will find a variety of patrons, not just otaku or fans of specific maids. Some bad points are crowding, higher prices and stricter rules.
My favorite photo, me and Sakie in the waiting area. I love how that girl is looking at me XD (via Thomas Gantz)
Sakie, Thomas and I arrived fairly early on a weekday, but already a line had formed to enter the cafe. There are about 10 seats outside the cafe for waiting, but often times the line extends out into the Don Quijote where this cafe is located! While you are in line you will be asked to sit in the smoking or non-smoking area and you can peruse the gift shop for maid photos.
Even from the first second photos are not allowed, no photos of the decorations, interior, waiting list sign-in sheet, gift shop, menues or maids. Nothing! I know some places only bar you from photos of the maids. Well basically all the photos here are illegal XD
The @home gift shop, full of photos of the maids!
Entering the non-smoking area, oops some patrons caught Thomas snapping a photo!
After we finally entered the cafe itself, we sat at a bar type area. The interior of @home is honestly lacking and not cute at all. It looks like it was set up with the least amount of time or money possible, and then just left that way even as the cafe earned profits. I wanted pink and cute, not white particle board haha!
The maids themselves however were very cute. I mean some were physically very cute, but many were not. However they were all very well trained at acting in a stereotypical moe moe cute way. High pitched voice, drawn out vowels, gestures etc. The nice part though was they seemed genuine. I couldn't tell if they hated the job or not haha!
Me and Sakie picking out our maids to have photos with (via Thomas Gantz)
The prices however, were so steep! You can choose course sets, I picked the "cheapest" set which was 1,400 yen for a drink, maid photo and some candies. And don't forget there is a 700 yen entry fee! Maid photos cost 500 yen alone. I know you are paying to interact with the maids, but it still felt so rip off-y!
A maid interacting with some female patrons
I was able to interact with several maids, as they rotate between customers. I was able to pick the maid I wanted my photo with however. The photo was the most fun part for me actually. We ended up leaving quickly since we just had drinks, but honestly there was not much to do anyway.
My reaction to how the maid was acting with the quiet guy, poor thing was trying so hard to make him talk with her!
Yes my real smile is really toothy XD (via Thomas Gantz)
There were some really hardcore otaku patrons however, that stayed a long time waiting for specific maids to come to them. The boy next to me was socially awkward he wouldn't speak to the maids at all, until the tsundere one showed up then he got all chatty and a frightening look of real true love in his eye. Maid cafes can be dangerous for that type.
This is my maid photo. I like how we kinda look similar XD
I have read some people say that finding photos of maids and maid cafes is difficult, and it's due to the rules. I hope this post will be helpful for those who are curious. It's a fun, if not expensive, experience. And I recommend you try a maid cafe because its really one of those "Japan Only" things XD
And if you like maid cafe photos, or just great photos of Japan make sure to visit Thomas's website!
ACCESS INFO =
4th-7th floors Mitsuwa bldg.
1-11-4 Sotokanda Chiyoda-ku Tokyo