Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Maidreamin Maid Cafe

Besides food, what's the other major cultural influence Japan has on the rest of the world? It happens to be anime and if you've seen some of the more recent anime series, some of them involve maid cafes. And yes, they do exist in Japan. If you don't know what a maid cafe is, it's where girls who dress up in frilly, cutesy, non-traditional maid outfits and serve you food and drinks while engaging in cute, perhaps flirtatious, conversation and addressing you as either "master" or"mistress". In a sense, it's like an innocent Hooters, nothing sexual, as girls do go to maid cafes as well. The maid cafe my friend and I went to is called "Maidreamin". Here's a Google translate link of the original Japanese site with more content and their English site as well: Original Japanese site under Google Translate and English site. We went to their "Heaven's Gate" location in Akihabara Electric Town (Akihabara's anime/games/electronics neighborhood) near the JR (Japan Rail) Akihabara station.

The following video pretty much sums up a person's experience at the maid cafe, lol:


You have to pay a 1000¥ entrance fee to sit down as there are no tips involved (they do give you some edamame) What you can do at the maid cafe is: order food, have drinks, even smoke. You can also take pictures with them for an extra 500¥  where they'll give you a polaroid with their writing on it or get a professional photo of the maid you desired for the same price. They actually have set menus that include both kinds of pictures such as a food set or a drink one. If you ordered one of these sets, they make you perform a charm with a maid to make either the food or drink more delicious, lol. In addition, all maids just stop and chant to you when your set order comes.

There are a couple of things you can't do at the maid cafe: you can't take photos (you're expected to buy photos with or of them), you can't ask for their personal number, you can't go hug them or touch them inappropriately, etc.

At late at night, the maids perform a song and dance whereas other patrons with glowsticks they can buy from the cafe excitingly cheer them on. I tried to maintain my composure but some of my other friends had started giggling as their performances came out of nowhere from another later visit, lol.

As it was getting late, we had to get going and couldn't get to take the pictures with them. Instead, we got some professional shots of the maid that served us. Fortunately, she spoke some English. Her name is Moko-chan :) 

Another thing about going to a maid cafe such as Maidreamin (except @Home cafe, another maid cafe, as some of the maids speak English) is that it's a very good idea to bring a friend who is fluent in Japanese in order to make orders and to understand what the maids are talking about as most of them don't really speak English. They actually had a hard time dealing with us because of the lack of English speaking ability along with my lack of Japanese speaking ability. 

Overall, I would recommend checking out at least once if you're ever in Tokyo. The maids are really cute at Maidreamin as I hear it's the best maid cafe in Japan!

Update 1/20/2013

It turns out that Maidreamin will be opening up their first US branch in Los Angeles within the Little Tokyo district. They have their own page on Facebook which is how I was able to get some of the following insights for their upcoming location. 

 1. Their earliest possible opening date is Summer 2013 - They will be having "casting calls" for those that want to be hired as maids or other staff. In addition, I can imagine they can't exactly guarantee a date is due to the new maids needing to be trained. People have been comparing Maidreamin to Royal/T which seemed more like an art gallery with a cafe inside. However, the maids at Maidreamin definitely come off as more cutesy, interested in "performing charms", and striking conversations/playing games/ taking photos (for a fee) with patrons. In addition, other than serving food and drinks, they're really performing an act as if they're maids in some magical kingdom/universe/realm.

2. They will be serving food and alcohol just like their shops in Japan - However, they won't allow smoking inside the place. It seems like a no-brainer to us in most parts of America that it wouldn't be allowed. Be that as it may, if you've ever been to Maidreamin or perhaps any other maid cafe in Japan, smoking is completely allowed and there aren't designated smoking sections. This was observed during my time at their "Heaven's Gate" location. I imagine this is true for most of their locations in Japan.

3. They currently have no plans of bringing maids to the LA location from Japan - Some of you may be disappointed of not going to see an authentic Japanese maid from Akihabara at the LA location. However, most of the maids at Maidreamin in Japan aren't fluent in English or don't really have a grasp at it at all which is why they plan to completely recruit maids here in the US. I wouldn't be too upset as I can imagine you don't want to deal with a massive language barrier like I and especially my friends did as they really didn't know any Japanese. They will be bringing in a manager that's currently being trained in Japan to the LA branch which I can imagine that she'll do her best to make the LA location just like the original locations in Akihabara.

Here's a video from one of Maidreamin's Youtube channels so you'll know what to expect when they arrive here in the US:

Be sure to like both Maidreamin and Maidreamin USA on facebook:

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