I finally decided to visit a maid cafe!
At the risk of destroying my masculine image I’ll start by openly admitting I love cute things. So I was always interested to check out a maid cafe.
I was nervous about going in the past, it’s a part of Japanese culture that is different to what I am used to and to be honest I wasn’t sure if it’s little weird.
But which maid cafe should I visit? I came across a website called ‘maidsrunner.com‘ on twitter; a relatively new website aiming to catalog all the maid cafe’s in Akihabara. It was really useful – they record whether there is an english menu, alcohol, food etc. They also give you a bit of background info and some details of what to expect.
They are also on twitter –
The story or theme of Zettai Ryouiki is “God like catgirls have taken human shape in Zettai Ryouiki”.
And what does Zettai Ryouiki mean? It’s “Absolute area”. This refers to the bare skin between knee sock and skirt.
So I went along to Akiba yesterday. I found Zettai Ryouiki easily – it’s a fairly small cafe on a corner. One of the things I immediately liked about this cafe is you can easily see inside from the street. Often in Japan for cafe’s and bars you need to go down small dark corridors or take the elevator etc.
When I walked past the maid’s were performing a song / dance, there was a good mix of young and old, female and male customers. It looked really fun.
I got a warm welcome and one of the maid’s gave me a copy of the menu with English and Japanese. She recommended a set menu. I decided to have the desert option. It included a drink, chocolate sundae and a photograph with one of the maids.
The cafe is decorated in bright, light colours and they have some nicely arranged shelves with cute toys and models.
I think it’s suitable for people of any age / gender. The crowd was quite mixed when I was there. The chocolate sundae was really delicious (I was surprised!)
After my sundae, the maid asked which person I would like a photo with. I decided to go for the maid that was serving me; Hani-chan. She was very friendly, and I love my photo.
After my set meal I had a beer. Yes – this maid cafe has beer, shochu, sake, whisky etc. Note – not all maid cafe’s serve alcohol.
Overall, I had pretty good fun and would recommend it. If you can’t speak any Japanese at all I’d suggest to at least go with a friend, that way you can chat together while you enjoy the experience. I think you can still enjoy basic interaction, music, atmosphere, food, drinks etc.
I realise; especially for western readers, that the maid cafe concept might seem strange. Young girls serving customers in unusual costumes might not be everybody’s cup of tea. I’d like to say that at least from my experience at this cafe the staff and customers seemed to be all having a good time. There wasn’t a weird vibe. I think most of the people simply like cute things and a fun time.
Note – A few of the photos included here are from Zettai Ryouiki’s website / twitter feed, please check them out if you have a chance.