In middle school or thereabouts, I began writing down “Dates to Remember,” which were dates when important events happened in my life, starting with my birth.  About a week ago, I read through these dates, which now cover over 9 lined pages.

Two things struck me as I read.  One was the type of events I thought important to remember.  The other was how long ago many of these events occurred, and how much has happened since.  Most of the dates cover 8th grade through college.  There are quite a few from when I was in Japan.  Many of the events not covered are in my diary entries, but important weddings, births, and deaths are listed, as are romantic milestones.

For example, I included when my pet hamster died and the first school dance I went to.  I have the date we picked up our dog, and the day we put our dog to sleep.  Lots of firsts, too.  Besides the first dance, there’s my first pep rally, first marching band competition, and first rejection letter from a girl (which I still have).  I have the date Dan Jansen finally won his gold medal, and the date Steven Spielberg finally won his Oscar (which I watched on my Game Gear TV from bed).  My first girlfriend, first date, first job, and first kiss are included, as are the day I learned how to tie a tie and the first time I swallowed a pill.

Some dates turned out not to be as significant as I thought they would be.  Meetings with people I never saw again, dates with girls I never dated again, important parties that are no longer important.  And there are some dates that happened later than expected, and some that have yet to happen.

And yet, as I looked through these dates, I felt overwhelmingly content.  No matter the reason for remembering them, they are all times when something significant happened.  They remind me of how much has happened in my life, and how much I have to look forward to.


A Japanese Wedding, Western Style

A year ago today (March 18 in Japan), I was in Tokyo, attending a friend’s wedding.  This was only the second wedding I attended outside of my family, and the second outside the country.  Though much delayed, here are my observations on that ceremony.

Japanese people get married one of two ways: Japanese style or Western style.  A Japanese style wedding includes a traditional Shinto ceremony, where the groom wears a kimono and the bride is dressed all in white.  In a Western style wedding, the bride wears a white dress and the groom wears a white tuxedo.  Oh, and they are married by a white dude.

My friend (who I will call “K”) decided to get married Western style.  The wedding took place at Meguro Gajoen, which is a hotel in the same way that Monticello is a house.  Here are some pictures of the lobby (click to enlarge):

Before the wedding, many of the women changed into kimonos, while K and the groom (who I will call “M”) changed in a separate room upstairs.  On one floor were rooms set aside for family and friends of the bride and groom.  Normally, I would have stayed in one of the friend rooms, but since I had come with K’s family, I stayed in their room, and drank this:

K went around to visit the rooms at one point with M, and then later visited her family’s room by herself, where a chair was placed in the middle of the room and we took photos of her.

When it was time for the ceremony to begin (a little before noon), hotel attendants came and had us form two lines.  Normally, I would have lined up with other friends of the bride, but the attendants said it was okay for me to come in with the family.  We headed out to a small chapel that was in the middle of the building, but outside.  Like American weddings, the bride’s side sat on the left side of the chapel, while the groom’s side sat on the right.  I’m not sure if this is common or not, but besides a choir made up of two men and two women, there was a violin player and a trumpeter there, the former playing as people streamed in, the latter as people left.  Once the bride’s side was seated, the groom’s side came in, and then the friends of the bride.

The priest (see photo above) came in with M.  He stood at the front of the church, while M stood at the front of the aisle.  Five-candled candelabras flanked the priest.  Then the doors opened at the back, and K entered with her father, she on the left (bride’s side), he on the right.  They bowed, then she walked over to her mother, who was standing behind the pews, and kneeled in front of her.  Her mother lowered the veil over K’s face, K rose, and then she and her father walked down the aisle, in time to the first and third beat of every measure of “Here Comes the Bride.”  About halfway down the aisle, M met them, the father and M bowed, the father put the bride’s arm on the groom’s, and K and M continued the rest of the way to the front of the chapel, while K’s parents made their way to the front row.

After the processional, the crowd sang a hymn together in Japanese, whose words (with helpful furigana) were printed in the program (Hymn 312).  Then there was a Bible reading (don’t ask me which one), a prayer, a message, the wedding vows (groom first, then bride), the exchanging of rings (ring on bride, then on groom), another prayer (this one in English), the declaration of marriage, the signing of the marriage certificate, the benediction, the recessional, and the audience recessional.  This took all of 15 minutes.  The kiss occurred after the signing of the marriage certificate and before the benediction, accompanied by a climactic crescendo in the choir.  Despite that buildup, Japanese kisses at weddings are so short that, if you blink, you’ll miss it.  Maybe that’s why they have musical accompaniment, so that you’ll know when the kiss will occur.

The recessional happened in reverse order from the processional, so the bride and groom left the chapel first, followed by their friends.  Once outside, we all posed for a photo on the lawn with K and M.  We were then given flower petals and lined up in two rows on either side of the path that led from the chapel back inside the hotel.  Once the family had exited and had also been given flowers, K and M walked down the aisle, and we threw the petals at them as they walked past us.

Here is what the aftermath looked like:

K’s and M’s friends were then brought down a level into a waiting room, where we stayed until it was time for us to head to the reception, which was on the same floor.  Here, we were served water and tea.  Though I had brought (and eaten) some snacks ahead of time, I was quite hungry, and all I had had to drink since arriving was the sakura tea.

We also had to wait until two friends of the groom and two friends of the bride were ready to accept wedding gifts at a table just outside the waiting room.  Unlike American weddings, there is only one kind of wedding gift in Japan: money put into a special envelope.  Also unlike American weddings, the amount is important, not due to its value (though that factors into it), but due to the number of bills, which should not be evenly divisible by two (here’s why).  In most cases, the amount is 30,000 yen (roughly $300).

Once the gift has been accepted, the person giving the gift signs his or her name in the gift registry.  Because I was American and the signing tool is a brush (not a pen, though it looks like one), I signed my name in English, since using the Japanese alphabet would require using katakana, which doesn’t look quite as nice as kanji.  Plus, signing it in cursive impressed the two people taking gifts, one of whom is another friend of mine (who I will call “N”).  In return, I received the seating chart for the reception, which included a cute picture of the bride and one of the groom as children, as well as answers to questions like, “How many children would you like to have?”

Once it was time for the reception, I entered the reception room, where name tags were on the table for us and gift bags were at our seats.

The reception itself is very stylized, which is why even some Japanese people think American weddings are more exciting.  Two things that American weddings don’t have, however, are nine-course French cuisine meals (I got full around the fourth course) and beautiful women dressed in kimonos.  Also, instead of a DJ, there is a female MC.  In addition, the tables are grouped so that bosses and coworkers are seated closest to the married couple, followed by friends, then family.  Because of my limited Japanese abilities, K sat N next to me, as her English is quite good, despite her protestations to the contrary.

The first course was spread out before us when we got there, but the MC soon announced the arrival of the bride and groom.  The lights went out, the spotlight went up, and the bride and groom arrived through the double doors, bowing after the doors opened.  They traveled around the room, then sat down at a table near the front of the dining area, next to the MC.

088. So Happy!

The groom then gave a speech, thanking everyone for coming, followed by the bride giving a speech.  M’s boss spoke before the cutting of the cake, which K fed to M (and while there was none of that playfulness that usually attends this part of the ceremony in American weddings, she practically shoved the whole piece in his mouth).

Open Wide!

After the cutting of the cake, K’s boss spoke. Then, each table was invited up to the bride and groom’s table to take a photo with them.

One thing I learned at a Japanese wedding which occurred soon after the second and subsequent courses were handed out, is not to ask for beer unless you want it to be constantly refilled by the father of the groom and the mother and father of the bride.  I was able to wave off most of the requests with N’s help, but I acquiesced to K’s father.  Originally, I had asked for water, but either the server didn’t understand my Japanese, or he thought it a strange request (though I changed to water later).

After the second course, K was whisked away by two of her friends to help her change into her kimono.  After the third course, M was whisked away by one of his friends for the same purpose.  After the fifth course, we were treated to a slideshow of K and M growing up, which included pictures of everyone who was at the wedding.

M and K returned after the eighth course: he in a lily white kimono, she in a gorgeous orange, gold, and white one (all of these changes and reappearances utilizing the MC and the spotlight).  After bowing, they went around to each table, from the back of the room to the front, in order to pose for photos with everyone.


After the wedding cake was handed out, we were told that eight slices included sour plums in them.  The people who found the sour plums got to go up to the front of the room, where there were eight presents, and drew straws to see who would pick first.  Gifts included a digital camera and a Starbucks gift certificate.

The ceremony ended with M and K giving presents to their parents.  M’s father spoke, then M, after which both sets of parents and the bride and groom left the room.  Once the centerpieces and bags of flowers were given out to people, the MC announce that the reception was over.  It had started at 1 pm and had finished around 3:30.

Still, there were a couple more traditional aspects to complete before the event was over.  Outside the reception room, M and K greeted the guests, along with their parents, and gave out sweets: M to his guests, K to hers.  In the case of K’s sweets, they were made by her mother, so I can only assume that M’s mom made his.  Then, once numerous photos of the bride and groom were taken at different locations around the hotel, we all gathered on the large staircase in the lobby for one final group photo.  After that, the bride and groom headed off with their families to have dinner (both families ate together), while I headed to the station with N and another of K’s friends, who were still dressed in their kimonos.

Back at K and M’s apartment, I opened my gifts while waiting for them to return from dinner.  One of them was this cake.

It's Cake!

While I stayed a few more days in Tokyo and had several more memorable experiences, so ended my experience at a Japanese wedding.

Maid Cafes, Part 1 and 2 (Notes from the Diary of a Literary Rebel)

Maids Near Akihabara Station

With all that is going on in Japan, now seemed a good time to polish off my posts about maid cafes.  Those of you who just rolled your eyes at me, keep in mind that I was in my late twenties, single, shy, and looking for opportunities to converse with cute girls.  Strangely enough, the first two times I went to maid cafes were with women, and yet it wasn’t until my third trip there–solo, on my 27th birthday–that I started to enjoy the experience (more below).

Sadly, once my favorite maid cafe closed, I stopped enjoying the experience as much.  It became too commercialized and popular for my taste.  Plus, with my days off changing from Tuesday and Wednesday to Saturday and Sunday, Akihabara became too crowded, and opportunities to speak to the maids less and less.

Since they are both rather short (even though I mention at the end of the first one how long it is), I’ve combined my two original posts on maid cafes into one large post (with tiny edits, and the addition of photos).  And you have to love all the cliches I employ. I hope I’ve gotten better as a writer since then 🙂

Mar 19, 2009

Current mood:thoughtful

For those of you who received my emails from Japan, you might remember my talking about maid cafes, where young, cute Japanese girls would dress up in a variety of maid-themed (or anime or video game influenced) costumes while serving food, conversing with customers, and, depending on the place, playing games.

What I don’t remember is whether or not I told people via email that I ranked the many maid cafes that I went to, and while it might be possible now to go to all of the maid cafes in Akihabara (where the majority of them are located), since interest in them has slowed down a bit, such was not the case when I was in Japan, particularly during my first full year there.  In fact, I never got to some of the original maid cafes because they closed before I got the chance, and some of the ones that I will review in this blog–as well as in at least one other blog–may have closed since reviewing them.  In fact, my favorite of all of the maid cafes–the Amusement Cafe (a.k.a. Maid in Japan–get it?), closed while I was still in Japan.

In addition to maid cafes, I also went to a maid bar and maid reflexology places.  I will save those reviews, however, for another time.  While there are maid cafes outside of Akihabara, all of the maid cafes I review here are or were located there.  Finally, my review of the cafes is unscientific and based only on my observations on the particular day (or days) that I visited them.  All reviews are based on five stars.  Ratings for maids are based on their looks and their costumes, since that is what people go to maid cafes for–not the food. 🙂

@home Cafe (
Hours: 1130-2200                                  Times There: 1
Features: Play cards with a French maid, book birthday parties, two locations  (see next review)
What’s Good: has a small stage and contests, whole building a maid mecca
What’s Bad: drab costumes, 300 yen sitting fee (roughly $3)
Maids: ***         Food:**1/2         Ranking: ***
Location: 7th floor Mishima Building, Chuo Dori, 1-11-4 Soto Kanda

This is considered one of the better maid cafes.  I found it to be average.  The games were cool (lots of janken–the Japanese version of rock, paper, scissors), with cool music and lights.  On the other hand, the costumes were frilly black and white numbers with long dresses.  Not sexy, not cute.  The maids themselves weren’t bad-looking, but none of them knocked me out, either.  If you don’t go on a weekday during non-meal hours, be prepared for long waits for a table.  Even when I went on a weekday afternoon, it was crowded.  Still, with the closing of the Amusement Cafe, this is one of the better cafes with games.

@home Don Kihote (
Hours: 1100-2200                                        Times There: 1
Features: counter staff, @living annex (waitress will wear a costume of the customer’s choosing)
What’s Good: better costumes than @home Cafe, living annex is separate from the cafe
What’s Bad: too much smoke!!, no games, small area
Maids: ***1/2      Food: ***     Ranking: **
Location: 5th floor Don Kihote, 4-3-3 Soto Kanda

First of all, I didn’t try the living annex, which looks like a house in which you can take photos of a maid in your favorite costume.  I believe you also get to dress up.  As for the cafe itself, the maids look better, but the place is incredibly smokey and is slightly larger than an average bedroom in America.  If you can stand the smoke, you might like this place.  Otherwise, go to the original @home Cafe for a better experience.  Smoking is allowed there, as well, but it doesn’t coat the area in its filth.

Amusement Cafe
Hours: CLOSED!!                                     Times There: 14
Features: Maid on Stage, games with maids, a stage
What’s Good: really friendly, a little English spoken, NO SMOKING
What’s Bad: crowded at dinnertime and early afternoon (like most maid cafes)
Maids: ****        Food: ****    Ranking: *****
Location: B1, Laox Computer Store (CLOSED!!), Soto Kanda 1-7-6

It’s appropriate, in a way, that I saw two things before I left Japan: NOVA’s bankruptcy, and the closing of my favorite maid cafe.  For me, they signaled the ending of an era.

Some people wonder why I left Japan when I so obviously loved living there.  There’s more than one answer to this question, but part of the reason is that I had done all that I could do, and staying in Japan would have been akin to beating  a dead horse.  Plus, unless I became fluent in Japanese (which I’m working on, as well as becoming fluent in French), some problems would continue to frustrate me while there.  Finally, of the few foreigners with whom I hung out, most of them had left for home by the time I left.  Though I still had Japanese friends (and still do), seeing them on a regular basis was becoming more difficult.  No doubt I would have met more people had I stayed, but let’s leave that for another blog and focus on the Amusement Cafe.

This cafe was only the third maid cafe that I visited, but I visited it on a very special day, and in fact, if I had not enjoyed the experience there, I may not have gone on to visit other maid cafes.  That day was my 27th birthday.

As luck would have it, a camera crew was filming there on that day, so that somewhere, I am on stock footage.  I don’t think they ever showed that sketch on TV (or, if they did, at a different time than they told me), but the maids got me up onstage at a lull in the action (the sketch was scripted) and sang happy birthday to me, along with everyone in the place.  Two actors and two actresses were sitting at the table right next to mine, and when I got back to my table, the two actors wished me happy birthday and shook my hand (one shook it when they left, too).  In addition, the TV crew talked to me while they were setting up, and the producer for the show said afterwards that she thought I had beautiful eyes (the Japanese love big eyes).

So, how could I not love this place?  In addition, the games onstage were fun to play, with the reward for winning being a picture with the maid that you beat.  They included ring toss games, jenga, and video games.  Maid on Stage would have one of the maids sing (or lipsync) along to a prerecorded anime track, where she would also do all of the moves.

One of the reasons that the cafe may have gone under was that its management changed.  It also could be that the store they were in closed, which is too bad, seeing as they were packed most nights and were one of the few maid cafes that I saw quite a few foreigners go to.  They became even more foreigner friendly during their last year of business, where they had English menus in addition to the Japanese ones.  Plus, you could surf their website if you chose to sit at the “counter.”  Heck, I even took my parents here.

Though I have many more maid cafes to review, I will stop here, since it seems appropriate to end with one of my greatest maid cafe experiences, which also led to a pretty long entry.  That way, too, I can start with the two maid cafes that introduced me to this brave new world.  Until next time…

My Favorite Maid from the Amusement Cafe

[Note: there was a post in between these two posts, but I will save that for another time.]

May 20, 2009

Current mood:understimulated

Since I am feeling particularly unmotivated today, I have decided to continue with my maid cafe rankings.  This entry will knock off the remaining maid cafes in Akihabara that I visited, starting with the first maid cafe I ever visited.

Cafe and Dimension (ph: 03/5818-5221)
Hours: 1130-2200                                  Times There: 1
Features: long Victorian maid costumes
What’s Good: maids are pretty cute
What’s Bad: too tame, no excitement
Maids: ****         Food:***       Ranking: **
Location: B1 Yamato Bldg, 5-1-6 Ueno, near Kuramaebashi St., Showa Hwy Intersection

I went here with one of my staff at NOVA, learning two things in the process: 1.) just because a Japanese girl wants to go somewhere with you doesn’t mean she’s single, and 2.) the only way to find out this fact is by accident (which I did, before we went), or, I guess, by asking them directly, since they don’t talk much about their boyfriends over there (or maybe not with business employees).  ANYWAY, that tells you nothing about the cafe.

This place was nothing more than stairs leading down to a basement where, past a glass door, was a dining area.  The maids wore the usual black-and-white maid getup, with long skirts that hung below the knee.  No games, no giggling, just pretty girls dressed up in drab outfits.  A safe place to go with a woman whom I didn’t know that well–and a safe introduction to a maid cafe–but nothing there to hint at how fun they could be.

Cafe & Kitchen Cos-Cha (
Hours: 1150-2300 M-Sa, 1100-2200 Su                   Times There: 2
Features: photo of a maid, maids will blow on food, skimpy outfits, HS desks
What’s Good: cute maids
What’s Bad: expensive food, small servings
Maids: ****         Food:****        Ranking: ***1/2
Location: 3-7-12 Soto Kanda (near Sue Hirochou Sta.)

This place was the second maid cafe I ever visited, and it benefitted from being visited twice, particularly as regards the food, which was better (and bigger) the second time I went there.  The first time, I got a free cup of cappucino that I could have drunk like a shot of whiskey.

The maids there, unlike at Cafe and Dimension, were not conservatively dressed.  If memory serves me correctly, they each wore different outfits, too.  They were also more cutesy, and you could either sit at a table (which I did), or at desks (like at school).  Certainly more of the wild side on display here, and while you couldn’t play games with the maids, you could “order” a Polaroid photo of one of them (since you had to take the photo, using their camera, you couldn’t be in it with her), or “order” a meal that one of them would blow on and serve you the first bite (which I didn’t do).

I ate at this place with my Japanese language exchange partners the first time, and with a German friend of one of my Japanese friends the second time.  It still didn’t turn me on to maid cafes (as I mentioned, it took a visit to the Amusement Cafe on my birthday to do that), but I got my first maid photo.

Cure Maid Cafe (
Hours: 1100-2000                                Times There: 1
Features: buy cards, figures, 1st maid cafe in Akihabara
What’s Good: fast and friendly service, quiet and peaceful atmosphere, non-smoking seats available
What’s Bad: only two maids working at a time, though they’re kind
Maids: **         Food:****         Ranking: ***
Location: 6th Floor Jiisutoa Akiba Bldg, 3-15-5 Soto Kanda

Of course, I had to visit the first maid cafe to open in Japan.  What’s interesting is how different it was from some of the ones that came after it.  While most other places have at least three maids working the floor, this place had only two.  Also, the place was larger (with larger tables) than most of the other maid cafes, and it actually had windows you could look out of (to see…other buildings).  Finally, the focus was on the coffee shop aspect of it (calm, peaceful), rather than the manga influence (card games, crazy costumes).  I believe music played in the background, but otherwise, nothing to distract the senses.   And while the maids weren’t anything special to look at (costume-wise or attraction-wise), they were kind and attentive to their customers, witnessed by how fast they refilled my water glass.

Cute M (
Hours: 1100-2200 M-Sa, 1100-2100 Su                   Times There: 1
Features: show a movie while you eat
What’s Good: background music (classical), one maid (at least) speaks English
What’s Bad: only three maids total, one or two at a time, no games
Maids: ***         Food:***         Ranking: ***
Location: 4th-5th Fl. Senya Bldg, 1-8-4 Soto Kanda

I don’t remember much about this maid cafe.  I have a feeling that the atmosphere was very much like the Cure Maid Cafe.  I also believe that the movie shown there was Spirited Away, which has a much different title in Japanese.

Doll Cafe Tokyo (
Hours: 1100-2200                                  Times There: 1
Features: “Diary of a Maid” (website), Doll Cafe Osaka in Osaka
What’s Good: food, janken for yen off of the bill
What’s Bad: a little far from the station, only two maids working
Maids: ***         Food:****         Ranking: ***
Location: 1st Fl. Fenikkusu Bldg, 3-16-7 Soto Kanda

Like the Amusement Cafe and some other maid cafes, customers could get stamp cards here.  Get all of the boxes stamped, and you get a free coffee or something along those lines.  Oh, and janken is “rock, paper, scissors” in Japanese [as I mentioned in the post above].  You play with the maid at the register.

This place also had windows so that you could see out into the street.  I remember it being a nice little out-of-the-way place, and not that crowded.  Then again, I went during the week.  Also, from my review it looks like the food was, at least, cooked well, and possibly in bigger portions than the usual fare.

Little BSD (Little Beauty’s Satanic Dining) (
Hours: Su-Th 1700-2300, F-Sa 1800-500                         Times There: 1
Features: izakaya, maids wear different costumes each day
What’s Good: you can take photos with them, they know conversational English, great atmosphere and costumes
What’s Bad: smoky (it is an izakaya), as small as most maid cafes
Maids: ****         Food:****        Ranking: ***1/2
Location: 4th Fl. Dai 8 Isamiya Bldg, 3-7-12 Soto Kanda

I agree with the website where I discovered this place: it has the coolest name of all of the maid cafes.  It actually is an izakaya (think of a restaurant with lots of choices for food and drink, but in small portions that everyone shares), but since they serve food, I’m grouping them with the other maid cafes.

The atmosphere (and the costumes) were the best part of the place.  Since I was with a female friend (a different one from the other maid cafe visits), I didn’t ask about photos, but the website I went to said that you could take them without having to pay for them.  On the other hand, the dark lighting (lots of red, very atmospheric), might make picture-taking tough.  And, like most izakayas, it was way too smoky, though not as bad as the @home Don Kihote.

Pash Cafe Nagomi (
Hours: 1100-2200                                  Times There: 1
Features: games, janken for 200 yen off the lunch set
What’s Good: many maids, attentive
What’s Bad: very small, little anime bling
Maids: ***1/2         Food:****         Ranking: ***1/2
Location: 2nd Fl. Senya Bldg (below Cute M), 1-8-4 Soto Kanda

I went there with a bunch of guy friends when we didn’t have enough time to wait for a spot at the @home Cafe.  One of them was my former roommate, who flirted (in Japanese) with our waitress.

So, nice-looking maids, pretty good costumes, but not enough of an anime influence, and too much bustle to be like the Cure Maid Cafe.  Oh, and I think I lost in janken, too.

Pinafore (
Hours: 1100-2200                                  Times There: 3
Features: super otaku setup (merchandise, outfits on the walls)
What’s Good: sexy outfits, one super hot maid
What’s Bad: submissive, childish voices can get on your nerves, smoking
Maids: ****1/2 (costumes are *****)         Food:***        Ranking: ****
Location: 1st Fl. Yamanaka Bldg, 1-19 Kanda Sakumacho

Annually voted the best maid cafe in Akihabara, it certainly makes my top three.  While there are nonsmoking tables in the middle of the cafe (under a big fan), good luck trying to sit there, even on a weekday.  Still, the place is not always filled with smoke–just when salarymen stop by.

If you want the ultimate otaku (Japanese for nerd, computer geek, etc.) experience, or some of the best eye-candy in a maid cafe, this is the place for you.  I found some of the patrons to be quite interesting, as well.  If smoke bothers you a lot, however, go when it’s not that busy.  Also, you can get a stamp card, where you get the ultimate prize after going there thirty times: a picture with one of the hot maids.

Royal Milk Cafe (
Hours: 1200-2200    (closed 2nd and 4th Wed. of each month)      Times There: 1
Features: pink maids (therapeutic care), b&w maids (specialize in cafe service)
What’s Good: really fun maids, some English spoken
What’s Bad: no non-smoking areas, no games, massages are super expensive
Maids: ****         Food:***         Ranking: ****
Location: 2nd Fl. Nikka Sekiyu Bldg, 3-10-12 Soto Kanda

First off, the last time I went by this cafe, more than a year ago, it had a different look and name.  For all I know, they don’t do massages there anymore.  I always intended to go back and see, but since they were so expensive, now the world will never know.

I would rank this cafe, as it was, between the Amusement Cafe and Pinafore.  Much of one’s experience in a maid cafe depends on one’s interactions with the maids, which means that if one happens to go on a certain day when a certain maid is there, one might have a much better time there than if one went on another day.  So, as I said before, these aren’t definitive rankings.  Mostly, they reflect my experiences with different maid cafes in Japan, rather than reflect on the maid cafes themselves.

In this case, there was one particularly goofy, funny, and attentive maid who, with the other maids, helped me feel comfortable by letting me join in their fun (i.e. interaction).  I also remember there being a movie screen up on the wall, though I don’t remember which movie they showed.  I think they showed Akira first, then switched to a Disney movie.  At one point, I think this maid slipped and almost fell on the floor.  The other maids laughed at her, but she outdid them by laughing at herself.

As for the smoke, the maids opened some of the windows to help with that.

メイドルカフェ (Meidoru Cafe, or Maid Cafe)
Hours: ??                                 Times There: 2
Features: food, games, photos, girls
What’s Good: maids and costumes are hot!, games cheaper than at Amusement Cafe
What’s Bad: point card (cost: 315 yen) only for taking photos, a little cramped, feel rushed inside
Maids: *****         Food:***1/2        Ranking: ***
Location: down first side st. heading away from SEGA Club toward Laox Computer ken

How can this be?  How can the cafe with the best-looking maids (5 out of 5 stars), games like the Amusement Cafe (and cheaper), and okay food only get a final ranking of three stars?  Simple.  While the maids are beautiful, the whole place was much too busy for my taste.  True, I went there on a weekend, no longer having Tuesdays free, but even when I went to the Amusement Cafe on a crowded day, the maids were nice to me.  Here, I truly felt how limited I was in my Japanese skills.  Even bringing one of my friends here (one of the guy friends who went with me to the Pash Cafe Nagomi) only exacerbated the situation.

So, in short, beautiful maids, good prizes for games (photos with the maids), but the atmosphere leaves something to be desired.  Also, don’t go in when it’s busy.

While the last maid cafe that I reviewed was Little BSD (there was a maid bar, but that will be in another entry, as it was outside of Akihabara), I actually went to one more maid cafe in Japan.  It was called Maid Station, and it was a nice, non-smoking place that had pretty good food, and the option to pay for a photo with a maid.  I actually got my friend (same one who went with me to the メイドルかフィ) and his friends to pose with me, though I got to touch knuckles with the maid in order to make a heart.  I probably just forgot to rate it, but now, so far removed from the event, I feel any guess on my part would be highly inaccurate.  Still, I remember my last time at a maid cafe in Akihabara to be an enjoyable one, though not as enjoyable as the last maid-themed place that I went to: a maid bar in Nakano…


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