I didn’t realize Maid Cafes were mainly for creepy guys to go to, often by themselves. I rarely saw any female customers. The “restaurants” we’re kind of like a Hooter’s situation but less cleavage and more awkwardness. To my surprise, Japanese girls in general didn’t show much skin up top but sometimes their butt cheeks were completely hanging out. Single business men would just pull up a chair and stare down these girls, even if completely dressed. In any case, I loved observing the situations and flirting back with our adorable waitress just the same.
If you walk into the the Akihabara district, you’ll find dozens of maids holding signs trying to recruit you. There’s all different kinds of fetishes, from cats, to massages, and even getting your ears cleaned. So if you happen to feel some wax in your canals, do some research beforehand and pick a few. @Home Cafe is probably the most well known, with substantial wait times now conveniently on four floors.
@Home Cafe – 〒101-0021 Tokyo, Chiyoda, Sotokanda, 4F, 6F and 7F
@Home Cafe offers different themes throughout their restaurants, which they call stores. Walking in we could hear the titles “Master” and “Mistress” being called out. One floor was full, so we opted for the perverted elementary school fantasy, hence the games and cafeteria looking plates. Their English was pretty impressive compared to other maid cafes and restaurants.
I knew what I was getting into. I didn’t come here for the food, but as my fork sunk into the cold inedible rice, I had second thoughts. Though my entree was oh so kawaii looking, it was pretty disgusting. Our waitress continued to wave her hands, producing a magic spell over our drinks, which I hoped would somehow make the food taste better.
Our maid picked out a game to play with each of us. I was blessed for the introduction to Gao Gao – a game where you pick colored bones until a sleeping dog snaps your face off. I somehow won this game and was rewarded with a sheet of stickers. My thoughtful then-fiance found this game and surprised me at Christmas.
We received the “Licence of Your Majesty” rewards card, which I guessed you could earn points for being creepy and coming here every weekend. @Home Cafe offers special packages with food, drink, and maid pictures and experiences. However, the maids would still celebrate your birthday the day of, one day before or after with incentives. My free birthday present being a bad-ass picture with all the maids practicing their jazz hands, for when they make it big on Broadway.
As we walked down the street, Japanese Alice came to greet us and asked if she could take us to wonderland. After clarifying that meant a one drink minimum with an entertaining Alice waitess, we said, “Sure, why not?” We followed Alice into the elevator of an obscure easy to miss building, and ventured to the 3rd floor. This Alice-inspired cafe was tiny and slightly underwhelming for Japanese flair standards, but didn’t fall short of entertainment. It turned out creepy Japanese men didn’t need a fancy faux classroom to come stare down pretty girls. A shoebox would even suffice.
Again, our group of two was the only group. Alice put what looked to be marshmallows on our table and stared at us. Did she say,”Eat Me?” I went to grab it but she managed the word “magic.” Yes, I almost tried to swallow the thing that grew into a hand towel. Our bubbly server managed to throw a few sentences together for us, with the help of the other perverted gentlemen at tables nearby. When she found out it was my birthday, they did a strange song and dance and decorated some pancakes for me. That experience totally could’ve been an odd chapter of Wonderland.
Like the other cafes, you have to pay for pictures of your maid, unless it’s your birthday @Home Cafe. However, here at Crown Tiara you can do a little more with your money. Would like to get G-rated spanked, slapped, or ridiculed? Put the equivalent of $15 on the table. Side note: Your girlfriend would do that for free.
Alice in a Labyrinth – Taiyo Building, Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo 104-0061
There were a few Alice restaurants in Tokyo with different whimsical interiors and creative elements. We got lost trying to find this legit restaurant in the posh Ginza district. A woman stopped in her steps to help us, and actually walked us a few blocks to the ordinary building across from Swarovski. I soon realized the Japanese were the friendliest locals, even if they couldn’t understand us.
This was not a maid experience per se, but more of an upscale cosplay Alice theme. Here you’ll find females customers, less awkwardness, and tastier kawaii food.
After a short elevator ride, we walked through a hallway of over-sized book pages. I adored the serious thought put into every detail – the card ceiling, an interactive menu, crown-shaped napkins, the waitress’s wardrobe and presentation. The food, equally innovative, surprisingly wasn’t half-bad. My sushi contained more mayo than a McDonald’s chicken sandwich, probably disgraceful to Japanese cuisine, but I could deal. My fiancé had better luck with the Cheshire Cat pasta. The desserts, crackers and dipping sauce were treats to be discovered, all with the ring of a bell.
As a a huge fan of everything Alice, I geeked out every moment and wished with all my heart to be back to see the other Wonderland cafes. I hoped somewhere there’s a looking glass that could transport me back to this bizarre world. Until then, I’d keep a Polaroid picture in my wallet, convincing myself it was all real.
© Faith’s True Tales 2015. All original words and images by Faith Brady unless otherwise noted.