A Closer Look Into Maid Cafe

 In Japan, the term “maid” can entail a completely different experience – A “Maid Cafe”, which are cafes where servers are women dressed in maid costumes.

Shocking, isn’t it? At first glance, Japan’s maid cafes could seem slightly odd and not something we are used to. However, taking a closer look, the industry is full of respect and etiquette and is an essential part of Japan’s rich culture.

Maid Cafes: Myth or Fact?

The term “maid cafe” is undeniably one that will raise a few eyebrows, due to its sheer novelty and uniqueness. It begs the question: Are maid cafes truly prevalent in Japan? 

The first permanent maid cafe, Cure Maid Cafe, was established in March 2001 in Akihabara, Tokyo. Akihabara is a bustling district renowned for its manga and anime stores. As these cafes became more and more popular, more such cafes cropped up, with expansion to other districts and even other countries. In Akihabara alone, there are more than 100 maid cafes as of today!

Other countries like Singapore had their first taste of a maid cafe a few years back when the Cawaii Koohii Cafe opened in Funan. The cafe was the first of its kind in Singapore, bringing the Japanese experience to Singapore soil. The cafe, however, was said to be relocating in 2013 and has never resurfaced after its closing. 

Thinking of working at maid cafes?

Serving and befriending customers, putting on cute costumes, getting paid. Perhaps you may be interested in working at maid cafes, but there could be certain obstacles in your way – Are foreigners able to work at maid cafes?

Well, fret not! Foreigners are welcome to work in maid cafes and are often used as translators to communicate with tourists. One maid cafe which may pique your interest is Maidreamin Tokyo, one of the largest maid cafe chains in Japan. With over 500 employees, Maidreamin Tokyo hires maids from various countries and even has an outlet in Thailand!

Pricing and Menu of Maid Cafe

Generally, maid cafes charge entry fees as well as food and beverage charges. While prices vary from cafe to cafe, entry fees are usually a few hundred yen, while food and beverage charges are comparable to regular cafes.

In At-Home Cafe, a popular cafe located in Akihabara, the combined fees start from 1400 yen, which is about 10.5 USD! Most cafes also offer additional services and experiences at a cost. You can take photographs with the maids or play some games with them, which can range from a few hundred yen to a thousand yen.

Cure Maid Cafe is a good choice for a different experience that comes with a less hefty price tag. While maids act purely as servers and interact with customers less, there is no entry fee, and customers only have to pay for their food and beverages. It’s perfect for visitors who want a quieter and more relaxed maid cafe experience!

Culture and Etiquette

For many maid cafes, customers are greeted with “Welcome Home, Master!” (“お帰りなさいませ、ご主人様!”)

Maid cafes have been a topic of discussion, with people feeling that such establishments belittle the women working, resulting in the sexualization and dehumanization of workers. While these points are up for debate, we cannot overlook the fact that maid cafes have strict rules to ensure the safety and protection of their workers.

Visitors of maid cafes are not allowed to touch the maids, ask for their contact information, or invade their privacy. Maids also do not use their real names to protect their identity and are to sit opposite customers instead of next to them, to prevent physical contact.

Clearly, despite the power dynamic between maid and customer, the maid cafe industry still places great emphasis on protecting their employees and ensuring that they are protected from customers with ill intentions.

Are you visiting Japan soon and want to know the best ways to blend in with the locals? Or maybe you're interested in Japanese culture and want to gain a deeper understanding of this fascinating country? We’ll also provide guidance on eating out, traveling around the country, and fitting in socially.

While maid cafes may be outside of what we are used to, let us have respect towards this essential part of Japan’s culture. Even more importantly, if we pay a visit to such establishments, we must pay heed to the rules and etiquette that visitors must follow, ensuring that the maids feel safe and protected throughout their careers.

Have you also noticed how anime series are so captivating? With their bright colors, expressive characters, and dynamic storylines, these shows have something to offer everyone—but what is it that makes them so appealing? In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most appealing qualities of anime and why they are so attractive to viewers.

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