Maid Cafes in Japan are so awkward that I personally would only recommend going once for the experience and never again, even if you like Kawaii culture I would say you’re better off exploring Akihabara for other reasons. Maids choose a nickname and you cannot ask them any personal questions e.g. country (if they are not Japanese), age etc. and they accessorise their uniforms with different animal ears and colourful jewellery. Now I’ve been to two; Hearts of Hearts in 2015 and the so called popular Home Cafe just this month for my friend’s birthday.
Sparkling (Hearts of Hearts) Maid Academy:
So Hearts of Hearts (for short) main theme is a school but you are still a princess (姫 ”ひめ”) or prince (王子 ”おうじ”) which is by default apparently from what I’ve read. I chose a set where I could get a drink, dessert and picture with the girl who took me to the maid cafe. It was pretty empty in this place, about seven customers while there was three maids around and the cook in the back.
The most awkward thing was when there was two customers left (me and another guy) and they started singing which is something else you can request them to do but I was surprised they did it despite there was hardly anyone in the cafe!
I was given my parfait but as you can tell even from the presentation of it, that it was subpar. You have to do a special chant to “make it more delicious.” The ice cream parfait consisted of cornflakes, chocolate ice cream and pocky.
After I took a picture with her and paid about ¥2000 for everything, it felt like an odd experience. I’ve researched what happens behind the scenes so to see what they really have to do is really awkward. I said I wouldn’t go to any other cafe after experiencing it once.
Until this year…
(Gudetama) Home Cafe:
For my friend’s birthday this month, she wanted to experience what it was like to go to a maid cafe. The only floor that was less crowded to get into was the Gudetama themed cafe. Home Cafe is clearly one of the most popular cafes in Akihabara and it was recommended by one of our roommates to go to. But not all of the cafes were open at the same time, it could be four or even two floors but it depends on the time and how many maids and staff are working.
Before she got a cute pancake with marshmallows on it, my friend had to answer a quiz and then the maids sang a song for her before giving it to her. Afterwards she took a picture with all the maids and her cake.
My friends ordered a caf´e latte and green tea latte and they were allowed to choose what animals they wanted to be drawn on for latte art. One asked for a bunny and the other asked for a cat.
Three of us ordered this matcha goodness. It had ice cream, mochi, red bean, pudding and wafer. It’s probably one of the biggest desserts I have ever eaten and unless you’re extremely hungry, you might find it hard to finish.
And one of us got the spaghetti. Just like Hearts Hearts, for all the food and drinks you have to do a special chant to “make it more delicious.”
You can get a free coaster (it may have changed though by the time you go). Even though it’s a popular maid cafe, I wouldn’t recommend going is because with the tax it’s so expensive. For Home Cafe even though it was a set, they added tax onto every little thing we wanted on the set which I thought was ridiculous. The bill came up to ¥11500 for four people.
Despite calling me Nayami (even though I pronounced my name), I had an alright time but this is definitely the last time I’ll go to a maids cafe. It’s so awkward. It also makes me wonder how much they get paid and also how young are some of the girls are. One time is enough for anyone to be honest.