Maid Cafes 101

If you’ve been an anime fan long enough, odds are you’ve heard of them…maid cafés.  But…what are they really?

It’s something that can pass for normal when you’re watching the crazy world of an anime, but what would it be like to actually visit one?

Well, this is a real place with real people, so remember your etiquette if you go.  That said, what type of place should you be expecting?  Read on to find out!

There you are, sitting at a café table, eyeing the ultra-kawaii pastel-colored decor and pink curtains, thinking to yourself “How in the world did I end up here?”

Your drawn-out, baffled thought is then suddenly interrupted by an alleged neko noise as a young woman sets down a dish of omuraisu (Omelette and Rice) in front of you, then asks you to sing with her as she draws an emoji and your name on the meal with ketchup.

After the bizarre ritual is complete, she scampers off and you stare down at your food, utterly bewildered and think once more “How in the world did I end up here?”

A Maid Café.

So what are maid cafés?

 

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Image by: bangkokpost.com

They are a type of cosplay restaurant found in Japan where waitresses dressed in French maid costumes refer to customers as “masters” and try to act as cute (by anime expectations) as possible.

Originally targeted at male anime fans or otaku (though this somewhat controversial term is still disputed in Japan), the cafés have since expanded their clientele and now include anyone and everyone, regardless of gender. They have become especially popular with tourists looking to experience a stranger side of Japan.
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Image by Flickr user: Guilhem Vellut

Top Image by Flickr User: ninayasmine

Thanks for Japanistas for providing this insight into Japanese culture!  Head on over to their website to read even more.

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