By Aaron Knapp
The first thing I wanted to do in Japan was go to a maid café. Food quality and drinks selections at these can be desired. Your next question is, then why go to the café at all? It’s all about the experience.
I went to the Don Quixote store in Akiba; if you are unfamiliar with this store, it is a huge department store that deals with all things Japan. You can find almost anything and it has seven floors. Plus the top floor has a concert space, mainly for AKB 48. I was in the store to see what all they had. The store itself has a huge blue figure outside the store front, which drew me in.
I was in the market for some snack’s. Well they had snacks, and all kinds of other merchandise. Each floor is set up with a theme. Stationary, bathroom, household, and a small arcade, etc. Each floor had sections, and had all sorts of things in them. overseas snack, Japanese snack’s, luggage, cosplay props, light sticks, anime influenced goods. On the fifth floor was something that is not exactly posted on the ground floor. In fact I originally found a competitor’s flyer right outside when I was on the street. I almost didn’t see it as it’s in a corner of the floor and not well noticeable until you go down stairs. I even walked by the store as I wanted to see what was on the second floor. It just so happened the sixth floor was block off for today. I went back down the stairs and saw it staring right back at me; a maid café.
This maid café is all over Japan and in Akiba they have their own 5 story building dedicated to the maid café. I was intrigued that this café had no wait to get in as their other store always had a long lines. I went inside and a maid escorted me to my table. “Welcome home my master,” they said in Japanese. As I sat down a maid came over and explained the menu in English. I was shocked and awed at this.
The maid took my order and suggested I take the photo option as it was my first time there. It was a little expensive for the food, table, and drink. My drink came out first, the maid asked what she could draw for me. I picked a cat, pretty simple, I like cats I’m okay with that. The maid drew a cat on my mocha. Then my food came out, at this point I ate my food quickly. It had a ketchup art on the eggs, which I did not get a picture of.
Other customers were getting their picture taken with various maids. I for obvious reasons picked the maid that took my order to have my picture taken with. I got my picture taken with my kawaii maid, then she said to hang on a minute. Tonight was the night that they picked to do a live performance. Pink Light sticks with @Home Café were given out.
After the cute little song and dance by the maids, my maid presented me with a ‘master’ card. She told me to use the card next time, and that I would have the gift of getting things at a better price when (I) ‘my master comes back to visit.’ I paid at the front thanked my maid and headed out. All in all it was fun. They prefer you not to take pictures of the maids while you are there, but food pictures are fine. It was a little dark on the inside, but @Home maid café was a fun and the Don Quixote location was easy to get into.