Monday, August 31, 2009

Candy Fruit Optical

If you do a search on "Candy Fruit Optical", you'll get a number of hits on English websites that have written reviews of this place. Meaning that I'm kind of being redundant here. But, in the name of completeness, I'm going to throw my hat into the ring, too.



Not that I'm really going to write a review here. I just want to mention that Candy Fruit is a kind of multi-product shop. First, there's the cosplay element. They sell maid outfits, and their online shop lets you order in English. Second, they sell glasses. So, if you want a maid to wait on you while you get your frames fitted, here's the place to do it. Third, they offer yoga and ear cleaning services. Fourth, they have a cafe. Note that at least the cafe and the glasses store are in separate buildings.



I'll visit the cafe later on. I know of at least 30 maid cafes in the Akihabara area alone, and I've only visited 12 of them. The list seems to get longer every week, which is a problem because I'm only able to visit one a week right now. Anyway, I've got 4 places that I want to visit next, and Candy Fruit Strawberry is going to have to wait.

In the meantime, you can read an interview by the glass shop operator at Otaku USA.


Address:
東京都千代田区外神田3-16-3 KTビル1F TEL:03-3252-4902
KT Building, 1Fl, Soto-Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 3-16-3

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Review: at_home, 7F



Finally, I finished off the set by visiting @Home 7F, in the same building as 4F, Hana and 6F. On my way up, the elevator opened on each floor, so I could see the waiting lines. 4F had about 5 people waiting; no line for Hana; about 4 people for 6F, and 6 people for 7F (3 of them were ahead of me, the rest arrived after I did). 7F has the same tiered seating facing the stage that 4F and 6F have, so the "standard @Home format" seems to be the most popular with this crowd. About 8 of the 30 customers were women; 2 arrived as a couple, the rest were with a boyfriend or husband. The couple were both middle-aged and looked uncomfortable there. The girlfriends and wives were enjoying themselves.



The only real differences between 7F and the "other F's" were that the TV over the bar was turned off, and the curtain behind the stage was white with flowers on it. Everything else was identical. Some of the customers challenged the maids to board games, with some winning and others not. Maybe half of the male customers were "otaku" (guys with bags of anime stuff they bought, and problems dealing with people in public), the rest were high school or college students or salarymen.

This time, I wanted to get a flavored kakigori (basically this is an American shaved ice snowball, but the ice is shaved thinner and fluffier) but was told that this is only available at Hana. So I settled for an "usagi-chan" dessert (600 yen) and a maid photo (500 yen). The usagi can be seen on the online menu. The ears are whip cream with strawberry syrup, with the face made using a sour cream cheesecake set on a vanilla cookie crumb base. Very tasty, but on the small side.



For the maid photo, I had my choice of animal ears, and one of 2 different poses. This was very similar to what happened at all the other @Home locations. A few minutes later it was embellished, I paid my bill (1700 yen for the night), and left. Just like with Donkey, no one bothered giving me the "please come back, master" chant. At least, the maid that brought my food order was friendly, and stopped by to talk to me every few minutes. It was a fun, regular, "maid cafe experience". However, now I've visited all of the @Home locations and I can move on to the rest of Akihabara. (Although, I'm now up to 21 points on my points card, and at 50 points I can go to a gold card. I drop by occasionally for a kakigori or anmitsu dessert just to see what happens if I level up. After that, I'll probably stop coming here for a while.)

Recap:
The 4F, Hana, 6F and 7F cafes are all in the same building (floors 4-7).

The Donkey cafe is in the Donkey (Don Quixote) building across Chuu-ou Dori and down the block.

4F, 6F, 7F and Donkey all follow the same pattern as a standard maid cafe, with the maids wearing a brown dress, white apron, bloomers and stockings. A stage at the front of the cafe is used for the photos. At 4F, 6F and 7F, the stage is also occasionally used for song and dance performances by the maids, and for some events. At Hana, the maids wear kimonos shortened to look like mini skirts, bloomers and stockings, and the room is set up as a traditional tea house. One room to the side is used for the maid photos.

All of the cafes share the same base menu, but Hana is the only one that offers kakigori (shaved ice), and Donkey has its own "original" mixed drink.

In essence, 4F, 6F and 7F are the same cafe, just on different floors. Hana is the tea house, and Donkey is the tourist attraction with the 1-hour seating times.


Summary:
Name: @Home 7F
Location: Around the corner from Chuu-ou Dori, on the 7th floor.
Price: Moderately-High. 700 yen cover just to get inside for 1 hour. 1100 yen entrees, 500 yen soft drinks. 1000-1100 yen cocktails.
Food: Standard food and soft drink selection, and quality. Some alcoholic mixed drinks.
Service: Very friendly and outgoing
"Love": Drawing of your choice on the food. The "moe moe gyu" chant over your drink, other chants over your food.
Outfits: Brown dresses with white aprons, stockings and bloomers.
Photos: 500 yen, with one maid, or as part of one of the food sets.
Wireless Internet: (?) (No laptops in evidence when I was there.)
Specialties: Some English-speaking staff; prototypical "maid cafe" setting. Maids will play games with the customers for prizes. Website in English.
Recommendation: Recommended if you have the time and are willing to wait to get inside. Otherwise, try going to 4F or 6F instead. 4F, 6F and 7F are pretty much identical. Hana has the tea house theme going for it. Donkey is like 7F, but more "touristy".

Monday, August 24, 2009

at_Home Hana Tea Ceremony

Ok. I'd mentioned in the review of @Home Hana that one of their specialties was the green tea set, where the tea is prepared in front of you. At the time, I'd gotten something else, but I'd stated that I would come back later to specifically get this item.

In Japan, the process of preparing green tea, referred to as "matcha", has been refined into high art, along the lines of ikebana (flower arranging), and sumi-e (ink brush painting). Called "cha-do" (among other things), the art of the tea ceremony is as much about how you hold yourself as you go through the motions as it is in making sure that the powered green tea is whisked properly and the resulting tea tastes good.

So, what is the Hana version then? Basically, there's a 800 yen version and a 700 yen version. I was told that the 800 yen version wasn't available, so I settled for the cheaper one. Eventually, one of the kimono'd maids came out with a red and black lacquer tray with a large red and black lacquer bowl on it. In the bowl was a spoonful or so of fine green powder - the matcha. The maid poured cold water into the bowl and proceeded to whisk it for about 1 minute to create a frothy green mass. She then gave me a small plate with 2 pieces of sponge cake, and the bowl of tea. She advised me that if the tea was too bitter that I could have sugar syrup added. I took a sip and it was indeed bitter. She added some syrup and did the whisking thing again. This time, the tea was a lot better, but still a little bitter. I decided to accept it as it was. She followed this up with the "moe moe gyu" added flavor chant.

My maid left, and I alternated between nibbling on the sponge cake and sipping the tea from the bowl. There was maybe 6-8 ounces of tea, and it was kind of like drinking bitter-sweet green tea "milk" from a cereal bowl. When I was done, there was a definite bitterness coating the inside of my mouth. Another maid came up and gave me a glass of cold mugi-cha (a kind of tea made using toasted barley). It tasted really good after the matcha and was definitely a necessary follow-up. (If you're not familiar with matcha, it is a distinctly "Japanese" flavor. It's often used as a flavoring for ice cream, mochi and other desserts. Akiba no Usagi Jinja had a frozen matcha mochi bar in its freezer cabinet that was equally bitter.)

Was this a typical cha-do ceremony? Not really. Was the maid a trained master of cha-do? Not really. Was the tea and cake worth the 700 yen plus 700 yen cover? Not really. Did I enjoy myself? Sure. It was fun, and if I'd wanted to turn it into a real maid cafe experience, I would have challenged the maid to a 3-minute board game at the same time (for another 500 yen).

I recommend getting the green tea set at @Home Hana at least once just to see it in action. But I wouldn't do it a second time (I'd rather spend the money on something else)...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Review: at_home, Donkey



Just to break things up a bit, I headed over to the other side of Chuu-ou Dori and one block farther north away from the Akihabara station to the Donkey Building, to visit the @Home on the 5th floor there. This particular location is probably the busiest one in the chain. I'd tried dropping by several times before and there was always a long line of people waiting to get in. Actually, the first time I went there was back last Winter when I was trying to find the AKB48 stage up on the 7th floor of the Donkey Building, and on the way back down the escalators I passed @Home. This was before I started visiting maid cafes, and back then, there wasn't a line. How quickly things change. Along with Pinafore 1, the Donkey @Home may be one of the most well-known maid cafes in Akihabara now.

This time, I arrived early. There were 12 people waiting in front of me, singles and couples. There are 11 little chairs, all numbered, placed in the waiting area, so I was standing for a while before the line started moving. It took almost an hour to get in. Fortunately, I had a book with me and I tore through that as I waited.


(Front view of the Donkey building.)

This @Home is harder to find because of the way the Donkey Building is laid out. The only way between floors is to take the escalator. The first floor leads to a pachinko parlor. The next 5 or so floors are packed with souvenir shops, cosplay shops and hentai gift shops. (As I mentioned, the top floor contains the AKB48 performance space.) When you get off the escalator on the 5th floor, there's a souvenir shop to the left. Go through that around to the left to get to the down escalators. To the right of the down escalator is the @Home gift shop, with snacks, branded curry, laminated cards and CDs and DVDs of the maids (spend 10,000 yen ($100 USD) on gifts and get a free photo with the maid of your choice). To the left is the entrance to the cafe itself, with the waiting area right in front of the escalator entrance.

I'd written in the previous review for 6F that I'd just gotten my Silver member's card, and within a couple of days I'd promptly lost it. When I reached the front of the line, I explained what had happened and was given a replacement card with no questions asked. Each of the cards above Bronze have a serial number that links to a database, so your number of visits is recorded electronically based on the serial number. Getting a new card means losing your previous points if you don't have the serial number written down. Fortunately, I only had the 5 points leading up to the bump in level, so I wasn't out anything when the card was replaced.



Funny enough, while did I hand over my expired Bronze card, with my name written on it in katakana, the maid coming over to get the next person in line to take them into the cafe misread the handwriting of the maid that had written on my card, pronouncing it as "Osada" or something. After being corrected by someone else, she called out my name correctly then spent the next 2 minutes apologizing for getting my name wrong. I entered the cafe to the usual shower of "welcome back, master" and sat down at a bench.

Unlike the other @Home cafes, Donkey has two seating areas, one with tables on the other side of a closed door, and the other with two rows of benches facing the walls, so the customers have their backs to each other. In this second area, the maids stand on a raised floor in the aisle between the bench and the wall. It's kind of a cold, isolated layout that discourages patrons from talking to each other, but the room is fairly narrow, only holding maybe 20 people total, so the layout is unavoidable. I didn't visit the table area so I can't talk about that. Next time.



There's no TV to look at, so no videos of the maids singing and dancing this time. But, there was some light J-pop constantly playing on the sound system that was probably by the maids. The maids were dressed in the same brown dress with white apron worn at the other locations. They were all fairly friendly, but obviously kept busy during the entire time I was there. A few of them were challenged to games by the customers, and the customers generally lost. About 40% of the patrons were women at any given time, and all looked to be enjoying themselves. At least half the men were what the newspapers would describe as otaku (the other half were high school or college students, or salarymen).

I ordered the "Mazemaze Otsukimi meat sauce pasta" set, which included a drink (ice coffee) and a maid photo for 1900 yen. The pasta is an al dente spaghetti with a tomato sauce with hamburger mixed in, and a poached egg on top (otsuki-mi means "moon viewing", hence the poached egg is supposed to look like the full moon). The maid mixes up the pasta while going through a 30-second long chant (similar to the one described in the 6F review) for "added flavor" (moe-moe, nyan-nyan, kyu-kyu, wan-wan, etc.) By the end of the chant, the egg is thoroughly a part of the sauce. The ice coffee had a similar ritual, where I had to say "nyan" to show the maid when to stop pouring the cream, "kyu" to stop pouring the sugar syrup, and "gyu" for when to stop stirring. Of course, this was followed by the "moe moe gyu" chant to "add flavor" to the coffee. The spaghetti was good, and a decent-sized portion, but I would have liked some hot sauce with it. The coffee was good, after the cream and sugar were added. But, with the cover (600 yen for silver members, 700 for bronze) the total came to 2500 yen ($25 USD), which is still pretty pricey.



For the maid photo, I had my choice of animal ears or a hat, and one of 4 different poses. This was very similar to what happened at 4F, Hana and 6F. A few minutes later it was embellished, I paid my bill, received my replacement points card, and left. This time, no one bothered giving me the "please come back, master" chant. The maids here seem to be a lot more enthusiastic over the people arriving; less so when you leave.


Summary:
Name: @Home Donkey
Location: On Chuu-ou Dori, near the UDX building, on the 5th floor.
Price: Moderately-High. 700 yen cover just to get inside for 1 hour. 1100 yen entrees, 500 yen soft drinks. 1000-1100 yen cocktails.
Food: Standard food and soft drink selection, and quality. Some alcoholic mixed drinks.
Service: Mostly friendly and outgoing
"Love": Drawing of your choice on the food. The "moe moe gyu" chant over your drink.
Outfits: Brown dresses with white aprons, stockings and bloomers.
Photos: 500 yen, with one maid, or as part of one of the food sets.
Wireless Internet: (?) (No laptops in evidence when I was there.)
Specialties: Some English-speaking staff; prototypical "maid cafe" setting. Maids will play games with the customers for prizes. Website in English.
Recommendation: Recommended if you have the time and are willing to wait to get inside. Otherwise, try going to 4F or 6F instead.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Maids in Space!!!!!

Actually, not really. I was going to name this entry "maids in the news", but that would have been boring.



Over the last few weeks, there have been some traditional festivals and activities in Akihabara and nearby Ueno, and in conjunction with the female participants wearing more traditional kimonos or other costumes, we've had maids in with the mix. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get out of work to watch these activities myself, but bartman905 did, and he's been kind enough to let me cross-link to his photos.





First, we have uchimizu, a ceremony that consists of spraying water on the ground as a way to make the area feel cooler. This particular photo was taken in front of the Dai Building, next to the JR station, as part of the Akiba Green Festival month.


Next, we have the Ueno Natsu Matsuri, which took place from July 11 to Aug. 2 (Ueno Summer Festival). Ueno is only a couple of miles north of Akihabara. Along with marching bands, they had marching maids. Back before some idiot decided to drive a car into a crowd of people in Akihabara a year ago, it was common for Chuu-ou Dori to be closed off to street traffic on Sundays so that large group maid dances could be staged.



Although they need to find new venues to perform at, they're still doing the large group dances. Maids just want to have fun.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Review: at_home, 6F



Continuing the pattern of visiting more locations of the same chain, we're back at @Home for the second time in 2 weeks, this time it's at 6F. Slowly climbing up the stairs of the building. Again, the entrance to @Home is just around the corner off Chuu-ou Dori, a couple of blocks north of the Akihabara JR station.

Each of the @Home locations are supposed to have their own unique theme or vibe, but to me, 6F seems to be very similar to 4F. The maids circulate, working on one floor one day, another the next, making each location even less unique. In fact, when one of the customers in 6F was looking at this blog on his cell phone, both he and the waitress recognized the girl in the photo from the Hana review. Both 4F and 6F are brightly lit, with white walls, a bar to one side with a TV showing videos of the maids giving interviews or doing dance routines, a stage in front, and tiered seating with bench tables facing the stage. An area a little ways back from the stage is set up to allow for seating larger groups. The stage is used mainly for taking the maid photos, but while it's also supposed to host some mini-performance events at random, I didn't get to see one that evening.


(Silver card)

When I arrived, the guy at the door looked at me kind of coldly again, but softened when I handed over my points card. Because a typhoon had been predicted for that day, it was a "rain day" (although the sky had cleared by then) and I got double points, bumping me up to a silver card, and "Familiar Master" level. All the silver card does is reduce the cover charge by 100 yen, but it looks really cool. The real perks start with the gold card, which requires 50 visits. But I did get the reduced cover price immediately. The maid at the door congratulated me on the level up, rang a bell by the door, and I got showered with the "welcome home master" greeting.

I was given the English menu, which is mostly dessert-based. No mention of the shaved ice desserts they had in Hana, though. There were 3 pasta entrees and 3 rice dishes (omelet, curry and pilaf) in the 1000 yen range. Lots of soft drinks around 500 yen, and if you get a dessert or entree, the drinks are 200 yen off. There's a big write-up at the back of the menu regarding the maid photo (cheki) and being able to challenge a maid at a random games (mostly variants on Uno) for 3 minutes for prizes.

6F was almost packed when I arrived, but there was no waiting line yet, this time. I saw 1 foreigner then, but he was gone soon after, along with his girlfriend. One big group arrived later, which included at least 5 women that all enjoyed themselves. Otherwise, the crowd was made up of about half college-aged guys, and salarymen in their 20's and 30's. There was a steady stream of guys getting maid photos on stage, and several played Uno against the maids to try to win "moe coins" Each coin lets you get a capsule from a gumball machine, and some of the capsules contain stickers with artwork drawn by the maids themselves.

I ordered the "hot blend coffee" and a chocolate parfait (1100 yen total) plus a cheki (500 yen). With the 600 yen cover, it came to 2200 yen. The coffee came out in a small cup, and my maid carefully laid out the silverware, added cream and sugar, and then had me perform the "moe moe gyu" chant with her for "added flavor". The parfait arrived a few minutes later, and a different maid did a "moe moe gyu, moe moe beam" chant over it. The coffee cup was too small for the price, but it was good coffee. The parfait consisted of a scoop of chocolate ice cream, 2 wafer cookies, some whipped cream and a bunch of corn flakes at the bottom. It was pretty good as well. (Of course, @Home doesn't allow photos of the food.)



Next to me, one casually-dressed salaryman was having fun. He challenged different maids to several games for the "moe coins", and went up on stage for at least 2 maid photos (normally, you're only allowed to have one maid in the photo, but he had 3 maids posing with him at a time). He was also a talkative person and started chatting me up. Turns out that he's been to @Home at least 50 times, and had a gold card. A regular fixture at the place, and knew all of the maids by name. One maid that was talking to him started talking to me as well, and she turned out to be a big shonen manga fan, describing herself as "a dirty old man". She really likes "Zettai Karen Children", and thinks that the 3 girls are all "cho-kawaii".

At one point, the big group at the back of the room placed their food order, and when the food came out, the maid led them in a 1 minute-long group "added flavor" chant that had everyone giggling in embarrassment. Overall, good times.

Then it was time to go, and this time, each of the maids I passed bowed to me (unlike at Hana or 4F) and I was followed out with "please come back, master" farewells.

Of course, a lot changes when the staff at an establishment starts to recognize you after multiple visits, or if you upgrade your membership card. But, I found 6F to be the most friendly, upbeat cafe in the @Home family so far. I enjoyed myself, but it's still one of the pricier cafes due to the cover charge (even with the 100 yen discount).


Summary:
Name: @Home 6F
Location: Just around the corner from Chuu-ou Dori, near the JR Akihabara station, on the 5th floor.
Price: Moderately-High. 700 yen cover just to get inside for 1 hour.
Food: Standard food and soft drink selection, and quality. Some alcoholic mixed drinks.
Service: Very friendly and outgoing
"Love": Drawing of your choice on the food. The "moe moe gyu" chant over your drink.
Outfits: Brown dresses with white aprons, stockings and bloomers.
Photos: 500 yen, with one maid, or as part of the dessert set.
Wireless Internet: (?) (No laptops in evidence when I was there.)
Specialties: Some English-speaking staff; tea house setting. Maids will play games with the customers for prizes. Website in English.
Recommendation: Highly recommended if you want the "full maid cafe vibe". But, there seems to be little difference between 6F and 4F.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Maid Catchers



The fact that Akihabara has become known for its maid cafes is kind of obvious. This makes this district a cheap target for jokes and ridicule by the mainstream. But, you know that a trend has "legs" when a UFO Catcher (crane arm) arcade opens with a maid-based logo.



Maid Catchers!
Just kidding. I haven't seen plush maid dolls in the machines yet.

Yet.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Review: at_Home, Hana



One of the advantages of reviewing cafes that all belong to the same chain is that you can copy-paste all of the subsequent reviews once you visit the first location. This is especially true for @Home, where four of the five cafes are all in the same building, just on different floors. Each cafe has its own theme, but the menu and website are pretty much the same across the board. The menu does change occasionally to allow for seasonal entrees and desserts, but these are still shared by each cafe.

Hana is a variant on the traditional Japanese tea house concept. It's located on the 5th floor, and is the only one of the @Home cafes that doesn't have the floor number as part of the name. Inside, the main room is about 40 foot square and in the center of the room is a raised floor covered in tatami. Three sides of the tatami are surrounded by a wood laminated counter with stools capable of seating 16 people. The fourth side is up against the wall and has doors leading to the kitchen. There are about 10 booths along the outer walls of the room capable of holding another 8-10 couples. At the time, there were about 20 customers, three of them women, and all the women were there with their boyfriends. Most of the guys looked like college students or young salarymen.

When I entered the cafe, the guy running the cash register and the maid talking to him kind of looked at me coldly like I'd missed the "no foreigners" sign outside. But, they lightened up a little when I showed my points card, indicating that I'd been to @Home before. The maid led me to the counter - three other maids lined up and chanted the "welcome home master" line at me - and explained the menu to me, but she was still a bit cold. The rest of the maids, though, were much friendlier.

The primary idea is that you order the green tea set for 700 yen, and one of the maids will prepare it in front of you. No one ordered this set while I was there, so I didn't get to see what the ceremony consisted of (mostly, people got either desserts, or the shaved ice). Generally, the maids stay on the tatami mat with their shoes off. Because the tatami is raised, when they kneel on the floor, they're still about about eye-height to you. The "uniform" here is a kind of kimono cut short to make a miniskirt, bloomers underneath, and long stockings. They still have the added "love" in the form of drawings on the food, the "added flavor chant" (mine was "moe, moe gyu" while forming your hands into a heart shape), and they don't allow photos of the food. I didn't see a separate mention of the "chekki" (photo with a maid) in the menu, but most of the customers did get one while I was there, including all three female customers.

The menu consists of some simple entree dishes, lots of tea and dessert sets, and beer, in the 500 to 1500 yen range. For 500 yen you can talk to one of the maids for a while, or play games against the maid for prizes for 3 minutes. I ordered the "hot cake" set, which was a pair of small, thick dessert pancakes with cookie ears, whipped cream and red bean paste (anko) inside; a choice of hot coffee or hot cafe au lait; and a maid photo, for 1300 yen. The maid drew a cat face on the hot cakes using chocolate syrup, and then had me join in on the "added flavor chant" of "moe, moe, gyu". The hot cakes were a little chewy and dry, so nothing really special this time, but the cafe au lait was really good.




It took a while for me to realize that there was a small room around the corner behind me, with a raised tatami floor, that is used for the maid photos, and for playing board games against the maid. The room contains various props for the photos, including animal ears and large stuffed plush animal paws. The maids call your name, you get the photo, and then you sit back down and wait for them to embellish it.

There is a 700 yen cover just to stay in the cafe an hour, and because of the crowd the service was running really slow. By the time I finally received the touched-up photo, I'd been there for at least 75 minutes and I was expecting to be hit with a second 700 yen charge. Fortunately, that didn't happen this time and with the dessert set and cover the total came to 2000 yen. Expensive for what you get, but about normal for a maid cafe.

Some of the maids did chat up the customers a bit, but they pretty much ignored me this time, and I didn't get the "come back again" chant that other customers got when I finally left. It was an enjoyable experience overall, and I do want to come back once more for the tea ceremony set, but I liked 4F more than I did Hana.

-----------------

That was Tuesday. On Wednesday, I returned with the intent of getting the tea set so I could write about it here. Unfortunately (for me, fortunately for the cafe) at 6 PM there was a waiting line of about 10 people waiting to get in to Hana. I didn't want to wait, so I went to 4F and there were another 10 people waiting there. Same for 6F and 7F. I even went to the Donkey building, and there were almost 20 people waiting to get in there. Not sure if there was a special event that day, or if it was just because of the hot weather and everyone wanting to get shaved ice desserts. In any case, @Home is one of the most successful maid cafe chains in Tokyo, and I'll just have to wait until later to try Hana's tea set.

Summary:
Name: @Home Hana
Location: Just around the corner from Chuu-ou Dori, near the JR Akihabara station, on the 5th floor.
Price: Moderately-High. 700 yen cover just to get inside for 1 hour.
Food: Standard food and soft drink selection, and quality. Some alcoholic mixed drinks.
Service: Very friendly and outgoing
"Love": Drawing of your choice on the food. The "moe moe gyu" chant over your drink.
Outfits: Shortened kimonos treated as miniskirts, with stockings and bloomers.
Photos: 500 yen, with one maid, or 1300 yen as part of the dessert set.
Wireless Internet: (?) (No laptops in evidence when I was there.)
Specialties: Some English-speaking staff; tea house setting. Maids will play games with the customers for prizes. Website in English.
Recommendation: Recommended if you want the "tea house vibe", otherwise try 4F instead for the full "maid cafe treatment". Expect to stay at least 45 minutes, though, since the service can be slow at peak times.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Eva Maids




Evangelion is fairly popular in Japan, especially with pachinko parlors, which have Eva-themed pachinko machines, and lots of branded advertising. But, even so, I wasn't expecting to see the Eva pilots wearing maid outfits near the Donkey building in Akihabara...