Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Maid Photos

Maid Runner has been actively visiting and reviewing maid cafes in and around Akihabara for over a year. Other than a few bars that don't open until I have to be at work at night, and some reflex shops that I consider overpriced and have no interest in, there's really nothing left to visit in Akihabara that is maid-related. At the moment. New cafes are constantly opening, and there are a few that I've developed an attachment to that may have events worth writing up in the future. So, Maid Runner won't completely shut down. Let's just say "under renewal".

If you have suggestions for places to visit, add them in a comment to this post, or drop me an email.


  1. Since I don't know what your email is I'll just leave a post instead :3 (Or I'm not sure how to find it, ahahaha)

    Queen Dolce immediately caught my attention when I saw it. I'm going to Japan in October and will be staying there for a year, and I wont hesitate to pay a visit to QD!
    Actually, I would be really interested to even work there part-time, so my question is...
    Do you think they would accept a foreigner as a co-worker? 8'3
    Would it be in any way weird if I asked if I could work there?

    Since you've been at QD and seen the atmosphere and talked to them, I would like you to hear your opinion about this :3 Of course everything is up to them, but I would like to hear what you think about this ^^

    Thank you for reading and answering!! :D

  2. riemann96 at yahoo dot com
    Well, after talking with the manager of Dolce at the time, my understanding is that they did have a few foreign customers that had visited regularly and had made friends with the staff. No indication that any of them had tried getting jobs, though. Couldn't hurt to try asking when you get there. Generally, the cafe websites have a "recruiting" link detailing the job requirements and providing an online application form, but Dolce doesn't have that. The only choice is to apply in person. In any event, you'll need good Japanese skills, since most of the staff and customers won't be able to speak anything else.

  3. Thank you so much!! It gives me a little confidence boost to hear that! :D
    I'm gonna study japanese when I get there, so I'll make sure that I can speak it before trying to get a job ^___^

    Once again, thank you!! ^^

  4. Hi. :D I haven't been by the blog in a while, but I guess you're on break for a bit.. it's a little sad to think you've seen everything in Akiba worth seeing! >_<; I hope stuff is okay with the earthquake... super sucks...

    @Oathkeeper: When I was living in Japan, I visited Dolce almost every week. I'm probably one of the foreigners the manager was talking about. I love it so much :D I'll be in Japan probably July to August this year, but I'll definitely be gone by October, so I won't be around when you're there. T_T Maybe I'll be able to come back next summer.

    Dolce does actually have a recruiting page. They post here on Moeten and are actively seeking staff right now. http://moeten.info/maidcafe/?m=s&id=663&d=baito Hopefully that link didn't kill itself in posting. ^^;

    But... even having been there so much myself, I have no idea what the management would make of a foreign applicant. I also have no idea what it's like to work there. I think your Japanese would have to be VERY good to work there because the staff's main job is really to foster conversations and chat people up.

    I don't think it would be weird if you asked, but at the same time, it would be good if you kept in mind that they have a lot of considerations to balance when they take on a new staff member. Most of the staff members seem to work there for around two years or more, so having less than a year to work with them may also be a concern. I don't honestly know.

    Sorry, I know the opinion is unsolicited. XD; I just love Dolce so much, that I always want to talk about it, even when I'm not in Japan.

    By the way, Dolce has moved to a slightly larger shop about one building further down Chuo from the Akihabara station. The decoration, staff, customers, and everything else are pretty much exactly the same old, though. ^_^ <3 <3

  5. Hi! I just found our blog. It's amazing!
    I am one who passionate in maid cafe and other related cultures.
    Your blog is very informative for me.

    I have visited japan for maid cafes. That time, I visited 12 shop in a row but ,after found your blog, I think you are my jedi master. :D

    I am sad that you stop updating your blog.

    I start a facebook page to collect informations about maid around the world too.

    I will continue your saga by my own.(But I don't claim myself as maid runner) :P

    Thank you again for all your hard work in Maid cafe data.

    1. Hi Siriwat. Thanks for dropping by. Since I'm no longer in Tokyo, I can't go to maid cafes anymore. So, you can go in my place. I hope you find lots of cafes you like. Have fun!

  6. Hello! Are you still living in Japan? I wish I have discovered your blog before we headed to a maid cafe in Akihabara! My first was the @Homecafe and I found it a bit expensive.

    I actually blogged about my experience here if you are interested: @Home Cafe Akihabara

    I was wondering what is your all time favorite maid cafe? What would you recommend to a first timer? The thing is, their food is delicious and I wanted to try dining to another maid cafe again. Any response is appreciated! ;-)

    1. Hi Ada. Thanks for dropping by.
      I'm still in Japan, but I'm down in Kagoshima, Kyushu, which is kind of a not really maid-friendly area (so, no maid cafes here yet). I miss Akihabara.

      All maid cafes are expensive compared to regular restaurants that serve the same food. The idea is that you're paying extra for the atmosphere and experience. If you just want food or a drink, don't go to a maid cafe. But, if you want the "maid experience", then go ahead and get the cheapest things on the menu, if you want something to snack on. On the other hand, @Home is THE most popular maid chain in Tokyo, so they can get away with charging more.

      For a first timer, @Home or Mai Dreamin' are the safest bets. Because maid cafes come and go all the time, there's no guarantee that most of the places I've been to still exist now. Some of my favorites, like Akiba no Usagi Jinja and Heidi Club closed before I'd moved out of Tokyo. The most important thing about going to maid cafes for the first time is to keep an open mind and remember that you're there to have fun. The maids are actresses and most of them are enjoying themselves there, so if they're having fun with you, then you should have fun with them, too.

      If you plan on going to other cafes, try to get an area map of Akihabara (there may be something at the train station, the UDX Building or in the lobby of one of the cafes. They're also handed out on the streets some times.) Make a list of the names on the map and then check them out on google.jp. When I was there, cafes tended to group into 3-4 categories. "Maid", "cosplay" and "theme". @Home and Mai Dreamin' are prime examples of the "maid" genre, where you're the master/mistress of the house and the maids are there to take care of you. "Cosplay" cafes have more of an anime theme, and the maids will change their outfits throughout the week. "Theme" cafes will pick one specific concept and stick with it, such as fixing up the cafe to look like a rain forest, a train station, or a New York burger shop. Decide what you want and then visit that. That is, do you want the "maid" experience, or do you prefer Evangelion, or trains? If you want "English-friendly", then stick with @Home and Mai Dreamin'. However, a lot of the cafes did have English menus.

      Again, if you're going to visit a cafe more than once, look at the points cards and other "frequent customer" rewards. @Home had different membership cards based on how often you visited and how much money you spent. Each upgrade would get you something like a free maid photo, free drink or a free meal. If I'd stayed in Tokyo, I would have tried getting the mythical @Home "Black Card", which would have required spending several thousand dollars over a couple years. Other cafes have almost worthless points cards, so you want to be picky about that. Some of the cards are things like one point per 1000 yen, 1 point per visit, or 1 point per 500 yen but require amassing more points. If you check out my reviews, I mentioned the points cards as part of the reviews.

      I liked Queen Dolce, Pinafore 1, Saint Grace Court and Circe de La Lune. But I'm pretty sure Lune closed a few years ago, and Queen Dolce never had that many customers when I was there. Also, Dolce is a "danso", which may be something of an acquired taste.

      Danso cafes are "like guys" places. That is, the women dress in drag to portray butlers. Dolce was the only danso still in Akihabara. But, if you're looking for places that are more "woman friendly", you might want to check out Ikebukuro. There's a neighborhood at the east side from the main exit that had a lot of shops geared towards female customers (although, not necessarily "femine" females), with several danso and butler cafes. Ikebukuro was a little more difficult for me to get to, so I never got to reviewing the cafes there.

      Hope this helps.

    2. Omg! You actually replied! Thank you very much! Perhaps you should make this as your blog post? HIHI. My you're way too far from Tokyo now. I actually live in Kanagawa so I need a careful planning when exploring Tokyo for a day and wow, your response will really help me bunch. I will definitely keep them in mind. I've heard of Butler's Cafe too, but read horrible experiences online lol so I may skip on that.

      You are a very interesting person and I'm thinking of featuring you on my blog. But I know you're a busy person too. If ever you're interested, please let me know!

  7. Hi Ada,
    If you don't trust butler cafes, then you may like dansou. Either way, the idea is to find cafes that cater to female customers, maybe like Cure Maid (which has more of a British maid tea room vibe). As I said, I haven't visited any of the places in Ikebukuro, so I don't know if there's anything good there. Remember, though, that you need to look past the biases of the writer. Were the reviews of the butler cafes negative because of real, bad experiences? Or just because the writer dislikes the entire concept? Sometimes, the only way to determine if a cafe is worth visiting is to go and find out directly (and bring a friend, if you can).

    I used to live near Noborito, in Kanagawa. For me, getting to Akihabara was pretty easy because I taught at a business school there, and the company paid for the train passes. I'd just go in to Akiba a little early on a work day, and visit one of the cafes before work started.

    I did visit your blog. It looks pretty interesting. If you want to mention me there, feel free, thanks!

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