Maidreamin is a maid cafe in the Shibuya section of Tokyo. There are several maid cafes throughout the city and country. And the Shibuya Maidreamin is itself one of a group. The business model is totally unique to Japan. Or at least it was until more recently when maid cafes started popping in Taiwan, China, Thailand, and even the United States. While the maid cafe model seems to be more mainstream now than it was in the past it still does have a certain sultriness to it.
I first visited a maid cafe over a decade ago. At the time the staff wasn’t even sure if they could accept a foreign customer apparently out of fear that I wouldn’t understand the rules or program. It was only after a bit of cajoling from a local friend that I was even admitted.
Things have certainly changed over the years. Tokyo still has its share of places that are off limits to foreigners. But at least in the case of Maidreamin, gaijin are now happily embraced and welcomed. Maidreamin even stations cute Japanese gals in maid costumes at street level where they try to beckon people including foreigners inside. Of course there are no actual sexual services at Maidreamin or most other maid cafes in the area so this could have a lot to do with it.
What is a maid cafe?
A maid cafe is sort of what it sounds like. These are basically restaurants staffed by cute Japanese women dressed in maid costumes complete with pinafores. The staff members serve food and drinks with dishes and glasses designed to be kawaii. The maids also play games, dance and take pictures with customers. It’s all designed to be very warm and cheerful though it is done in such a way that some could understandably find creepy.
The first maid cafe I visited years ago had a more sexual theme than the shops I see on maid roads in Tokyo today. It was set up more like a hostess bar than a cafe. There was flirting and mutual touching going on inside. The customers were mainly middle aged business men in suits who drank beer and whiskey.
Modern maid cafes of the mainstream variety like Maidreamin are far from what I saw in the past. They serve up eggs decorated with animal pictures. Touching of maids is never allowed though customers can sometimes pay for an over the clothes back rub. It’s all better lit and more open too. But even in these more mainstream places the customer base is still largely made up of middle aged salarymen with a few younger guys and tourist couples thrown in.
Maidreamin in Akihabara
This particular Maidreamin is located on Chuo Dori near to Akihabara Station. Apparently this is one of three Maidreamin locations in Akihabara. There are also other maid cafes in the area including one in a corner of a notable department store.
As stated the shop stations some of the gals on street level to help find customers. The actual shop is an upper floor of the building. It is a somewhat spacious place for Tokyo. Without going too far into describing the throughly decorated spot I can generally describe it as very pink and cute. An electronic fast paced techno kind of music pumps along in the background while the “maids” go out of their way to amuse and cheer up customers.
The gals at Maidreamin are very friendly. They do things like sing and dance on a small elevated stage. They also play games like rock, paper, scissors with customers. In between serving food with smiley faces and doing dance numbers they interact with customers and do things like putting clip on bunny ears on stern faced middle aged men. Most everyone gets into the entertainment and there is a happy if somewhat strange vibe inside.
The food at Maidreamin is actually quite good. And the gals certainly put in serious effort when it comes to their work. For a certain set of people I am sure this all amounts to a good time. Tourists seem more interested in just experiencing something different. There’s nothing wrong with that. There is nothing sexual about the place. Or at least there is not supposed to be. But some of the guys inside have a look in their eyes that suggest otherwise. For the first time in all the years this site has been online I am somewhat at a loss when it comes to reviewing the place. So I’ll give it an average score of two-and-a-half stars.
|Address:||1 Chome-14-1 Takarada Chuo-dori Building 3F, Akihabara, Tokyo 101-0021, Japan (Map)|
|Hours:||11:30 AM - 11:00 PM|