PHOTOS OF JAPAN MAID CAFES: PRETTY JAPANESE GIRLS IN AKIHABARA, TOKYO. COSPLAY FRENCH MAIDS, OTAKU SUBCULTURES.


PHOTOS OF JAPAN MAID CAFES: PRETTY JAPANESE GIRLS IN AKIHABARA, TOKYO. COSPLAY FRENCH MAIDS, OTAKU SUBCULTURES. cosplay, cute, girls, japan, japanese, kawaii, La Carmina, lacarmina, maid cafe, maids, theme restaurants, tokyo-japan, otaku culture, anime, manga, weird, halloween costumes meido

Ah, so much to do before Houston (Anime Matsuri) and Tokyo (NOH8 campaign and Belgium TV show!).

huffington post bloggers, how to become blogger, huff post, huffingtonpost travel, PHOTOS OF JAPAN MAID CAFES: PRETTY JAPANESE GIRLS IN AKIHABARA, TOKYO. COSPLAY FRENCH MAIDS, OTAKU SUBCULTURES. cosplay, cute, girls, japan, japanese, kawaii, La Carmina, lacarmina, maid cafe, maids, theme restaurants, tokyo-japan, otaku culture, anime, manga, weird, halloween costumes meido

Today, I have an article about Japanese maid cafes on the front page of Huffington Post Travel, where I’m a featured writer.

In these establishments, customers pay good money to be pampered by cute, young girls in frilly costumes. The roleplay goes pretty far. Waitresses will get on hand and knees to take orders from “Master.” Some even offer ear-cleaning and spoon-feeding.

PHOTOS OF JAPAN MAID CAFES: PRETTY JAPANESE GIRLS IN AKIHABARA, TOKYO. COSPLAY FRENCH MAIDS, OTAKU SUBCULTURES. cosplay, cute, girls, japan, japanese, kawaii, La Carmina, lacarmina, maid cafe, maids, theme restaurants, tokyo-japan, otaku culture, anime, manga, weird, halloween costumes meido

There are dozens of cosplay cafes in Tokyo’s Akihabara district. On weekends, lonely boys line up for a plate of ketchup-rice decorated by their favorite maid.

These eateries are an odd but harmless fantasy — a space where nerdy “otaku” can get attention from anime and manga heroines. Some develop warm “moe” crushes on their favorite maid. For a few hundred yen, customers can buy decorated Polaroids, or capsule toys from “gashapon” machines.

PHOTOS OF JAPAN MAID CAFES: PRETTY JAPANESE GIRLS IN AKIHABARA, TOKYO. COSPLAY FRENCH MAIDS, OTAKU SUBCULTURES. cosplay, cute, girls, japan, japanese, kawaii, La Carmina, lacarmina, maid cafe, maids, theme restaurants, tokyo-japan, otaku culture, anime, manga, weird, halloween costumes meido

Japanese maids are elusive creatures. Most of these cafes ban photography, since they cash in by selling photos of the girls. Try to take a photo of a maid handing out flyers in the street, and she’ll cover her face and walk away.

However, I’ve had special access: I often bring TV shows to maid cafes, and photographed several for my Crazy Wacky Theme Restaurants: Tokyo book. Here’s a peek at my photo collection…

PHOTOS OF JAPAN MAID CAFES: PRETTY JAPANESE GIRLS IN AKIHABARA, TOKYO. COSPLAY FRENCH MAIDS, OTAKU SUBCULTURES. cosplay, cute, girls, japan, japanese, kawaii, La Carmina, lacarmina, maid cafe, maids, theme restaurants, tokyo-japan, otaku culture, anime, manga, weird, halloween costumes meido

For a a French TV documentary, I instructed Antoine de Caunes (of Eurotrash fame) on master-maid relations. He wasn’t too swift – and got slapped by a maid in this video clip.

PHOTOS OF JAPAN MAID CAFES: PRETTY JAPANESE GIRLS IN AKIHABARA, TOKYO. COSPLAY FRENCH MAIDS, OTAKU SUBCULTURES. cosplay, cute, girls, japan, japanese, kawaii, La Carmina, lacarmina, maid cafe, maids, theme restaurants, tokyo-japan, otaku culture, anime, manga, weird, halloween costumes meido

Miko-san Cafe featured girls dressed as Shinto temple maidens. The spirits were not pleased. This theme cafe barely lasted a year.

PHOTOS OF JAPAN MAID CAFES: PRETTY JAPANESE GIRLS IN AKIHABARA, TOKYO. COSPLAY FRENCH MAIDS, OTAKU SUBCULTURES. cosplay, cute, girls, japan, japanese, kawaii, La Carmina, lacarmina, maid cafe, maids, theme restaurants, tokyo-japan, otaku culture, anime, manga, weird, halloween costumes meido

In the changing rooms, there are racks of cute dresses and toy purses to choose from.

PHOTOS OF JAPAN MAID CAFES: PRETTY JAPANESE GIRLS IN AKIHABARA, TOKYO. COSPLAY FRENCH MAIDS, OTAKU SUBCULTURES. cosplay, cute, girls, japan, japanese, kawaii, La Carmina, lacarmina, maid cafe, maids, theme restaurants, tokyo-japan, otaku culture, anime, manga, weird, halloween costumes meido

This maid cafe’s a drag. Look closely. All of the servers are cross-dressed men! (Yukiro worked here.)

PHOTOS OF JAPAN MAID CAFES: PRETTY JAPANESE GIRLS IN AKIHABARA, TOKYO. COSPLAY FRENCH MAIDS, OTAKU SUBCULTURES. cosplay, cute, girls, japan, japanese, kawaii, La Carmina, lacarmina, maid cafe, maids, theme restaurants, tokyo-japan, otaku culture, anime, manga, weird, halloween costumes meido

At Mai:lish, the French maid blows on a spoonful of hot food… and hand-feeds the customer.

PHOTOS OF JAPAN MAID CAFES: PRETTY JAPANESE GIRLS IN AKIHABARA, TOKYO. COSPLAY FRENCH MAIDS, OTAKU SUBCULTURES. cosplay, cute, girls, japan, japanese, kawaii, La Carmina, lacarmina, maid cafe, maids, theme restaurants, tokyo-japan, otaku culture, anime, manga, weird, halloween costumes meido

Each maid has an anime doppleganger. Customers buy merchandise, such as keychains and towels, with their favorite server’s image.

PHOTOS OF JAPAN MAID CAFES: PRETTY JAPANESE GIRLS IN AKIHABARA, TOKYO. COSPLAY FRENCH MAIDS, OTAKU SUBCULTURES. cosplay, cute, girls, japan, japanese, kawaii, La Carmina, lacarmina, maid cafe, maids, theme restaurants, tokyo-japan, otaku culture, anime, manga, weird, halloween costumes meido

“Meidos” stand in the streets of Akihabara, handing out flyers to potential clients.

PHOTOS OF JAPAN MAID CAFES: PRETTY JAPANESE GIRLS IN AKIHABARA, TOKYO. COSPLAY FRENCH MAIDS, OTAKU SUBCULTURES. cosplay, cute, girls, japan, japanese, kawaii, La Carmina, lacarmina, maid cafe, maids, theme restaurants, tokyo-japan, otaku culture, anime, manga, weird, halloween costumes meido

Melty Cure doubles as a massage parlor. Wonder what goes on behind the curtain…

You can see more photos and stories of maid cafes are in my book, Crazy Wacky Theme Restaurants: Tokyo.

sakura season, cherry blossoms, cutest cat, 花より団子= Hana yori dango +お花見=Ohanami culture, 桜の花 = sakura no hana, cherry blossom culture, learning japanese, definitions, hanami, forecast for cherry blossom flowers

I’ll soon be in Tokyo again, hosting a documentary about cherry blossom season for Belgium TV (VRK). To help prepare me, my Scottish Fold fat cat Basil Farrow taught a Japanese lesson about sakura season on Maggie Sensei’s blog! Come check it out here; Maggie’s blog is a wonderful resource for Japanese language learning that uses pop culture and visuals to make the process fun.

Which maid would you most like to spoon-feed or slap you? Please take a second to Like and Fan my profile on Huffington Post, and comment or share the article. I appreciate the support, and it’ll let me bring you more crazy Japanese coverage!

Japanese Word of the Day: Natsukashii = Fondly remember
Song of the Day: Amanda Lear – Follow Me (Vampire disco magnificato.)

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  • Aly

    Wow O_O Only in Japan, Carmen. Only there. I RT-ed cuz it’s just so weird xD

    • http://www.lacarmina.com lacarmina

      Thanks for RT

  • http://www.youtube.com/takenoutofcontext Glitch

    Maids! Me want. Those look like the most friggin cutest women on earth. Especially the first one with braids and in a blue dress.(what cafe is that?)
    The art work based on the maids looks so cool.

    • http://www.lacarmina.com lacarmina

      When they giggle and then slap you.. ahh! :)
      The blue dress maids are from Cos-Cha in Akihabara.

  • Marie

    that was a fascinating article!

  • Dominique

    Liked!!!!!

  • Keaterina

    omg awesome :DD

  • Jason

    Maid cafes are the best! My favorite one is a little, smoke-free cafe called Cafe La Vie En Rose. It’s wonderful if you want a break from the kind of sketchy pay-per-hour and moe overload cafes. It also has reasonable prices (last time I was there) and a very friendly and sincere staff, which is quite rare.

    • http://www.lacarmina.com lacarmina

      Nice, I’ve never been!

  • Eriko

    Do you have to be of a certain age to get into maid cafes like these? ;__________;

    • http://www.lacarmina.com lacarmina

      Eriko, you’re in luck! There is no age requirement to enter these cafes. They’re harmless places – more Halloween than Hooters :)

      • Eriko

        YAYY! When I go to Japan, I’m looking forward to the cafes, they’re so cute~ ; w;

  • Eriko

    Do you have to be of a certain age to get into maid cafes like these? ;__________;

  • Didymus

    I didn’t think it could get any cuter until I saw the ani-gangers or Dopple-mes

    • Didymus

      Maid Cafe in CA as well (don’t know if its still open). I like that you mentioned its more Halloween than hooters, in this article they made a similar analogy ““We want customers to come in and feel like they’re in Alice in Wonderland, not Hooter’s.”

  • Sanja

    Woa I love the dress!!

  • Lilith

    These ladies are just too adorable. Is there any handsome young Tokyo Butler Cafes out there for us ladies to visit in Tokyo as well?

  • Psique

    OMG—- SPOON-FEED? THATS LIKE… EHM DUNNO….. UNBELIEVABLE… SO TO SPEAK

  • Sarah

    Major kawaiii! Oh to be a Japanese french maid! >o<