We agreed to meet at 11 in the morning at Akihabara Station 秋葉原 to have lunch together with those who opted to skip the festivities at Sanja Matsuri 三社祭. From there, we relied on maps and GPS to take us to Sumiyoshi Building 住吉ビル where the head store of a famous maid café chain is at. A couple of blocks down countless electronics stores later, pink hearts and an Asian French maid marked the spot – we’ve arrived at the world of maidreamin めいどりーみん.
“何人様ですか？nanninsamadesuka?” she asked in a cutesy tone that matches the frills of her miniskirt peeking under a white apron. She then led us to an elevator on the side street and confirmed that there are enough seats for the dozen of us as long as we split into smaller groups. “Ding!” the doors open, as an English-speaking staff in the same frilly skirt as the lady downstairs welcomed the first half of our group who could fit in the elevator. Once seated, we were handed menus and were warned to be ignored if we don’t act like “nyan nyan ニャンニャン” kittens and “wan wanワンワン” pups when calling the maid’s attention.
Skipping the pricey package menu, most of us dilly-dallied over the ala carte menu with pictures of the most adorable food imaginable. Aside from being indecisive on what to order, we were all hesitant of going “nyan nyan” or “wan wan” to place our orders. After forcing the boys on our table to take one for the team, we pointed at the charming pictures on the menu – each of us going for a different one. Our maid then brought us a little blue candle which lit up after we blew it as instructed.
The maid brought our plates over and topped them with hearts and smiles using a bottle of sauce. As she made my hamburg bear blush with catsup, the maid requested each of us to chant “美味しくなれ！” and make our lunch magically delicious. The rice meals were begging for photo ops – besides, they look too cute to be eaten! Since taking photos of the doll-like maids were forbidden if not for a fee, we made sure to exhaust our camera shutters over the bear cubs on our plates stretched across the bar table we were seated at.
Half-way through lunch, the lights were dimmed and the show began. One of the pretty maids grabbed the microphone at the corner of the room and started singing an upbeat Japanese tune. A customer, probably in his late 20s, suddenly stood up and danced to her tune with his glow sticks at the opposite end of the room. A geek or オタクotaku is what the locals call his likes – one who can whisk himself into a world he loves without a care about raised eyebrows.
“Wan wan!” one last time as we asked for the bill and left the world of French maids and their enthusiastic fans. In a flash, we were back out on the streets filled with electronics and crowds walking about – as if a surreal world doesn’t exist on the 6th floor of the building we just dined in.
Photostream: Maidreamin, Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan