No offense, but I always thought that Maid Cafes are for wierd Otakus. However, I was wrong. My thought changed 180 degrees and found myself enjoying it.
It really takes courage to go alone, so I visited with my girlfriend. We were able to get in quickly since it was weekdays. All maids in the cafe welcome you inside saying, "Welcome home, Master!" in Japanese. It's really embarassing, because other customers are watching. When we were seated, one the maids kindly explained to us their menus. We ordered an Original Made Cocktails. The fun part of eating here is that they make grown-ups do really embarassing things. For our cocktail, the cute maid made us sing along to put a magic spell on our cocktail. I felt really embarassing, but at the same time, I was actually enjoying the event. You won't understand this feeling, unless you actually try it. I guess this is what "moe" is all about. After cocktail, we dedided to take snapshots with a made (500 yen) as a souvenir. Again, they made us call out lovely spells instead of "cheese" at the mini stage facing the whole crowd. It's fun to watch and observe others do emabarassing things, so you never get bored while waiting.
In conclusion, I strongly recommend going to @home cafe when you have a chance to visit Akihabara. It's something you can't experience anywhere in the world but Akihabara.
@ Home Café was a wholly different yet very fun experience for me. It is located on the fifth floor of a building that truly belongs in the Manga capital, Akihabara. Riding the escalator up to the fifth floor you pass shops full of costumes and props and arcade games. When you arrive on the fifth floor, you are greeted by a maid costume store and everything else that goes along with the maid fantasy. Walking towards the café there is a maid massage parlor on the right. When I finally got to the server who herself was cute as a button in her maid outfit and made me feel Moe right away when she called me Master, However, none of the maids spoke English. She asked whether I would like to sit at the counter or a table: I chose a table. When you choose which you would like to have, you are informed that the counter seat will cost 200 yen and the table 300 yen (this is the fee just to sit there). Although it was not crowded I was asked to wait for a few minutes while they arranged my table. When they called my name 5 minutes later, I was greeted by another adorable maid who said I was her lord and ushered me to my table. While there were normal round tables with seats, I was taken to the part where I was required to remove my shoes and then I sat on the floor but had a high backrest to keep me comfortable. There was a small table in front of me and to my right there was a short sofa. In the room with the tables there was a plasma TV playing music videos of what appeared to be a band of about 10 maids. It was teen pop to the max, they just wore maid costumes. I ordered Course A which included a soda, dessert, game with my maid and a picture as well. When she returned with my coke, before I was allowed to drink it, I had to do an endearing little jig with my hands with my maid which I thought was hilarious. Next came my ice cream and again I had to do another different jig with my maid which was just as funny as the first. When I finished my ice cream my maid came back with a box and a bingo card. I had to write 3 numbers on the card and then reach into the box and pull a small package out. If one of my numbers was in the package I would win. There are other games you can play with your maid (rock, paper scissors or a crocodile game) but I chose this one. When she opened the package and revealed I won she was happy for me and then read me my fortune that was on the card and gave me a key chain. She then took me to have my picture taken. She took me to the front of the café and then let me choose which animal ears headband I would wear (bear) and then refused to take a picture with me unless I made a cute little pose like her. The entire experience was a lot of fun and nothing like I have ever experienced before. My entire experience cost 2,100 yen, a small price to pay for leaving there feeling like I really knew my inner child. If you believe your Japanese is good enough or you are with someone whose Japanese is very good, I highly recommend this place.
@home cafe is one of the first cafes that kickstarted the maid boom in Akihabara. The original store is on the 5th floor of the Don Quijote store, but they now run a second larger store nearby as well.
A maid cafe is all about fantasy play, and @home is one of the most friendly places for Maid-cafe beginners. The mood is playful, and the maids will greet you with a okaerinasai goshujinsama (welcome back master) when you walk in.
Inside the cafe, a maid will come over, take your order and prepare your drinks. She will then mix milk and sugar for your coffee and blow it if it is too hot. After that you can talk with the maid for a while, but playing games or taking pictures together will cost extra. Be warned that taking pictures inside the store is absolutely forbidden?you can only take pictures with them if you agree to pay the extra cost for a cheki (instant picture).
Maid cafes can be a bit intimidating if you are not into otaku culture, but @home is a good place to begin or to bring a visitor to Japan. Overall, the experience is all about moe, the elusive concept of otaku cuteness that cafes like @home are trying to bring to life. Lastly, Hitomi-chan, one of the most popular maids in Akihabara, currently works at the Don Quijote branch of @home.
Be warned that you might have to wait in line to get in. Customers are usually restricted to a maximum of 90 minutes inside, but on a busy day you might find yourself waiting for 2-3 hours.