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The Akihabara Themed Cafe Odyssey

As I mentioned in another post, there are a hell of a lot of themed cafes in Japan. In Akihabara, we visited three of them.

First up, the maid cafe.


From some of the side streets I stepped down, I got the impression that in Akihabara (and similar gaming districts in other cities we visited) that the gaming districts and red light districts seemed to be next to each other. I suppose the maid cafe toes that line.

Maid cafes are the catnip of the cliché otaku. Petite women dressed as maids wait on you, and pretend to be your friend. They are incredibly chatty and cutesy, even if you cannot speak the language. They will play games with you, dress you up in cat ears, and generally try and ensure you have a fun time. Even the food at the cafes was cute!

We visited the maid cafe to see if they’re like how they look on the internet, and I can confirm that they are indeed that weird. You do feel a bit seedy- they have clear no touching signs, and you have to pay the maids if you want to take a photograph of them. For instance, it cost me 500 yen (£3.36) to take this picture:

In for a penny, in for a pound I figured. It felt seedy to pay a skimpily dressed woman to take a photo with me, but it felt like part of the experience.

The maid cafe was not the only cafe that we visited that day. My travelling friend wanted to visit a cat cafe (I’m not really a cat person), and so we did.

Cat cafes are a lot more tranquil than the high energy maid cafes. You get a cup of tea, sit on the floor, and make friends with some cats.


There were a whole lot of kitties here, and most of them seemed completely disinterested in humans.


I suppose when you have people trying to touch you all day every day you get a bit bored of it all.

After wandering around Akihabara a bit more, we came across a cafe that was much more my speed- the airsoft cafe.

Here you can drink some beer, have a smoke, and shoot some airsoft. Halfway up a very tall building in a city centre. Japan truly is a place of wonder.

Being the child that I am, I also had to get a video of me being great at target shooting.

There were of course more strange cafes later on in the trip, which I’ll probably include in blog posts about their locales!

Published inPhotographyTravel


  1. […] Day two in Japan, we explored Akihabara- the district for all things anime and gaming. I wrote about my experiences in another post here: (featuring photos of pachinko!) This district also seems to quite like themed cafés- we visited a maid café, a cat café, and an airsoft café (yes, really). Photos of these can be seen here: […]

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