I’m sure you've all heard of maid cafes at least once before, one of the more unusual parts of Japanese culture. These are cafes where female staff dress up in cute maid outfits and serve customers as if they were their masters.
If you go to Akihabara in Tokyo, you can see lots of these cafes!
The super popular @home cafe is one of them and has finally opened a store here in Osaka! So, of course, we had to go check it out for ourselves. We brought along one of our foreign friends too.
First, to Ebisucho Station
From Umeda Station, get on the Midosuji Line going to Nakamozu. Then, get off at Dobutsuen-mae and transfer to the Sakaisuji Line headed for Tenjinbashisuji Rokuchome.
▼Once you’re at Ebisucho, take exit 1-A.
▼Turn right as soon as you get above ground.
▼Keep going straight for about 5 minutes and you should see a huge ＠home cafe sign and the entrance.
It opens at 11:00am on weekdays. We arrived around 10:50 and there was already someone waiting to get in! We joined him in line.
▼Pic at the cute entrance
10 minutes after, the doors opened and we headed inside. They greeted us with “okaerinasaimase, goshujin-sama (ojou-sama)〜” which roughly translates to “welcome back, master.”
A sweet fragrance...!
Right as we went inside, we could smell a sweet fragrance all around us.
I think most people associate maid cafes with male customers, but we could actually see quite a few women coming in.
When we asked about it, we were told that recently, about 40% of their total customers have actually been female.
▼Aiku-chan, helping us first-timers
Aiku-chan is actually a premium maid from the Akihabara store, and is only in Osaka for a limited time. (The premium maids change from day to day. Check @home cafe’s official website to find out which ones are currently available)
※Premium maids are elite maids with exceptional skills
▼Cuteness overload! Takoyaki hair piece♡
▼First-time customers need to sign up for a license (membership card).
Tell the maid what you want them to call you and she’ll write that name on your card. Our friend really likes the Marvel character, Loki, so she went with Loki. (lol)
Super special service! Only with DeepExperience! Only in Osaka!
Normally, you can’t make a reservation for @home cafe. And if you were to go, the longest you could stay for a single session would be 1 hour. There’s no way of extending that time, so you’d either have to line up again, or say goodbye to the girls.
But as a first, you can now book through DeepExperience! If you want a bit more time in the cafe, this gives you an hour and a half! Only available for the Osaka store.
DE Exclusive: Special 90 Minute Course - (Normal Full Combo) Drink, Food, Dessert, Photo with Maid (Special Service) Use your own smartphone to take pictures with the maid.
Usually, you’re not allowed to take pictures inside the cafe, except of the food. But with this course, you can. (Note: only during the photo session with the maid, it’s still prohibited other times)
▼Aiku-chan explaining the menu.
First, choose one food, one drink, and one dessert item you like!
▼Then, you get to pick one of the maids to take a picture with at the end.
Loki Ojou-sama went with Aiku-chan!
Ojou-sama (or goshujin-sama for men) is a title that goes after someone’s name and is used when maids address their masters.
From the first drink, "moe moe, kyuuuunn"!!!
▼"Drawing Service♪ Iced Matcha Latte"
If an item has the “Drawing Service♪” tag, that means the maid will draw something on it at the table before handing it over. This time, it was a cute doggy♪
The “Furi-Furi Shaka-Shaka♪ Mixed Juice” doesn’t come with a drawing, but the maid will shake it in front of you☆ Before you drink, there’s a special chant to make it more delicious!
Next up is the main dish! This store’s most popular item "Pipiyo-Piyopiyo Hiyoko-san Rice" has arrived! This also comes with a drawing, using ketchup!
▼Loki Ojou-sama likes cats, so they drew a cat for her.
▼Aside from the omelet rice, there’s also these cute curry dishes!
I gave them all try, and they’re not just cute! They were actually delicious! I was a little unsure about the pink colored one, but it tasted just like regular curry! (I guess you’d expect it to)
Time for dessert!
The desserts are amazing too! Sundaes and parfaits with cute decorations, a Maid’s Ribbon Cake♪
▼The cake also comes with drawing service on the plate!
▼While we were enjoying our desserts, Loki Ojou-sama was called up for her picture with Aiku-chan!
(If you booked through DeepExperience, you can now take pictures with your phone)
▼You’ll take a cheki (similar to a polaroid) with the maid you chose at the beginning, and she’ll decorate and sign it!
...too cute ♡
With our desserts finished and pictures taken, we were feeling pretty satisfied when...there’s a sudden announcement for a surprise show!
The show’s not done on a regular schedule so there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to see it, but with the 90 minute course, you have a better chance!
▼Showtime with Aiku-chan and Matcha-chan♪
The show ended at about the 90 minute mark of our session, so it was time to go...I actually felt a little sad. Seems like I might’ve gotten a little more into it than I expected. The maids saw us out with “goshujin-sama (ojou-sama) ga odekake ni nararemasu~” which means something like “our master is going out.”
We also took a look at the goods corner on the way out.
▼They have photos of the maids and even the pink curry we ate earlier!
They’ll make great souvenirs for friends, I’m sure♪
My first maid cafe experience
Through this experience, I feel like I stepped into a world that I normally wouldn’t have on my own. I can understand why it’s supposedly becoming a more well-known part of Japanese culture all over the world. And after trying it myself, I can also see why there are more and more female fans too.
When foreign guests visit the cafe, the maids will use English or translation devices to help overcome the language barrier. The group next to us seemed to have a good time♪
The maids were all so nice, a perfect fit to introduce the world to Japan’s unique subculture. Get ready to experience some culture shock, in a good way!
＠home cafe rules
・Do not touch the maids
・Do not wait for maids to come and go
・Do not follow or talk to maids outside of the cafe
・Do not ask for the maid’s personal information (real name, contact info, etc.)
・Do not contact maids outside of @home cafe’s service or public social media accounts
・Do not socialize with maids outside of the cafe
・Do not pester, sexually harass, or use abusive language with the maids
・Do not come completely drunk
・Do not change seats without permission (You may be asked to move during busy times. We’d appreciate it if you would cooperate with us then)
・Do not take pictures, video, or record inside the cafe without permission
・Do not slander @home cafe or its staff inside the cafe
・Do not smoke in front of the building
・Do not cause inconvenience for the cafe, its staff, other guests, or neighboring stores
You may be refused service if you violate any of the above rules.
We kindly ask for your cooperation and understanding.