Before I came to Japan, I remember watching a clip on the internet about 'Maid Cafes'... once I saw it I knew I HAD TO GO and see it with my own 2 eyes!!!
I went out Sunday night with one of my Japanese girlfriends and a few of her guy friends. None of em spoke a lick of English - so they bought me a beer to loosen up my Japanese tongue! Oooooh boy did it work! :) (I guess all that studying is finally starting to pay off!) We had a fun time and I even taught them all how to play foozball!!! hahah... (they whooped my arse)
Afterwards - the guys had to head to a nijikai (2nd party) but Atsuko and I decided to wander Susukino and she gave me an undercover backstreets tour of the "Love" district!!! Wooooow... I have lived in Sapporo almost 4 months and never knew what jewels were lurking here!!!
Our first stop on the 'love tour' was the love hotel district!!! It was nuts!!! hotel after hotel after hotel after hotel!!! It kind of reminded me of a seedy little vegas but only cooler.
You can rent a Love Hotel room for a "rest period" or for overnight... Normally you do not have any human interaction when checking into the hotel - everything is either computerized or from a slot in the wall!!! Each of the individual rooms have their own crazy themes you can pick from!!! If you google it - you can take a look at some of the rooms! But I read somewhere that Love hotels in Japan have a 4 trillion yen annual turnover!!!!! holy schmoley... the only thing that beats out love hotels is of course anime.
After we had enough of peeking into love hotels we decided to grab a drink somewhere... on the way out of the love district I spotted a sign for what seemed to be a maid cafe so we ventured on up and sure enough IT WAS!!!!!!!!!!! It was Atsuko's first time as well!!! So we were absolutely clueless!!!
But ooooh boy the maid cafe sure did live up to it's expectation yet only seedier and more bizarre than I imagined!!! hahaha...
Upon entering all of the girls working (in maid costumes and animal ears of course) came rushing to the door to greet us. They all had a different acting voice - some like a 14 year old school girl - others like anime characters and the rest were just downright annoying. hahah.... They sat us down and immediately asked us for our names. ehhh um... I mean our "nicknames". I was still frozen in shock so I couldn't think of a name. Our maid then started calling me princess in Japanese. From that point on - they would refer to me as "Princess." When I ordered a drink they all screamed out for the whole cafe to hear: "PRINCESS WANTS A FROZEN STRAWBERRY SMOOOOOOTHIE!!!!!!" "PRINCESS LOOKS SO CUTE TODAY!!!!!" "PRINCESS CAN SPEAK JAPANESE!!!!!!" etc.... (i think you get the point) I think the whole point of this maid cafe was for you to play the role of their 'master.' Their job is to serve you and talk to you and make you feel "at home" and like royalty??? It's also to fulfil a lot of guys' anime fantasies. (ewwww ***shudder**)
The maids were soooo nervous to talk to me... but Atsuko and I tried to calm em down. They chatted with us and gave us animal ears to wear. "PRINCESS LOOKS LIKE A CUTE KITTY NOW!!!!!" ooooh dear..... Sadly they wouldn't let me take pictures of them.... so here are a bunch of Atsuko and I at the cafe. (we took so many in hopes to get some of the workers in the background!)
But the crowd at the maid cafe was rather scary.... We (of course) were the only women... The customers were either really young drunk guys or older sleezy men. The guy sitting next to Atsuko was wearing HUGE viking horns!?!??!? ummm.... And the guy next to me was singing karaoke on his own with a TV in the corner. The TV above us at our counter was playing this 80's style workout video - but it was just one girl in a weird plaid skirt outfit next to a blue coach. ummmm...
I had to get up to teach the next day so we had to call it a night just before it struck midnight. "OOOOOH>>>> SO SAD - PRINCESS IS LEAVING EVERYONE!!!!!" We politely declined their invitation to stay - paid the 350 yen for 30 minutes (bargain!!!!) and said our sad goodbyes....
but don't worry maids.... I'LL BE BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!