Monthly Archives: October 2014

‘Meido Kissa’ experience

Kawaii!!!!!!!!!!

After we left the shop she asked me ‘Shall we go to a Maid Cafe’?’. I remembered she mentioned about the Maid Cafe’ when she came to London earlier in the week, I did a very brief research in London before heading to Japan but I did no go deep into the details because I wanted it to be a surprise. While we were walking on one of those streets of Akihabara we met a cute (‘kawaii‘ in Japanese) girl dressed as a maid and handing out leaflets about ‘Maidreamin‘ maid cafe’.

Then Mari asked me if I wanted to go there and I said that anywhere would be fine. That girl pointed where that maid cafe’ (or ‘Meido Kissa’ as Japanese call it, ‘Meido’ is how traditionally Japanese people pronounce English words by adding an ‘o’ at the end of each word and ‘Kissa’ is the short for ‘Kissaten’ that in Japanese means cafe’/coffee shop) was. It was just inside the building behind where that cute girl was standing. So we decided to head there.

Japanese Videogame/Manga

To get there we had to go through a short corridor and get the lift (or ‘elevator’ for American English or ‘erebeta’ for Japanese pronunciation) to the 4th floor. As soon as we arrived there I was surprised for two reasons. The first is that when we reached that floor with the lift there were no corridors or doors, just the erebeta’s door and the Meido Kissa was just there, the entrance of the Kissa was the erebeta’s door. Secondly, I felt very weird at  being at that place because it seamed like being inside a Japanese video game or a manga. The atmosphere inside was weird, I felt strange and I was wondering how can such places exist. This was just my first impression. As soon as we entered, a kawaii maid came to us and shown us where we could sit. The Meido Kissa was not big but had many people inside and all of them (or almost) were Japanese male customers.

Childish?

As soon as I went inside the Meido Kissa I realized that the girls were speaking with an accent that to me resembled how children talk, that made the experience even more weird and strange. After seated, a kawaii girl came with the menu on our table with different options and different set menus. The selection was not wide, they had three choices of food, three different kinds of cocktails, including one that is non-alcoholic, and the third option that included having a photo taken with one of the kawaii maids of my choice, a plastic folder with Maidreamin printed on it and something else which I forgot. We opted for the set menu. I had Japanese style rice omelette (omorice), one of the alcoholic cocktails and the photo. Mari instead had Japanese curry, alcoholic cocktail and the folder.

What am I saying? (Embarrassed)

When the food came, and given me the omorice, the Meido that was serving us came with two different kinds of sauce and she said to me that she was going to draw a picture on the omorice with the sauces. She did it in an entertaining way and she drew a kitty on my food. Then she said that we had to say a magic phrase (in Japanese of course, I didn’t have a clue what I was saying and if I was saying right) to make the food taste nicer. But we had to say it together otherwise it would not work. At that point I felt embarrassed but I played along because it felt funny and interesting.

Learning Experience

This place was probably the only place which I encountered culture shock throughout all my 11 months in Japan, but at the same time I found that experience as a part of learning about the Japanese culture. I did not dislike that adventure at all, I really found it very interesting and amusing at the same time, and also the way that the Meido were treating the costumers was just unbelievable, something that you cannot find anywhere else in the world outside of Japan.

Magic Cocktail

As for the cocktail, we had to say again the magic phrase. But at that point I was starting to get used to the experience. When we finished the meal and the drink, the Meido came with the folder, which Mari gave to me, and asked me to have a photo taken. They said that I could take the photo with two of the Meido of my choice, so I chose two of the most kawaii that were working there. We took a Polaroid photo together in a funny pose, I was in between of the Meido. Our overall experience lasted for about one hour, they gave us a Maidreamin Loyalty Card called Dreamin Passport (just before leaving) and then we left.

Anyone can go

That was the most unique experience I had all my life. I really enjoyed that experience and I suggest everyone to go to a Meido Kissa in Akihabara if you ever travel to Japan. I am sure that you will love it. Also children and girls/women can go there because is not an erotic place even if though the girls wear a sexy costume. It is a place where to have fun, at least once in a lifetime, with good humor and nothing rude!!!

 

First Time in Akihabara

How can a Japanese person could possibly speak Italian?

When I went back to the Ryokan at around 2.30, the lady that owns the Ryokan was there and after saying hello (she could speak English very well) she asked me ‘Are you Italian?’. I was surprised that he knew where I came originally from, I asked her how she knew my country of origins and she said she saw it from my passport, which I gave to her when I first entered the Ryokan in the morning. The biggest surprise was when she started speaking to me in a very fluent Italian and she told me that she learnt Italian while she was working for Alitalia, she has been working for the airline for 30 years.

Waiting for Mari

At the moment I felt a bit tired and sleepy so I soon went to my room resting while waiting for Mari. It didn’t take long for me to fall asleep. At around 4 PM someone woke me up by knocking my room door. I found it difficult to wake up but I managed through my hard effort. Was the lady at the Ryokan that told me that my friend Mari had arrived. I got changed and went downstairs and I greeted her just in a normal way. This was not because of Japanese culture, but because I had seen her 5-6 days earlier in London because she was there for business. Every time she came to London, either on business, holiday or living there, I kept telling her about my wish to go to Japan. And that was the day.

 

First destination: Akihabara

I was very pleased to have met her there and she also told me that I finally made it to go to Japan. After the greetings she asked me what I wanted to do and what I wanted to visit. At that point my mind was blank because I knew I didn’t do any research or what so ever about Tokyo or Japan in general. This was not because I was not interested in Tokyo or Japan, but because I know for experience that if I do a lot of research before travelling, everything I visit is not interesting and therefore I do not get surprised. At that moment I said to Mari ‘I do not know anything about Tokyo, please surprise me!!!’. I have to tell you that she actually did!!! She then said ‘Let’s go to Akihabara’. We went to get the train together at Yotsuya train station and we headed to Akihabara.

AKB48 & Gundam cafe

 

After coming out from Akihabara train station she took me to a square and she showed me a building with two shop on the first floor (ground floor for European people, from now on I will tell the floor number in Japanese style) and then she said ‘That one is ‘AKB48 cafe & shop’ and that one on its left it is ‘Gundam cafe’. 

I knew about Gundam was a popular manga and I was surprised they had a cafe’ but about AKB48 I never heard them in my life. Mari then said that AKB48 was a very popular group of singers in Japan. Then she took me for a walk inside the AKB48 shop just to look around for a minute. After that we left and decided to visit a ‘Maid Cafe‘.