First I read about them. Then I saw the video. Even so, I had to see for myself. So I hopped the subway line and headed to Akihabara, the electronics district, to find the maid-costume-wearing Japanese women who allegedly wander the streets on Sundays.
First, though, I headed to Asakusa, on the recommendation of the nice young Japanese woman frmo Beijing who sat next to me on the flight from Siem Reap to Bangkok. I spent about two hours wandering the area, doing some shopping in the arcade which reminded me so much of my time in Kyoto almost five years ago. Then it was on to the shrine, where I experienced Sunday “church” in typical Japanese efficiency. Toss in a coin, do a quick prayer, and on your way you go. So much for the whole standing and kneeling thing.
As it turned out, though, the maid-costume-wearing girls really do exist in Akihabara, where they are routinely followed by hentai old men easily three times their age trying to take pictures and even paying for better quality pictures that some of the girls themselves were selling. I suppose it’s commerce in action, much like the Amusement Cafe, which also tries to cash in on the trend. It would have been the quintessential quirky Japanese experience to have actually gone in, but, unfortunately there was a pretty long line and I didn’t feel like waiting to spend time solo in what is an obviously social place. A shame, really, but since I know where they are, I’ll have to find them if the trend lasts until my next trip.
And given Japan’s obsession with maid-costume-wearning girls, I doubt that will happen.