Japanese Adventures

So i’m actually in the Hong Kong airport waiting to head home, but i’m going to be talking about Japan because i’m falling behind.  Hong Kong, briefly though, has been pretty excellent.  From a distance (with its awesome skyline of skyscrapers), it is one of the most beautiful scenes that i’ve ever enjoyed.  Just like the view of the Pacific that you see when you are driving from Muir down to La Jolla Shores, i lose my breath every time i see it.

anyways, so here are the promised stories of my visit to a maid cafe, a capsule hotel, and (i forgot to mention) a CAT CAFE (as in meow).

First off, the maid café is located in an manga/anime town in Japan (called Akihabara), and there are tons of such cafes that are popular with manga fans, natives and tourists.  (Note: moon suggested i go!) Basically, you go to be served by women dressed up in anime maid outfits who just act really cutesy and treat you like a king (calling guys master and girls mistress).  You start by ordering a package which includes a drink, snack, either a photograph or game-playing time with the maids (I chose the photo), and candy.  Then, they bring out your food and do the stuff with you that you signed up for.  For the photo, they do a Polaroid and have all these props and you get to pick your own fobby pose and stuff.  Also, when they bring out your food/drink, they make you do these chants and hand motions with them as they put “cuteness” into it.  I think sometimes they even feed you your drink (but didn’t happen with me, thankfully).  It was surprisingly more fun than it sounds.  However, it was kinda sad seeing some old guys there by themselves, but for the most part it was younger people (male and female) in groups who just wanted to laugh and experience it.  One of the weirder things i’ve done in my life (as are all of these).  Hrmm…. it sounds kinda shady when i read what i wrote.  but it didn’t seem shady at the time…. hrmmmmmm.  oh, and no pictures were allowed (Except for the polaroid that they gave me, which i can’t scan right now).

Next up is the capsule hotel, which i stayed in over the last night (the rest of the time i was hosted by my awesome friend, Leonard, who was an old suitemate from undergrad).  But yeah, the capsule hotel is exactly as it sounds.  Basically, you pay to rent out a little capsule (looks like a large dog kennel or a hyperspace chamber in movies) which has a bed, tv, and alarm clock.  The room had maybe like 40 of them (two rows of about 10 each on both sides).  There are communal showers and lockers to put your stuff in.  It was actually not too bad, and I slept pretty well (although I always sleep well).  It was a little annoying though because you can still hear the other people whether they are watching TV or eating food.   My friend explained that it’s popular for people who got out of work late (or were partying late, HOLLA!) and just need to find a place for the night.  The only (significant!) downside is that there was some “adult” TV programming, and it kinda made the whole place seem a bit seedy.  Not sure if that is the norm for capsule hotels.  Otherwise, it was a surprisingly pleasant experience, although I could see it becoming tedious over a span of days (and the TV thing is a huge negative).

And lastly, I stopped by briefly at a cat café!   I had randomly read about them when reading online about things to do in Tokyo and it was fascinating to me that Japanese people would pay (i think it was $8 for 30 minutes, and like $12 for an hour).  They had about 15 cats and all these toys to play with them, and you order drinks and you get to play with the cats (flash photography is prohibited, as is holding the cats).  You had to start off by taking off your shoes and washing your hands, and then you get to go in to see them.  They had a wide variety of cats, and some of them were really ugly and cute (and ugly-cute).  Unfortunately, the cats were kinda skittish, but maybe if I were there longer than 15 minutes they would have warmed up to me.  (The minimum time you pay for is a half hour, and people stay for an hour or more, but I was actually in a hurry and just wanted to see it).  I did see some other people buy food that you can give the cats, and then the cats were like crawling all over them!  It seemed like they took good care of the cats (with the emphasis on hygiene and stuff), but the cats’ skittishness made me think that maybe they weren’t that happy.  -=(  I also saw a sign for a dog café, but I wasn’t sure if it was the same thing or if it was just dog-themed.  Oh yeah, and while looking for the cat cafe, i ran into another type of cat cafe, where you drink in a room with cats.  However, there you weren’t allowed to touch the cats (so that’s why i left).

That’s all!  I’ll post more pictures later on FB (but maybe not my maid cafe polaroid).

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3 Responses to Japanese Adventures

  1. juliet says:

    David, sounds so fun!! I can’t wait to hear the rest. I’m heading to Asia in August – Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Japan, and Korea. Hopefully I can get some good recs from you.

  2. cathiehong says:

    hahah, post the polaroid! they have a manga cafe like that in west la — it’s called royal-t. a little weird, but it had cool decor & an gallery in the back room :]

  3. natekwak says:

    i really liked this post david! strangely enlightening

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