At Hibari-kei, your maid just might be a master – actually they ALL are, since this unique floating Maid Cafe is the first in Japan to feature cross-dressing male maid servers.
Tokyo’s Akihabara district is famed for its Maid Cafes – small, often themed restaurants staffed by young women wearing maid costumes. From humble beginnings, the Maid Cafe phenomenon has branched out to include Eyeglasses Cafes, Ear-cleaning Cafes, even Scientist Lab Coat Cafes… all featuring nubile servers of the feminine persuasion.
Gender equality is intruding into this particular perfumed world, however. First came Butler Cafes; basically the reverse of the usual Maid Cafe in which elegant male butlers served mainly female customers with upper class English civility. Now the other high-heeled shoe has dropped: get ready for Hibari-kei, “the one and only cross-dressing maid cafe in Akiba.”
Hibari-kei is staffed by cross-dressing male waiters who, for the most part, work at assorted IT industry jobs in the Akihabara area. By day they look and act like average Japanese salarymen – by night, look out! That fashionably dressed, soft-spoken techie who replaced your computer’s hard drive this morning just could be Chazuke (left) or Ichigoneko (Strawberry Cat), two of Hibari-kei’s many marvelous male maids.
If you’d like to visit Hibari-kei – their clientele seems to be a unisex mix – visit their website to find out their latest location. Yes, Hibari-kei is a sort of “floating cafe” that holds pre-planned events at several regular Maid Cafes in the area, such as Royal Milk, Nomidokoro Wood and Honey Sheep. The website also provides news on the evening’s theme; for example, the popular Nostril Challenge… I’ll just leave that to your imagination. Hibari-kei’s website is worth a visit even if you don’t live in Japan, as the maids have their own profile pages and some of those link to their personal blogs.
All in all, Hibari-kei offers something off the beaten track to visitors who think they’ve seen everything Japanese Otaku culture has to offer.