Maid’s Café, Yaoi, Hanabi, & Prostitutes – Japan is lovely

This is a continuation to my previous blog entry.

Having spent a bit of money on clothes, Meru-San and I decided to wear our new outfits in the afternoon.  We walked back to my apartment and that’s when I opened my bags and changed.  This was a whole experience on its own.

The Japanese employees at clothing stores pack things similarly to the Apple way, which makes opening a product almost as exciting as using it for the first time.  I admired the bag where my purchase was. It had a plastic rain wrap that they put on so that the paper bag wouldn’t get wet. Let that sink in. In Japan, they put a poncho on your paper shopping bag if it’s raining outside.

I removed the poncho on my shopping bag, cut the tape preventing the bag from opening undesirably, and finally got to my clothes. But not quite. My clothes were carefully folded and wrapped with yet another plastic wrap. My clothes also had a poncho of their own. Coming from the US, where we have been emphasizing the use of less plastic, this stroke me as not very green. Yet, it was very thoughtful.

My new clothes felt quite nice once I was wearing them. They were expensive for my standards, but the quality was great.  They felt quite comfortable! You can ask Ashley-San, she was definitely feeling my clothes during our ride to Nipponbashi.

This brings me to my next point, prostitutes and Maid’s Cafés! Hold up, that’s two points. Let me start with prostitutes.

Juso, where I live, is this place in Osaka that is known for having a lot of gambling/pachinko places. It is also a big male entertainment area.  I learned this after having move there, I promise. This explained why I was asked by women by the train station whether I wanted a massage, at 2 a.m.

Meru-San was waiting for me in front of the train station on Friday afternoon. She saw a few people walk by and look at her a bit strangely. An older man took notice of her and after walking by came back and asked her where she was from. Right after she responded he asked her “Ikura?” (いくら) which means “how much?” Having seen a young, attractive filipino woman by the train station he assumed that he could pay her for ‘services’. That was a very awkward and “はずかしい” (embarrassing) moment.

Not unrelated, two women were arrested at a massage parlor in the same area for touching inappropriately two policemen getting a massage there while working undercover.  You draw your own conclusions.

Next point, Maid’s Café.

Meru-san and I changed into our newly purchased clothes and then met with Ashley-San, Ben-San, and two of Ben-San co-workers. We went to Nipponbashi to check out a maid’s café, something uniquely Japanese.

The concept of Maid Cafes is that you are served by waitresses dressed up in fun ways, such as anime characters.  Waitresses in costumes come around and serve you food. You will also often find yourself being entertained by them, sometimes for an extra charge. Some maid cafe’s seem to also have massage rooms, which seemed odd to me, but perfectly normal for Japan?

Ashley-san ordered a dish from the menu with a heart icon next to it. We soon found out what this meant. At first, it looked like a plain omelette on top of rice. However, the maid grabbed a bottle of ketchup and spent a few minutes drawing a dog, using ketchup, over the omelette rice. She then signed the dish with her ketchup signature.

A heart next to the dish = extra love and attention from the maid.

I was thoroughly entertained and puzzled by such a place.

After this late lunch experience, we walked around Nipponbashi and randomly entered a store that was FULL of yaoi. Yaoi is fictional manga about romance between boys. Yaoi, however, is targeted at women, not gay men.  It seems popular, there were many women looking through piles and piles of it.

Finally, we took the train back to see the Hanabi (Fireworks) in Osaka.  It was quite a show! Except for the part in which we were expecting fireworks (and so did a million other people) just to not get the memo that we were in the wrong place.  Luckily, we walked around and saw random fireworks all over the place, which was relaxing as people weren’t crowded in one place.

After the Hanabi we had dinner around the area, and it was quite tasty.

4 thoughts on “Maid’s Café, Yaoi, Hanabi, & Prostitutes – Japan is lovely

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