Once the electronic stores have closed, Akihabara streets are deceptively quiet. There are a number of small bars with standing room only and a few izakayas but if you look closely you’ll find this area of Tokyo is home to some of the most outlandish nightlife in the whole city.
Akihabara is the capital of the ‘otaku’ generation, often translated as the ‘geeks’. Otaku have obsessive interests in the areas of anime, manga, techno or porn and the movement has generated a number of entertainment options catering to this group’s penchant for the weird and wonderful.
The phenomenon of Maid Cafés began a few years ago and now there are dozens of these cafés where the young female staff are dressed provocatively as French maids. They refer to customers as Master or Mistress, flirt with them, take photographs with them and generally make the predominantly male clientele feel desirable, all for a fee. There are also Maid hairdressers, Maid reflexology and Maid Massage parlours that take the service to a new level. Feeding the really obsessed otaku are the places where you can have a private photo-shoot with a maid of your liking. There is even a place where you can ‘spend the night’ with a life-sized maid doll.
Akihabara is also home to many pachinko parlours and massive electronic video-gaming centres that stay open late.