A Study of Akihabara : Current Situation of Concept Cafe #1

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A Study of Akihabara : Current Situation of Concept Cafe #1

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Akihabara is a place loved by otaku. Otaku of all kinds gather in this town all day and all night. Indeed, I am writing this article at a cafe in Akihabara.

But I do not mean that I am at a Starbucks or Tully’s Coffee. It would be difficult to associate an ordinary cafe with the words “Akihabara” and “cafe”. Yes, I am, in fact at a concept cafe.

“Concafe” is the abbreviation for “concept cafe”. As the words say, concafe is a cafe with a particular concept. A maid cafe is one of the types of concept cafes.


photo by ykmk

Although it is a slightly dated fact, the free magazine “1UP” distributed in June of 2015 reported that there existed 100 concept cafes including 44 maid cafes. As an aside, the magazine introduced that the average length of a maid’s skirt above the knee was 16.4cm. Let me share this useful piece of information.

A concept cafe is a place to offer extraordinary experiences. While living an ordinary life, you would never experience being served by maid. The website of @home cafe, one of the biggest maid cafe companies says:

“@home cafe is the home for our master and dear lady. You are finally able to go home after work.”

@home cafe is a home but you have not been there for a while, which proves that the cafe does not imagine the daily use of the cafe.

However, people recently begin to integrate the concept cafe into part of their life. Some frequent concept cafes during work and some even utilize concept cafes as a working place. Indeed, I am writing this article at a concept cafe. This must be a new use of concept cafes regarding it as a part of regular life. Then, how did these people begin to appear?

In the moe industry such as a concept cafe gains success if it continues running for three years. In fact, most new concept cafes end up shuttered before reaching three years. A concept cafe goes through massive change to survive this hard environment.

The daily use of concept cafe surely proves that the otaku culture has been established. The more people spend time within the culture, the more otaku contents can become sophisticated and interesting.


photo by ykmk

In #2, I am planning to interview some of those who use the concept cafes in their daily lives. The interview will be done at a concept cafe of course.

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Growing up in Akihabara culture, ykmk became an otaku covering idol, anime, and pop music.

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