You might have come across cosplay restaurants in Japan. These have spawned into a popular wave since year 2000. They are very predominant in Akihabara though you can also find some in Shibuya.
One of the few butler-themed cafes in Tokyo is “Butlers Café” which is the sole cafe hiring only foreign male staff to serve Italian food, desserts, teas, alcoholic beverages and many more.
Butlers Café was opened in 2006 by Graeme Cooke and Yuki Hirohata. It was through an email conversation when they first started planning about it. Graeme was teaching English at that time while Yuki was an office lady. This was a perfect cafe for women who never forgot their childhood dream of becoming a princess. With its opening, it has constantly been attracting many customers. It has also been featured in CNN and appeared in several publications and media outlets.
The concept started with an interview of many Japanese women regarding their preference of a cafe. Most of them answered that they wanted the staff to be Western males who are good-looking, kind and would treat them nicely. It must have come from the emergence of Western fantasies derived from Disney stories. The butlers treat the customers cordially with a standard greeting of “Welcome back, Princess.” The setting inside the cafe is very classical with rose-patterned cushions on sofas, lace curtains and angel figurines. As one enters, a male servant approaches and escorts the lady to her table. Then, she has to fill out a form to check off her state of mind such as “I need to relax” or “I need a lot of pampering.” A bell is placed on the table for her to ring if she needs the butler’s attention.
Take note that if you’re interested in visiting this cafe, you have to make an advance reservation due to its popularity. It can be worth the money and the fun for being treated like a princess even just for a day!
・Top 100 Things to Do in Akihabara, the Home of Japanese Pop Culture, in 2018
・100 Things to Do in Shibuya, Tokyo’s Fashionable Metropolis, in 2018
・ Danso (Cross-dressing) Cafes: More Than Meets The Eye