Seibu Railways to introduce 'maid trains'

TOKYO —

The Seibu Railway Group has announced plans to introduce a new maid cafe-style train service between Ikebukuro and Chichibu stations.

Akihabara’s maid cafe culture is closely aligned with Japan’s “otaku” subculture that is rapidly going mainstream. As several animation houses already exist along that stretch of the railway line that runs from Tokyo to Saitama, Seibu Railway officials said they are hoping to promote Japanese pop culture in the area between those stations by solidifying its reputation as an anime production zone.

It is believed to be the first time a major Kanto rail operator has attempted to carry out such an unconventional project.

The emphasis of the new service will be to allow passengers to ride in “New Red Arrow” trains alongside staff selected from Akihabara’s maid cafes. Maid cafe games and competitions will be held and train announcements will be made by the maids. There are also plans to have small photography studios alongside the station shops around Seibu Chichibu station at which customers can pay to have their photographs taken with a maid.

The fare for a trip will be 3,500 yen for adults and 3,000 yen for children. Each trip will accommodate 360 passengers.

The service starts on Dec 11. For reservations, visit http://maidtrain.info

Compiled from news reports

  • 0

    Gurukun

    unconventional project

    Riiiiggghht?

    And do these "maids" actually clean anything?

  • 0

    sillygirl

    just plain sick. i am tired of "maid" service entering just about every corner of japan.

  • 0

    shinaykahn

    lots of otaku dreams came true

  • 0

    Disillusioned

    There goes the neighborhood! This is much worse than a penguin conductor and a cat station master. Japan has lost the plot completely.

  • 0

    Laguna

    Seems Seibu is just GROPING for profit.

  • 0

    shempa

    What's in Chichibu?

  • 0

    3RENSHO

    Ordinary fare (Seibu-Ikebukuro Line, Express) is normally only 910 yen.

  • 0

    NuckinFutz

    Pop culture? Seems more like "pop perversion" to me.

  • 0

    Debucho

    when is Japan going to grow up?

  • 0

    ReformedBasher

    Kinky. I'd try it out just for fun (ahem) but a) not for Y3,500 and b) my wife might get a little upset. My teenage son would probably approve though :-)

    If they can make money from this, why not. Judging by the "mature" behaviour exhibited back home, I see this as harmless fun. Tissue manufacturers wil see a rise in profits too!

  • 0

    nylex4

    is there no end to the childishness of japan??

  • 0

    bababooey

    Sounds like a great idea. Just goes to show that not every service has to be stiff. Speaking of stiff...

  • 0

    goddog

    Goof Balls of the World

  • 0

    Beelzebub

    Akihabara’s maid cafe culture is closely aligned with Japan’s “otaku” subculture that is rapidly going mainstream.

    Another word for this is 'rapidly dumbing down'.

  • 0

    BurakuminDes

    Lots of dribbling, cos-playing, bespectacled otakus will be heavy-breathing in delight at this prospect...I just hope there are some CCTV cameras in there to protect the poor maids!

  • 0

    mackemack

    Wow...my photgraph taken with a maid. I wonder how my maid will feel about that.

  • 0

    Potsu

    "It's not like we have bikini girl nights at the local pub..."

    Haha,just slightly different enviroments and circumstances....but anyway,classy stuff as usual from Japan.

  • 0

    ReformedBasher

    As for maids on trains, give me a break. How about the giant Viagra billboards where I live? Or the sex shops at suburban shopping centres? Not that I lose sleep about it, I'm more concerned keeping my family fed than worrying what people get up to in their spare time.

  • 0

    BurakuminDes

    How about a "delivery-health" service running in a specially designed train carriage?

  • 0

    Frungy

    As for maids on trains, give me a break. How about the giant Viagra billboards where I live? Or the sex shops at suburban shopping centres? Not that I lose sleep about it, I'm more concerned keeping my family fed than worrying what people get up to in their spare time.

    Well put. The maid culture is only "childish" in the sense that I could take my children to a maid cafe and they would see nothing untoward going on. The women are fully clothed, the emphasis is on "cute" and if anything the women are in control in the couple of maid cafes I've visited (rather than men being in control in most similar Western clubs).

    Yeah, so I'll take the "childish" maid culture over the Western strip club mentality any day of the month.

  • 0

    Raymasaki

    yeah i don't see why people are upset or disagree with it. just another cos[play thing / theme restaurant. is it needed? no not really But Japan is a FREE Nation.

  • 0

    timeon

    I'm not sure it's an appropriate location, many people go to Chichibu with their families in holidays, not exactly the weekend spot for otaku. Myself, I'll keep on using the Red Aroow express, it's convenient and reasonable (1370 yen)

  • 0

    Zenny11

    Should be a money-maker, will also attract many tourists. Not sure why everyone things Maid cafe's are in any way sexual, etc.

    timeon.

    The service will be offered on the Red Arrow. ;)

    And Nerima does have a lot of anime studios and many famours manga-artists also live there. Plus many anime are set along that very same train line.

    Western Tokyo has something like 300 out of 500+ Animation studios in the greater Tokyo area.

  • 0

    realist

    Living in Japan is like living on a different planet. Its all so unreal, and totally bizarre, and it seems to be getting words. People in Japan, especially the men, never seem to grow up.

  • 0

    Jkanda

    People in Japan, especially the men, never seem to grow up.

    What if it is the women who want to keep the men that way? It is them who are offering that service. Promise you, I have met some very nice men at work in Jland. Cannot judge the whole nation with the few we meet right?

  • 0

    koiwaicoffee

    Small, picture is small.

  • 0

    telecasterplayer

    so.. the country that has to have "women-only" rail cars because of the prevalence of immature man-boys who can't keep their hands to themselves now wishes to start up rail cars that dress up real women as cutesy maids... nah, I can't finish it.

  • 0

    BurakuminDes

    The maid culture is only "childish" in the sense that I could take my children to a maid cafe and they would see nothing untoward going on. The women are fully clothed, the emphasis is on "cute" and if anything the women are in control in the couple of maid cafes I've visited (rather than men being in control in most similar Western clubs).Yeah, so I'll take the "childish" maid culture over the Western strip club mentality any day of the month.

    Spot on, Frungy. It is likely the only opponents of this scheme - and of maid cafes in general - are militant foreign feminists. At the end of the day, it's all a bit of harmless fun - and it actually empowers the women in a sense that they get much higher wages than working in a conbini/supermarket etc. Wouldn't go there myself, but all the best to those who like a bit of "cosplay"...

  • 0

    Zenny11

    Also agree with frungy rather take my son to a Maid-Cafe than Hooters, etc.

    People should try them, they are fun but the bill can get high if you ask to play games, take shots, etc.

  • 0

    kokorocloud

    This makes me SO MAD. As we've all said before, Japan needs to acknowledge women as more than just cutesy dolls to be dressed up and lusted over-- i.e., we also like to drool over silly things too. Can we get a butler train too? I want to be entertained by attractive men in uniform, not maids! Let's keep it equal, people.

  • 0

    Zenny11

    kokorocloud.

    Hit Ikebukuro(akihabara is aimed at the guys) and there are many butler, etc cafes. But you will need to pre-book as they are really busy. ;)

    Yeah, the ladies are catered for too. ;)

  • 0

    kokorocloud

    Zenny11-- Haha, I know. I actually haven't been to a butler cafe yet, but some of my friends have, and they said it's totally worth the pre-booking and all. I rarely find myself in Tokyo, but next time I am...

    Still though. BUTLER TRAIN!

  • 0

    YongYang

    @Telecasterplayer: yes, the irony of it all. Just shake your head and guffaw. That be all we can do.

  • 0

    Ayesha

    Most of the other lines have been introducing segregated female-only cars. The Seibu railroad knows how to compete...

  • 0

    oberst

    kawaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii !!

  • 0

    herefornow

    Old Doug MacArthur was so right. And he didn't even have the benefit of maid cafes and now trains on which to base his conclusion. Nothing like a society living down to the lowest expectations.

  • 0

    oberst

    Can we get a butler train too? I want to be entertained by attractive men in uniform, not maids! Let's keep it equal, people. ................

    There are many US Military bases in japan. Hooah !!

  • 0

    kokorocloud

    oberst-- Yes, but if I go there, are they going to be serving me tea and drinks and offering to let me take pictures with them for a 3500 yen fee? I don't think so! ... Well, maybe the 3500yen thing, I don't know.

  • 0

    Zenny11

    Or more likely they will offer other forms of entertainment. ;)

  • 0

    TumbleDry

    Only the yen is going up in Japan this days. The rest... down...

  • 0

    LoveUSA

    There are also plans to have small photography studios alongside the station shops around Seibu Chichibu station at which customers can pay to have their photographs taken with a maid.

    This is one idiot oriented culture. Let us see who will pay for a photo...

  • 0

    Zenny11

    LoveUSA.

    As for who will pay for a photo with a maid, the japanese Otaku's will have to queue up behind the foreign Otaku and the line will be long.

    Maid's are a BIG business and that includes overseas Tourists.

    Might be idiot orienated culture but it is also capitalistic and knows where the money is.

    Same reason why Maids, maid-cafes, etc are big businesses now worldwide.

  • 0

    gdeshazo

    I was in Akihabara with the wife and kid shopping on Saturday for the first time in a long time and saw many, many maids hawking their shops to customers. I looked at my wife (who is Japanese) and she looked at me, and we both decided that just when you think Japan cannot get any weirder (been here upwards of 15 of last 20 years), it does.

  • 0

    BurakuminDes

    I hope another country like Russia invades Japan and exterminates this kawaii culture.

    Now, now - c'mon LoveUSA! Get with the programme! These Maid Cafes (and associated businesses like the Maid train) provide a good service for Japanese society. They allow the sort of unfortunate guys - some of whom spit when they talk - an opportunity to "communicate" with a real, live woman - for a price of course. You never know - their experience may pay dividends in the future and help them meet women and raise the Japanese birthrate? Let's all hope so.

  • 0

    LoveUSA

    They allow the sort of unfortunate guys - some of whom spit when they talk - an opportunity to "communicate" with a real, live woman - for a price of course.

    could i ask since when a brain-dead human is called a real live woman?

  • 0

    BurakuminDes

    Well - it's gotta be a step up from a rubber woman AKA "Dutch wife"!

  • 0

    Zenny11

    LoveUSA should be happy.

    If the maids attract the loosers she can focus on the real men. ;)

    Moderator: Please note the difference between looser and loser.

  • 0

    BurakuminDes

    Well said Zenny!

  • 0

    BurakuminDes

    Moderator: Please note the difference between looser and loser.

    Love it, Mod!

  • 0

    LoveUSA

    To tell you the truth i really hope something happens in Japan so that all this sick bad taste kitsch culture disappears overnight: the bad singing AKB47, the physically mature but intellectually and emotionally immature women who dress and speak like they are 12, the maids with no brain, TV food shows. Something like a miracle. It doesn't need to be an eye opening earthquake or invasion of a foreign army.

  • 0

    LoveUSA

    Moderator: Please note the difference between looser and loser.

    I have seen this message again and again without lowering the frequence of the miostake. Some people never learn. It seems the moderator loses his time trying to explain basic spelling rules.

  • 0

    Zenny11

    BTW, peoples read the Internet Etiquette rules(they been around as long as E-mail, etc).

    Correcting someones typos, etc is considered BAD manners and mods should be aware of those etiquette rules. As they cover all forms of communications on the Net.

  • 0

    chotto

    Talk about asking for trouble.

  • 0

    Zenny11

    @Chotto.

    Talk about being OT = asking for trouble too. ;)

  • 0

    LoveUSA

    This does not make sense. I guess it is only the real women with power to invade who can solve this mystery. Not the losers or the Mod.

    soooo funny. But still it would be nice to wake up one day and there would be no anime and manga. This is my dream. A world without anime! A world for real men and real women.

  • 0

    YuriOtani

    This is rather odd, my wish is to have a maid for my house. Sounds like it will be good for income. If people will pay for this what is the problem? Oh what is wrong with Anime? What is on America TV is so good and wholesome? What about those horror movies where blood and guts are all over the place? or Sex and the city?

  • 0

    BurakuminDes

    This is rather odd, my wish is to have a maid for my house.

    Me too! I want one of these Akihabara Maids for my apartment - but my wife seems to disagree. She's such a wet blanket sometimes.

  • 0

    taisho999

    Talk about going way off track.

  • 0

    Good_Jorb

    No Maid cafes, no Anime, Japan should in no way try to be unique. They should grow-up, tow the line, conform to how some think "adults" should act. Japan needs to more robotic, more homogenous, errr... starting to get a bit confused, I have always thought that the biggest complaint about Japan was that they were a homogenous robotic society. Japan is never going to fit everyone's ideal society and nor should it.

    Maybe instead of Maid Cafe on the train, they could replace them with a local pub type of thing, where "adults" get three sheets to the wind and end up fighting each other to prove how much of an adult they really are (a la England).

    I not a fan of Anime but I learnt a little bit of sage advice a long time ago, the t.v. channel can be changed, a Anime book/magazine doesn't have to be open, a maid cafe doesn't have to patronized. I think some people need to do a little growing up themselves and realize that pushing your hang-ups on others is waste of time. Have fun, be happy or take a look mirror and ask yourself, am I perfect?

  • 0

    ca1ic0cat

    Now this is a hoot. I can't imagine it happening anywhere else, let alone be successful. But why not? Let the people have some fun. Why complain about it?

  • 0

    YuriOtani

    Fadamor, mark the time and date, I agree with you on something.

  • 0

    DeepSpace

    looks like a fun side track to the usual day

  • 0

    oberst

    they should wear thigh high stockings with garter belts..........look better and i am sure very good for the train business. just a suggestion........

  • 0

    bcbrownboy

    Oh dear, chikan heaven.

  • 0

    noirgaijin

    I'll pass on this one. Getting on a train with a bunch of unwashed otaku's while they pick their noses just does not go well with me.

  • 0

    gogogo

    Seibu are basically saying trains are sexual places, way to give out mixed messages, if a chikan gets caught he can just say the train was promoting it.

  • 0

    herefornow

    Good-Jorb -- did your "sage advice" mean that someone cannot comment on something that is clearly just more evidence of Japan's juvenile bent? Sure you can shut off the TV or not purchase anime, but how does one escape the dozens of guys reading that pseudo child-porn crap in plain view on the trains? I am all for individual rights, so if J-guys want to waste their money on this, in a manner that does not intrude on others, go for it. But it is the implication that this is "accepetable" behavior, that having a major railroad company gives this, that I have concerns with. Is that the best in role model behavior that Japanese companies can give to young men and women?

  • 0

    nandakandamanda

    Gotta love the label: maid in Japan.

  • 0

    yokomoc

    Surely the kawaii overkill is fast headed to breaking point. Any ideas what counter-culture will fill the space when this passes - like dress-down grunge and goth replacing the big hair and makeup eighties? The sub-culture should already exist on a smaller scale.

  • 0

    oberst

    be thankful they are into the kawaiiiiiiii culture. Imagine if they switch to the zombie mode. Both do not involve any brain function.

  • 0

    saborichan

    Fascinating questions yokomoc... If kawaii dies in Japan, what on earth could they find to replace it? Japanese people speak with such a limited vocabulary in everyday life; how would the next phase come? A disgruntled emo rejection of all that came before seems like a logical phase.

  • 0

    ritalynn

    Okay, this is kinda silly and rather pointless. I could understand the bars and such but a train? That's a bit much.

    Now if they actually get a butler train set up, call me! ;)

  • 0

    avenger

    can you chikan them for a fee?

  • 0

    glycol57

    Seibu are basically saying trains are sexual places, way to give out mixed messages, if a chikan gets caught he can just say the train was promoting it.

    Packed tightly together like that, nothing to do but think about the people you're pressed up against ... yes, trains can be "sexual places". Nothing wrong with that, perfectly natural response.

    Of course there's "thinking" and "doing" ... so naughty people should keep their hands to themselves (unless invited to do otherwise :-)

  • 0

    YuriOtani

    ritalynn, it is rather silly but it seems harmless. As for being "packed" it is a reserved train and not a packed "sardine" car.

  • 0

    EbiChiri

    These girls are going to molested to bits. Doesn't anyone recall the serial rapist on the bullet trains last year who was assaulting the sandwich wagon girls in the toilets with impunity ?

  • 0

    Fadamor

    I'm reading this as a novelty train rather than a standard commuter run. Packing them in like sardines would defeat the whole concept, as the "maids" would be forced to leave the cars.

  • 0

    obaachan

    WHY would you want to take a child on a maid train even at 3000 yen a pop ?

  • 0

    trulymadlyfukai

    Grow up Japan.

  • 0

    sf2k

    as long as they replace it with "leather trains" in phase II

  • 0

    eigokun

    It's just a one time themed event aimed at the Akihabara crowd. All you naysayers needs to get over it.

  • 0

    Fadamor

    Don't like the concept? Don't ride the train. It will be interesting to see how long the train lasts.

  • 0

    Zenny11

    The train been around for a long time, only ONE car will be used for it at times.

    All the info is in the article. ;)

  • 0

    Javimac

    Guess Seibu found a way to make voyeurs and chikan pay for their hobby..

  • 0

    Fadamor

    Again, I doubt you'll see any chikan on the train... at least not practicing their "hobby". It won't be as crowded on those trains so getting caught would be much easier.

  • 0

    S7ro9kGm3aQ

    They have child tickets for something which is an offshoot of one of Japan's fetish sub-cultures?

    I quite honestly find that difficult to stomach.

  • 0

    jianadaren

    Love it!

Login to leave a comment

OR
  • 営業

    営業
    MB Japan 株式会社、東京都
    給与:月給 25万円 ~ 25万円 相談可 歩合制
  • Teacher for Children and After School Care

    Teacher for Children and After School Care
    Spike and Ai International After School、神奈川県
    給与:月給 26万円 ~ 30万円
  • スクールスタッフ | School Staff

    スクールスタッフ | School Staff
    ファーストラーニング松戸校 - First Learning (Matsudo)、千葉県
    給与:月給 22万円 ~ 25万円 相談可 3ヶ月のトレーニング/見習い期間は18万円/月からスタート
  • External Affairs Media Coordinator

    External Affairs Media Coordinator
    The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan / 在日米国商工会議所 (ACCJ)、東京都
    給与:給与についての記載なし
  • リサ―チ アナリスト

    リサ―チ アナリスト
    Promar Consulting / プロマーコンサルティング、東京都
    給与:給与要相談 Depends on experience

More in Lifestyle

View all

View all