You need someone on the inside. Somebody who knows the score. Somebody in a maid outfit? Well, that's exactly what you can get if you hire a Japanese maid to show you around the geekier parts of town.
Between 2003 and 2004, maid cafes exploded in popularity and have since become an inseparable part of Japanese nerd culture.
Recently, maid tour guides have started guiding visitors through geek districts like Tokyo's Akihabara. The maids point out the various sightseeing spots and shops, while decked out in full maid gear.
In this video, you can see two maids providing a tour of Akihabara and its landmarks as well as riffing on the different kinds of maid cafes. (Warning: the music in the video is AWFUL.)
During these kinds of tours, you can even visit arcades with maids, take sticker pictures with them, and play crane games together.
Nagoya, which has an otaku center of its own, is now getting maid tour guides, too. According to Sakae Keizai Shimbun, the service is called "Maid Sanpo", a word play on "Maid-san" and "sanpo" (a stroll). Seven maids are available on weekends and national holidays to show visitors around Nagoya and its geek district Osu.
Maid Sanpo aims to offers a highly personalized tour service. So if visitors have a sweet tooth, the Maid Sanpo staff will take them to a great sweetshop. Like curry? They'll take you on a stroll to a wonderful curry restaurant.
Male customers need to fork out ¥3,000 (US$38) per person for thirty minutes of maid strolling, while female customers have to shell out ¥2,000 ($25). No word on an English language tour.