So what happens when you combine a love of the country's public transportation with its fascination with girls in frilly outfits?
You get this. This is the "Maid Train". All aboard!
First introduced back in 2010, the maid train aimed to capitalize on Akihabara's maid cafe culture and earning nerd cred, while luring passengers to ride the rails.
The Seibu Railway Group's Maid Train limited service ran between Ikebukuro and Chichibu stations, passing, as Japan Today pointed out, several anime production companies along the way.
The trains were staffed by maids with names like "Amakusa Chuchu" (Chuchu—GEDDIT?) and served cute maid food and drinks as well as made all the train announcements in their cute maid voices. No wonder over 90 percent of the riders was 30-something males.
This month, Seibu Railway offered a second maid train. For ¥5,500 adults could snag round-trip tickets—and maid memories. Japan's FNN news went along for the ride, along with 126 passengers and five maids.
The maids dance, posed for pictures, played games, and sold overpriced snacks.
"I like trains and whatnot because you get to go various places," said one passenger. "And, well, I don't exactly dislike maids either."
Not everyone was Japanese! The news showed a Taiwanese passenger who wanted to experience Japanese culture. These days, this is exactly what this is.
Watch the evening news report here.
Culture Smash is a daily dose of things topical, interesting and sometimes even awesome—game related and beyond.