Before I head back to Singapore I had to get in one more walk around Akihabara to shoot some maids. I was sorely disappointed to see only really two variations in their costumes, a sign that someone is monopolizing the maid scene with these standard outfits walking along the main streets and back allies touting the same cafe. I got a few decent shots in, but was hoping to see more of the exotic outfits that I remembered from just a year or two ago. This may sound absolutely bonkers that I’m going on about this but what it really boils down to, is, in my opinion, the slow end of Akihabara. Anyone who has seen Aki from 4-5 years ago and sees it today will know just what I am talking about. The giant, shining new department stores, the same Akiba shop with its orange signage all over the back streets, the sterile chain outlets, and now the standardization of the “tourist friendly” maid cafe. Tokyo is taking a hand clothe to Akihabara and wiping off the nerd and scrubbing in the tourist.
Needless to say, there is still a decent amount of odd and strange to capture with your camera. Shooting the maids takes some patience as they outright refuse to have their photos taken. You need to be very discrete and shoot primarily from the hip or you may face off against several of them angrily waving at you to stop. Of course you can let them guide you to their cafe where they will let you take one photo while they serve you a $20 cup of coffee. 😉