Saturday, June 20, 2009

Camera museum, maid café, Taiwanese vegetarian food

It's almost required to walk around the Imperial Palace when you have first-time visitors from out of town. It's pretty there. But a good thing that they offer there happens on Sunday: they lend out bikes for free and you can cycle around the palace. Just leave your ID with an arm-banded old guy and pick your poison: mountain bike, granny bike, sport bike, even some tandem bikes.
We also went to the camera museum, which is close to Hanzomon station. This is definitely a museum for serious camera enthusiasts, as it's one of those small Japanese museums with a tiny space crammed wall-to-wall with one kind of thing. Interesting if you want to pore over antique cameras.

Another thing that all the tourists want to do is visit a maid café. I was certainly game for this adventure, since I've lived here for a few years but hadn't yet braved the back alleys of Akiba in search of frilly-skirted high-pitch voiced 19 year olds willing to bend to my whim.
We chose @home café, at random. They have locations in two different buildings, with different themes on different floors. We went to Hana, which is a Japanese themed café, only because they promised to have English speakers there, and my friends don't speak Japanese.
It was a little silly, filled with nerdy men and girls flouncing around in petticoated kimono-esque dresses, with kawaii touches like barrettes, animal tails peeking out of skirts, and character purses. They were a little flummoxed as to what to do with us, especially as we were two girls and a guy. But they bravely smiled and flirted a little, calling us "ojosama" and making heart marks over our coffee to make it "more delicious". I got a membership card and was asked to come back - you get progressively fancier cards and perks as you visit more often. The highest card level, the black card (or was it crystal? I forget) requires 2000 visits. One person has achieved this level.

Finally, we went to Ikebukuro to go to Roran. I love this Taiwanese restaurant, with a huge vegetarian menu. They have vegetarian ramen, gyoza and other dim sum, and dozens of others options, including a lot of yummy fake meat.
I ♥ Roran.


  1. hamas-(nora)8/15/2009 4:06 AM

    Okaeri nasaimase
    What a perfect route!
    Ok,I will be waiting for your maid cosplay..
    It's time to learn about vegetarian recipe for Nutrition Therapy.I have had enough of potato and pumpkin.

  2. Thanks!
    Here's a saishoku website: