This week’s post brings to you yet another in the long line of wacky and weird Japanese theme cafes. This one, as opposed to the usual costumes and atmosphere that one might normally expect, offers customers a chance to sleep with someone that they don’t know. No, it’s not a house of illicit activity. In fact, there’s no sex involved whatsoever. What customers pay for is the privilege of lying down and cuddling with someone. Nicknamed the “cuddle café”, the proper name is Soine-ya. It’s located in Akihabara and is the first café of its kind to open.
All this human contact with a stranger comes with quite the price tag, however. The basic membership fee runs about $40 and then one still has to pay for cuddle time. Twenty minutes costs around $40, an hour about $100 and if you really want to get some sleep and spend the whole day (the café is not open at night) with a cute girl, you can drop $650 for a 10-hour cuddle.
But wait, there’s more. You are allowed to perform certain acts while cuddling (nothing dirty), although each costs a bit more cash and is measured in mere minutes. These extra services consist of giving or getting a foot massage, having a girl pat you on the back or head, having the girl rest her hand on your arm, being able to look into each other’s eyes and putting your head in their lap. You also have to pay more if you want to choose which girl to lie next to.
Catering to the lonely otaku population of Akihabara, Soine-ya is likely to become a hit and spawn another wave of theme-café imitations. Businesses such as hostess clubs have already proven themselves popular and for those that want a little more contact (and don’t require drinks), the cuddle café concept might be just the thing.