Mimikakiten: The Next Maid Cafe?

Remember how when you were a kid they told you to never put  anything in your ear at all because it’s really, really dangerous and could give you permanent hearing loss? Well, no one has ever said that in the entire history of Japan, and most Japanese people have an ear cleaning kit at home.
A husband lying down with his head on his wife’s lap having his ears cleaned is an image of domestic bliss in Japan, and it’s said that when a guy has no one to clean his ears, it can be a lonely experience to do it for himself.
Well, never fear, because now there’s a shop called the Yamato Mimikakiten where you can go to get your ears cleaned by an attractive young woman. A woman’s lap is often called a “hizamakura,” (you’ve probably seen the popular lap pillows sold to lonely otaku), and this shop lets you rest your head on the girl’s lap during the session.

The company calls its employees komachi, which means “beautiful woman.” Each one seems to be required to keep a blog which they update daily with pictures of themselves and chatter about their daily lives. (Here’s a sample, but it’s in Japanese only.) You can choose your komachi for an extra 500 yen per half hour.

Here’s a video:

A cleaning costs 2,700 for 30 minutes and 4,800 yen for one hour.
If you’d like to check it out, there’s a branch in Ueno. From JR Ueno Station, go out the Central Exit and turn right, walking past Keisei Ueno Station. You’ll pass Yodobashi Camera and AbAb Department Store on the other side of the road. Keep going until you see a JTB travel agent. The ear cleaner’s is in the next building, a pachinko parlor and capsule hotel which says “Treasure Hunting” on it.

The address is 2-6-11 Egg Biru 6F
Taito-ku, Tokyo.
Tel. 03-3839-8100
It’s open from 12 to 10 every day.

The shop’s website is at: http://www.yamamotomimikaki.com

12 replies
  1. porru
    porru says:

    Sometimes I start to think that the Japanese aren’t so strange at all, but when i read about stuff like this, it reminds me of what they really are – WEIRD people. But that’s probably why I’m so fascinated with Japan 🙂

    Thanks for the post, it was a great read.

  2. staff
    staff says:

    If you only get the 30 minutes rather than the hour, just what do they leave behind? I mean, is there stuff in your ear they just do not have time to get to if only given 30 minutes? If you go past an hour, do they start taking stuff they shouldn’t?

  3. AdelaideBen
    AdelaideBen says:

    Not sure if I should say this or not – but ear-cleaning has to be one of my guilty pleasures in life… er… with my wife, not in an “ear cleaing cafe”. Seriously – if you’ve never experienced, you have can’t imagine how peaceful it is.

    It’s one of those things that you know you most probably shouldn’t do (ok there’s more chance you’ll go deaf than blind, but you get the drift).

    I wouldn’t want to have a stranger do it – but I know why people might want to experience it (even if they have to pay).

  4. Makoto
    Makoto says:

    This is freakn amazing!!!

    I have always made sure I have a mimikaki at home, and unfortunately, have not (yet) convinced my wife to do this very satisfying ritual for me.

    I love how my nihon peeps always normalize the weirdest, yet somehow ingenious ideas! (which makes me seem less weird…)

    Love the blog, keep it up!

  5. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Sounds like Japanese women have to clean their own ears, though… or can husbands be expected to offer domestic bliss to their wives, too?

  6. Sara
    Sara says:

    Hi, great blog!! The rest of Japan seems a little different to Hokkaido, but the overall strangeness/cultural difference is the same. If you have time, feel free to check out my blog.

  7. Gaijingig
    Gaijingig says:

    I was here yesterday. The direction were gooa d and got me in the proper place.
    The service was very peaceful.
    I’m going back to Akihabara shortly. and try another place.

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