They are not your average train ticket inspectors. Picture a bevy of young ladies dressed in flouncy blue and white dresses, accessorised with over-the-knee socks, pretty hair bows and undimmable million-watt smiles.

Monocolumn is Monocle’s daily bulletin of news and opinion. Catch up with previous editions here.

They are not your average train ticket inspectors. Picture a bevy of young ladies dressed in flouncy blue and white dresses, accessorised with over-the-knee socks, pretty hair bows and undimmable million-watt smiles.

Welcome to Japan’s latest eyebrow-raising innovation – a “maid café” train where passengers are “served” by a clutch of pretty all-singing, all-dancing and all-adoring female train staff.

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