You might know internet cafes as places you go surfing the web for an hour or two, but in Japan, they can and sometimes do work differently. If you ever miss the last train home for the evening or desperately need a place to stay, then an internet cafe is your best bet. In Japan, they are known as Manga Kissa, and here we will explain how it works.
- What is included?
- What does it cost?
- What are the downsides?
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What is included?
You pay at the front desk and get taken to your cubicle. The cubicle is small (usually 2m x 2m), and at the bare minimum, you will have a PC with internet access, a charging port for your phone, headphones, a reclining chair, a mattress, pillows, and blanket. Higher-end Manga Kissa’s might have a console with a TV and maybe even a VR system.
Outside of your cubicle are shared bathrooms and toilet facilities, and if you’re feeling hungry or thirsty, there will be some vending machines offering various drinks and food. Many of the drinks are usually free, so you can help yourself as much as you please. There may even be DVDs and Manga books you can take back to your cubicle.
What does it cost?
Prices vary from place to place and depend on what’s included, but you can expect to pay anywhere between $16 to $30 US for 7 to 12 hours. Although not all that comfortable, it’s still by far the cheapest form of accommodation in Japan.
What are the downsides?
Has everything up to this point sounded too good to be true? Well, maybe it is. Here are the downsides to staying in a Manga Kissa Internet Cafe.
1: It feels like sleeping in an office environment: Sleeping in an internet cafe with all those cubicles, computers, and people really does feel like sleeping in an office.
2: Noise Levels: Finding some quiet is pretty hard due to the small size of the cubicles and the extremely close proximity you will be to other people. Expect to hear the sound of keyboards as buttons are being pressed and people talking.
3: It’s Uncomfortable: Sleeping in a small confined space with noises coming from all sides will pretty much guarantee an uncomfortable evening.
4: Everything is in Japanese: How are your Japanese skills? If it’s not that good, you may have some difficulty because everything is in Japanese. Those manga books you want to read? Japanese! Those DVDs you want to watch? Japanese! The windows operating system on your PC or your gaming console? All in Japanese!