Public WIFI and mobile personal hotspots may be widely accessible across Japan, but if you’re looking for a strong internet connection with a variety of snacks, plus a comfortable and private place to stay, Manga Kissa (manga cafes) are increasingly becoming a popular and affordable choice!
Regardless of whether you are staying in Tokyo or elsewhere, finding a manga cafe in most of the cities in Japan can be relatively easy. Most of them have visible signs on street corners such as the ‘green frog’ logo of Geragera Cafe (Japanese only), which directs guests to their location. Of course, you can always ask the locals, too!
With lots of choices around, selecting one can be challenging! Here is a simple guide to help you breeze through the selection!
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Do you want a bigger space for an overnight stay or is a small space enough for you? Different cafes have various types of booths and it this can determine the overall comfort you’ll experience. Here are the most common types of booths to choose from:
- Booths with a sofa: These are perfect for staying overnight.
- Couples cabins: These can accommodate two people.
- Tatami-floored booths: For an authentic Japanese feel, and also good for staying overnight.
- A short-stay booth: With the typical desk and reclining chair made for those who only stay for a few hours or less.
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The right set of facilities can make or break your experience and you should definitely check them out before going. When checking this out, consider asking about the following things:
- Manga Library: Unfortunately, most, if not all, manga cafes have their library in Japanese so you may not fully enjoy the collection if you are not well-versed in the language. But if reading Japanese characters is a piece of cake for you, checking its availability is a plus!
- Snack Menu: Feeling hungry during your stay is a given. Some cafes offer the typical instant noodles and snacks but others go beyond that by serving delectable ramen bowl treats! Also, take note that this isn’t usually part of the fee you pay for your stay.
- Unlimited Drinks: Contrary to snacks, this is usually already part of the package you pay to stay. Common beverage favorites include soft drinks, coffee, and tea.
- Fast, unlimited internet access: Because well, it’s exactly what you came for! Make sure the cafe has great access to the internet, which it usually will.
These are things that often determine whether people stay there, so be sure not to miss them!
- Clean toilets: Of course! This is important if you are planning on an overnight stay!
- DVD Library: If you grow tired of surfing the web or reading manga, watching some great Japanese films could be your next best alternative.
- Hot showers: For those staying overnight, you might consider having a bath or shower before going to sleep. Cafes that offer this service already equip their showers with shampoo, soap, and razors. This will probably incur an extra fee.
- Video game library: If web surfing, manga reading, and film viewing aren’t enough, a good game can save the day!
Several factors affect the pricing for each cafe and just like any other service, the most expensive ones are not necessarily your best choices. Prices can range from as low as 200 yen for a 30-minute stay up to 2,000 yen for a 12-hour stay. This is still excluding the weekend add-on fees and registration fees for first-time guests.
Don’t miss an affordable and cozy stay at one of Japan’s manga cafes. There might be some similar versions from your home country but nothing beats a fun and unique Japanese kissaten!