Tokyo is an expensive city. There is no doubt about it. This is where manga cafes come in. First opened in 1995, these manga and internet cafes are more than just a place to surf the web and read comics. They are a viable alternative to renting a hotel, crashing on the street when you miss the last train, or even an apartment.
With a growing number of unemployed (or underemployed) Japanese youth who can’t afford to shell out for a cheap hotel or apartment, these manga cafes are typically stocked with everything you would need to, well, survive. Each booth has a computer and a reclining chair that can be almost comfortable to sleep in.
Amenities at a Manga Cafe
Nearly every manga café will:
Have unlimited soft drinks
Have PCs, TVs, games, and unlimited internet
Have hundreds of manga books
Most manga cafes will:
Sell ramen noodles
Sell other instant food meals
Have a place to charge your phone
Let you store your luggage somewhere
Let you print things out
Let you walk in and out of the manga café (others won’t let you leave)
Some Manga Cafés will:
Have vending machines for food
Have a ‘changing area’
Cut the power and internet from midnight to 5am (to allow people to sleep)
Have a sofa option (rather than just the regular reclining sofas)
Prices for Manga Cafés in Tokyo:
Prices run for most manga cafes are:
30 minutes: 250yen to 400yen
Three hours: 900yen to 1,300yen
“All night” (seven hours): 1,400yen – 2,500yen
The Cheapest and Most Convenient Manga Cafés in Tokyo:
Grace is a Texan girl, married to a Japanese salaryman, living in Tokyo. She is a master of everything cheap and spends her time cooking, biking all across Tokyo to save on train tickets, and going to midnight grocery sales to buy newly-expired food for a fraction of the cost.
As a freelance writer, comic book artist, and occasional tv personality on Japanese tv, she has plenty of time to explore Tokyo.