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Manga Cafe also known as mangakissa in Japanese is a kind of café in Japan where people read manga (comic books).  Patrons pay for their time in the café where they can read in a comfortable setting.  Most offer internet access and drinks.  For an hour’s stay, the cost is generally about 400 yen (~$4.5).  Longer stays are often cheaper, and so staying overnight is actually affordable.  With Peter’s help, I stayed overnight at a Manboo, a manga cafe located in Shibuya for only $22.  Below are photos of my adventure…

It’s easy to walk pass them, but manga cafes are everywhere!

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Peter helped me book the night at the front desk in Japanese.  I really couldn’t have done it without him!  He even found out Manboo had shower service, which I didn’t expect.  Even with a 2 hour wait list, I was so glad to have cleaned up after a long day walking around Shibuya!

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Each patron gets their own cubicle — not very spacious, but who cares!  You can also pay extra to rent their computers.

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Complementary soft drinks…LOOK AT THE OPTIONS! They had both hot and cold drinks…I think I tried 6 different drinks throughout the night. 😛

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Time to pretend to know Japanese and hit the manga!

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Oh, and no shoes allowed inside, so you wear the provided slippers.  Everything is clean and organized!

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One of my favorite anime “Nausicaa”: Valley of the Wind…in manga form!

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The one downside was the constant shuffling noise and smell from neighboring smokers — it a challenging night to get through.

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Hungry Cactus’ Verdict: A-

Staying overnight at a manga cafe was extremely interesting.  While it was extremely uncomfortable sleeping in a chair, the cultural experience was priceless.  Next time around I would hope to find a non-smoking manga cafe and bring ear plugs.  The shower service was godsent too, so don’t forget to check.  For $22 a night, this is by far the cheapest way to stay in Japan…but like capsule hotels, this doesn’t work well for travelers with children.  But if you can, I recommend trying this yourself!

Categories: travel