Manga Cafe

Tonight, I had nowhere to stay. I couldn’t extend my stay at the hostel in Kyoto because they were full, and I couldn’t show up in Kanazawa a day early because they don’t have a room for me tonight. After much deliberation, I decided to just take an easy day, then spend the night in a manga cafe.

I took the bus from the hostel to the JR train station and put my bags into lockers (600 yen, about $6) and took only my Japanese textbook, dictionary, notebook, pens, and my camera with the 50mm/1.8 lens with me.

I spent most of the day hopping around between different coffee shops; studying for a few hours, then moving to try a different chain. Got a lot of studying done!

At 10:00 pm, I headed over to the Manga cafe, and between my basic Japanese and their broken English, managed to get everything arranged.

So here’s what I get for 2750 yen, or about $27 (350 yen membership + 2400 for 12 hours):

I get all the bizzare Japanese soft drinks and soft ice cream I can handle. I’m drinking a pepsi float I made right now – tastes pretty good, but could use some rum. Perhaps I’ll run down to the convenience store and pick up a $3 mickey of Captain Morgan’s rum; yes, booze is incredibly cheap here.

All the bizarre brands of Japanese Soda you can drink

More Manga (japanese comic books) than I could read in a dozen lifetimes, especially since my rate is about 15 minutes a page, what with having to look up all the kanji. Note this is just one of the rows of bookshelves.

Row of Manga

An eerie walk down the row of dimly lit cubicles with zen sand sculptures under the transparent floor and “relaxation” music quietly playing.

Row of cubicles

In my cubicle, I have a PC, a Playstation 2, a 24″ television (not shown) and a small safe for my valuables that I managed to lock without setting the combination – Did I mention about having to look up lots of kanji?

In my cube

I also have a sofa that’s long enough to lie down on, but not quite long enough to fully stretch out. Still, it’s far better than airplane seating.

the sofa

Not shown – washrooms, showers, beer vending machine, row of slot machines, &c.

Now, granted, there’s other people moving around, making noise, &c, but that was true at the hostel. I just wish I’d thought to bring my earplugs with me for tonight…

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