Thursday, December 16, 2010

Manga Café

Yet another post on something uniquely Japanese - Manga Café.

Manga café is similar to a cyber café in many respects. However the basic idea differs. Unlike cybercafés, internet service is not the main feature here. Manga in Japanese stands for “Comics” and as the name suggests, Manga cafes are places where people read Japanese comics or Manga. These cafés do provide internet access and as such they are similar to a internet cafe.

Usually manga café’s are equipped with many shelves of manga, magazines and newspapers and vending machines stocking drink cans and at times also a food counter. Some manga cafes have music booths, slot machines, pool tables and also nail salons! 

The seating is divided into cubicles. Each cubicle may contain a chair or a sofa, table and a computer with internet access, and at times a printer and payphone. 

The charges usually start from 100 yen for 10 or 15 minutes  or an hourly rate. Some manga cafes operate round the clock and allow people to spend the night in the cubicles. Japanese youngsters sometimes use the manga café as a place to spend the night. I have heard that most often it is used as a snoozing place if people miss the last train home !

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