Wind Down and Spend the Night Inside Japan’s Famed Internet Cafes

With the emergence of smartphones, there seems to be a dwindling need for most people to visit internet cafes to browse the web. In Japan— or at least in some of its major cities, however, it is a different story. 

Net cafes or manga kissa are still very much a thing for the Japanese. You can find internet cafes scattered across major cities where they provide more than just basic computer and internet access. Over the years, their services expanded, making them an ideal destination for people who want to enjoy reading their favorite manga, watching their favorite anime shows, or playing some PC games. Those who want to spend a few hours to catch a bit of sleep or people who need a place to spend the night have also found refuge inside these cafes.

Over the years, these cafes evolved to offer the services they do now, making them inherently unique to Japan. So unique, in fact, that if you ever get the chance to visit the country, it’s one experience you should at least try. 

What are net cafes?

Internet cafes or manga cafes are pretty much your regular internet cafes, only they offer more than the usual services. Often operating 24/7, most of these places are open for business on weekends and even during holidays. 

Everybody is welcome to these shops, and they are equipped with everything you need to access the internet. What’s striking about these shops is that their rates tend to be significantly cheaper. Considering how they also offer overnight stays, they are a popular option for people who find it too expensive to secure a hotel room or those that need a place for the night after missing their last train. 

Net cafes offer a variety of services. You can use their printers for printing documents and most of these establishments offer free drinks. If you’re lucky, you might even end up somewhere with ice cream machines that offer unlimited refills!

Are internet cafes and manga cafes the same?

As the name suggests, a manga café or manga kissa offers manga and magazines for their customers’ reading pleasure. It is also common for these businesses to offer light meals and free drinks which you can enjoy as you browse through their extensive collection of manga titles. 

Net cafes, on the other hand, offer services including internet usage, watching videos, and offering a working space for employees beyond their normal working hours. Personal computers are available for customers to use during their stay.

These days, however, there is a growing number of shops merging both concepts. This is why many people these days are using these terms interchangeably.

Manga cafes let you enjoy their extensive collection of manga titles.

What to do before entering

While policies per shop tend to vary, it’s common for these establishments to offer a membership-based arrangement. This means that on your first visit, you will need to sign up for a membership card. Costs vary depending on the services offered and the location of the shop. 

Upon registering, you must provide your name, phone number, and address at reception. A photo ID is often required as well. This is essential for security matters. Also, it is common for cafes to charge a one-time membership fee. Then, you get the regular room rates on your subsequent visits. Also, different price ranges are available for those interested in short-term and long-term stays. 

What room arrangements are available?

Once you’re registered, you then choose which type of room you want to avail of. Among the most common rooms in internet cafes include:

  • Pair seats

A private room for two individuals, it is an ideal room option for friends and lovers. Typically, larger than a single-person private room, it’s common for this accommodation to feature a large sofa for customers to relax on. 

  • Reclining seat

This arrangement features a private room with a computer and reclining chair. If you decide to spend the rest of your night in this type of accommodation, the chair can be reclined to allow you to sleep.

  • Table seat

As the name suggests, it is a space featuring a computer set, a table, and a chair. To protect the user’s privacy, a wall divider is put up between tables. Compared to private rooms, this arrangement tends to be significantly cheaper, which is a good option for those who want to save a bit of cash.

  • Flat seat

Another type of private room accommodation, customers can lie down in these rooms as the floors also act as a mattress. Before entering this private room, however, you will be required to take your shoes off. 

What features are offered?

Most net cafes in Japan offer drink bars that serve soup and juice for free.

Whether you only plan on spending a few hours or staying the night in these cafes, there are certain features they offer that will certainly make your stay more convenient. 

  • Printer

You can print out documents if you need to as printers are provided for customers. Typically located near the reception area, this is one ideal feature that many office workers can benefit from especially if they’re coming to the cafe to do a bit of work or research.

  • Drink bar

A common feature in most net cafes in Japan is the drink bars. They serve drinks, soup, and juice for free and refills are basically unlimited. You’re not charged extra for all the drinks you consume as the fee is usually already included in the room rate you paid for upon entering. 

  • Shower room

Perhaps the best feature inside these shops, shower rooms are typically available in most of these establishments. This allows customers to get freshen up after spending the night in the café to head back out again and resume their day.

It is this convenience that net cafes offered and the significantly affordable rates attached to such convenience that has led them to become a popular destination for Japan’s homeless and those who need a place for the night but do not have that much cash to spare.

Where are internet cafes located?

Internet cafes are only usually available in major cities.

If you’re in big cities like Tokyo and are a first-time visitor, you can always try the tourist information center for directions on where these cafes are located. Typically, you will see them in various shopping areas littered across the city. 

Do note that internet cafes are only usually available in major cities and busy areas such as shopping districts within these cities. If you go somewhere rural, these establishments do not exist. Even in residential areas around Tokyo, you’d be hard-pressed to find these cafes. It wouldn’t hurt to check out signs indicating 24 hours though as these net cafes are typically open for business 24/7.

An experience you don’t want to miss

The popularity of internet cafes can be attributed to a lot of things. However, it is the convenience they offer not only to tourists that want to experience Japan but also to locals who want cheaper and easier access to a warm place at night is perhaps one of the top reasons why these shops remain relevant to this day.

A Brief History of Kabuki and Some Interesting Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

Entertainment is an integral part of Japanese culture. From game centers and anime or manga places, karaoke parlors and amusement parks, to worldwide conventions and even something more traditional as a Kabuki theater, Japan offers an interesting mix of the traditional and the modern, the new and the old. What’s worth noting is that despite being among the world’s top countries as far as technological advancements go, Japan’s affinity to its traditional ways remains alive in these modern times. 

This is why a traditional form of entertainment such as kabuki remains a popular attraction among the masses and tourists alike, especially in traditional centers in Kyoto and Tokyo. Often considered one of the country’s best performing arts, UNESCO identified it as an Intangible Cultural Heritage. It is also one experience that anybody who wants to visit Japan does not want to miss. 

What is kabuki?

A traditional Japanese performance style with origins dating back to the early 17th century, kabuki incorporates dance, mime, and music with elaborate sets and costumes. Kabuki dramas typically depict historical events and regional myths. While it has had its fair share of changes over the years, kabuki performances continue to be an important part of Japanese culture. 

In its literal meaning, kabuki translates to the art of singing and dancing. The word is made up of three kanji characters: “ka” which means sing, “bu” which means dance, and “ki” which indicates skill. People who experienced kabuki performances often note the visual spectacle it provides. These dramas feature set designs, props, costumes, and lights that are just as grandiose as the performances by the actors to create one spectacular show. 

It is worth noting the evolution of kabuki plays compared to their early performances more than 400 years ago. Throughout its long and colorful history, kabuki adapted to the times in an effort to preserve itself, becoming the performance art that it is now known today. Here are some interesting facts about kabuki and its history.

Kabuki remains a popular attraction among the masses and tourists alike.

Kabuki boasts over four centuries of history

Japanese kabuki, an ever-evolving art form, first came to the scene in the early 1600s. Considered as the first theatre art to emerge in Japan, the traditional all-male production today credits a woman for its inception. Shinto priestess Izumo no Okuni started it all by performing in various places around Kyoto.

She formed an all-female troupe of local prostitutes and misfits. To prepare them for their performances, she taught them how to sing, dance, and act on stage. During their productions, the cast members perform both female and male characters in suggestive and witty performances. The popularity of the performances of this band of female misfits then soared tremendously. It even came to a point when the Imperial Court invited Okuni to perform. 

Kabuki prohibited women from performing

Although kabuki traces back its origins to a woman, there came a point when women can no longer take part in these plays. The red-light districts were among its regular performance venues, in its early days. Unfortunately, this associated kabuki with prostitution when some performers offered their services to audiences. 

In 1629, the authorities at the time issued a ban prohibiting women from performing to address the ensuing moral dilemma. Young boys soon took over their roles. However, authorities eventually banned them from performing too due to prostitution concerns. Eventually, adult men came on board, taking on both female and male roles. This practice remains to this day. 

Kabuki music is an integral part of the experience

During a kabuki performance, musicians sit on a raised platform behind the stage. They play both instrumental pieces that accompany the performance and songs with lyrics. They often use a variety of traditional instruments, including the shamisen, a three-stringed guitar-like instrument, and the drum and flute. 

The musicians are very important in kabuki because their music is often the only thing that tells the audience what is going on in the play. This is because everything that happens on stage is a stylized and exaggerated form of reality. Music provides the audience with clues about what the characters are feeling or where the story is going.

Kabuki music is an integral part of the experience.

What to expect when watching kabuki performances

Most kabuki performances take place in outdoor venues such as parks, but some also take place inside theaters. Stages tend to be different from the usual theater setup as trapdoors and revolving platforms are often part of the setting since this allows for actors to appear and disappear quickly. It also allows for seamless scene changes. 

Kabuki actors’ costumes are often made of colorful silk, and they wear distinctive makeup and hairstyles. Performers use wooden masks when portraying various roles. Each mask represents a different character, and each actor may play several different roles throughout a performance. 

Stories featured in Kabuki plays have many themes, including romance and war. Many of the performances also parody the regular everyday lives of the characters being portrayed on stage. Because the plays are performed in Japanese, actors have to utilize exaggerated and stylized movements, so non-Japanese speaking audiences can still follow the story along.  

Some ladies attending kabuki shows dress in traditional kimonos. While there are no requirements for audiences to don formal wear when attending kabuki plays, wearing something decent is highly recommended.

Audiences may shout out the names of the actors on stage. This might be surprising to non-Japanese audiences, but this practice is not at all meant to disrespect the performers. Hereditary stage names or “yago” are given to kabuki performers. These stage names have something to do with the performing troupes they belong to. It is common practice for spectators to shout out the stage names or yago of these actors to show their support.

Kabuki actors are known for their strong physical skills and discipline. They must learn how to dance and perform acrobatics while wearing heavy costumes and make-up. Performers work hard every day to perfect their craft, so it’s no surprise that these days, they are all men!

Kabuki often uses masks to portray various roles.

Kabuki is an essential part of the Japanese experience

Today, kabuki is still performed throughout Japan and all over the world. Many of its famous performers do not just limit their appearances to the kabuki stage, but many are also seen taking on non-kabuki roles in television programs. 

In addition to its entertainment value, kabuki is an important part of Japanese culture. A unique experience and a great way to immerse in and appreciate Japanese culture, it is one activity you would never want to miss if you ever get the chance to visit the Land of the Rising Sun. 

Recommended Anime (New List)

Bored? Tired of watching the same stuff all over again?

Well, here’s the solution! -Watch some anime series that you haven’t encountered before! Here, I’m gonna suggest some anime that might be helpful in entertaining your extra time anywhere.

So here’s the list of anime recommendations that might help you discover something new!

Best Cosplay Photos

Cosplay (コスプレ) is a type of art in which the participant, called cosplayers, does a costume play. These participants imitate or represent another character either in fictional or reality in certain events. Some also do some costume play as a hobby and others are due to some occasions, but either way, it is still called as cosplay.

Japanese Decoration Ideas

From the old era to the modern era, Japan has been known to have one of the most amazing and crafty decorations. This left various people to be inspired and amazed at the same time. Nowadays, modern decors have influenced the life of the majority, and Japan still left us in awe even when it comes to its decoration market.

Fun Facts – Gintama

Are you a big fan of this series? Or you have read all the latest manga about it? Stalking all the social media and read all the latest news … but I’m sure there are other interesting things about this anime that you might not know.

Check out this list of amazing fun facts from the famous anime – Gintama!

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is a manga & series written by Ukyō Kodachi and illustrated by Mikio Ikemoto. It is said to be a spin-off and a sequel to Naruto since this series continues the life-story of Uzumaki Naruto as he gets in the after-marriage life. The main character, Boruto is Naruto’s son in the world of this anime. And I have to say since Naruto was very popular, this series is also a big hit!

Why did they make Boruto?

Well according to some of the research done by, Naruto has been one of the most searched-for anime for several years. Even massively popular franchises like One Piece are often beaten out by people searching for stuff related to Naruto. You better believe it.

Boruto continues the story. Anyone who liked the original Naruto anime will definitely love Boruto because several of your favorite characters appear in it.

What happens in Boruto?

Boruto is it’s own entire original story. While Naruto and his wife appear in the story, they are obviously not the central protagonists. Why not? Well, because Naruto was on TV for fifteen years. It was time to introduce new characters and a new story. In fact, the original Naruto was a whopping 72 manga volumes, which is incredible. Few anime are longer. Gintama has 77 volumes for example, and is considered one of the longest running animes of all times.

In the story, Boruto is angry at his father for placing the needs of the village over prioritizing his own family. See, by this time, Naruto has become Hokage and is the greatest ninja – just like he always promised he would be.

Boruto first aired on Television on April 5, 2017. It aired originally on TV Tokyo.