“I love Japanese comics/anime!” I’ve heard it from foreigners over and over. There is no doubt that Manga (comics) is a big part of Japanese culture.
“I love Japanese comic internet cafe (manga kissa)!”. However, I rarely hear it neither from foreigners nor Japanese.
As I believe Manga kissa has so many things to offer from around 20 years of experience, but seem to be unknown to many people, I will try to explain what it is, how I enjoy, and why I recommend it. I hope this will be useful for anyone who likes Japanese comics, culture and interesting/unique experience. I will also mention some of the manga I personally recommend.
What is Manga Kissa
Simply put, it is a sophisticated internet cafe which usually has 50,000+ of Japanese comics (manga), or you could say a paid manga library with the internet. You buy time and space (from different options and prices including a private room, pair room, open space, etc.) and most of them have a drink bar, shower/bathroom, foods. So you have pretty much everything you need to stay, work and even to live (some people actually live there). Usually, manga Kissa is located near major train stations.
Here are some photos of Manga Kissa (360 degree so you can see a wider view).
Manga kissa 2 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA
Manga kissa 2 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA
The price varies from place to place but here is an example: for open sheat,
- 0.5 hour: 182 yen (1.7 USD)
- 3 hour: 891 JPY (8 USD)
- 6 hour: 1010 JPY (9 USD)
- 12 hour: 1319 JPY (12USD)
- 24 hours: 2646 JPY (24USD).
Usually, they have some coupons for discounts, and sometimes they have 1-week package as well!
Each one offers different services, and sometimes they offer free food (rice ball – Onigiri)!
How I enjoy Manga Kissa
- Reward in Japan: As I don’t read manga outside of Japan, it is my reward to go to Manga Kissa when I come back. I usually spend 5-9 hours (package).
- Hotel: When I go to other city in Japan, I sometimes use Manga kissa as a hotel, as it is usually cheaper and quite practical.
- Best way to kill time: when I have a few hours to kill, I also go there.
- Internet: when I use internet or download heavy document, I bring my laptop to use
- Socialization: Although I focus so much on reading manga, I sometimes go there with my friends or family as a part of socialization.
10 reasons to go to Manga Kissa
Below are the benefits I think of based on 20 years of experience. Some of them might fit depending on your needs.
- Mindfulness: As you are not allowed to speak out loud, it has calm environment which promotes focused reading and even mindfulness.
- Productivity: Some people work there as it can be a productive space. They usually have wifi and a computer.
- Staying however you want: Some people stay for long and it is totally fine. Unlike Starbucks where you buy product and sometimes you feel like you have to leave once you finish (when others don’t have sheet), Manga Kissa has no issue as you buy for time and space.
- Joy: It goes without saying that you get to enjoy manga.
- Cultural: Manga is Japanese great culture, and it is good to know to be part of, if you are interested.
- Socialization: Some might disagree with it, but you can use it for dating and/or socialization (although you cannot talk out loud, it is one way of enjoying the time together)
- Practical: They have a night pack which is usually cheaper than a hotel. Some foreigners started using this place as a hotel. It is also practical to kill a few hours.
- Minimalist: Of course, you don’t have to buy comics. Some people like collecting them, which will take lots of spaces, so Manga Kissa can serve for those who prefer having less things.
- Creative: I don’t’ remember how many times I laughed, cried, and got emotional with creative ways of showing things. I really get inspiration from all those creative mangas
- Learn: Most manga shows fictional stories, and reading them is a great way of learning storytelling.
Some of the manga I like recently
There are so many mangas I like, and I am stating below:
- ワンピース（One Piece）: The story is about an adventure of a pirate team with special powers. This is really a masterpiece (still on-going), creative and I cried/laughed many times.
- キングダム（Kingdom）: It deals with the ancient Chinese Warring States period, focusing on how the Qin state conquered other 6 states. We all know the final result (birth of QIn dynasty), but the journey to that end and so many dramas show us many important things.
- 進撃の巨人（Attack on Titan）: It shows two worldsーinside and outside the wallーand two creaturesーhumans and gigantic man-eating Titan. It is interesting to see how the story entails dramas and sensitive emotions.
- Blue Giant: This is a story of a Japanese guy who pursues his dream of being the number one Jazz player (saxophone). His pure passion gets him to a new world and it is quite inspiring to see pure passion (no fancy special power nor weird creature involved)
- ゴールデンカムイ (Golden Kamuy): It is about an adventure between indigenous tribes and post-war soldiers, and the story takes place in north Japan in the early 1900s. I love this because it shows culture, education, nature, history, animals, interesting and funny stories with specific stories.
- 約束のネバーランド (The Promised Neverland): It shows the 2 sides of the world, chaser (daemons which eat children) and fighter/escaper (children). It actually shows the importance of human development, creativity, nature, mystery, and the importance of training and teamwork.
- JOJO series: This might be one of the most creative pieces. I won’t spoil this but it’s worth reading (very long series though)
- ブルーピリオド (Blue Period): life meaning, training, the importance of art, talent and efforts, consistency, education, friends
- アサドラ (Asadora): This is a new manga by one of my favorite authors (Naoki Urasawa). The story is about post WW2, and it includes a realistic situation of family and poverty back then, as well as unrealistic adventurous drama and gigantic creature.
- And many more!!
The learning of this time
Unlike huge popularity of Japanese comics (manga) across the world, Manga Kissa is not well-known to foreigners and even Japanese, and it definately provides a cultural, educational, creative and practical experience and emvironment.
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