Working from a 24-hour manga cafe in Kyoto, Japan
I decided to spend a week in Kyoto a few weeks ago before leaving South Korea as it was only an hour flight away. I had client work to do that week and since my client is 14 hours behind and the apartment I was staying in wasn't really comfortable to work in, I had to look for 24-hour cafes to work from.
One option is the 24-hour McDonald's and I did work at a few of them. But then I found out about these "manga kissas", which are cafes you go to to read mangas which are usually open 24 hours a day.
As you probably already know, manga is huge in Japan. Everyone here reads mangas, even really old people. I'm not really into manga myself, but I grew up watching lots of animes and most of them were based on some manga series.
The one I went to was called Media Cafe Popeye. My guess is they named it "media cafe" because it's also an Internet cafe and you can watch movies there. The one I went to was located in a basement but it was actually quite nice inside. You tell them how long you want to stay, the more hours the cheaper. The rate is also lower at night after a certain time.
You can pick whether you want to stay in an open area, a private cubicle with a TV and computer, whether you want a reclining chair, etc. I opted for the "business" option which was just a small cubicle (reminds me of corporate days) with a small TV, desktop, monitor, and headphones. They also give you a pair of slippers, a blanket, and a hanger. It was quite small and not much space to really move, but it's comfy enough for working.
I chose the 3-hour pack for 1,020 yen (around $8.50) and comes with unlimited non-alcoholic drinks (coffee, tea, soft drinks) and read as many mangas as you can. They have a big selection but they're all in Japanese so I just checked them out for a little bit and looked at the pictures. Wi-Fi access is also included in the fee.
Since it's a place to go to for reading, it's very quiet inside, like a library. So if you need to make phone calls this is not a place to go to. But to just focus on work it's great.
Another thing to note is these manga cafes could double as accommodation. You could choose the cubicle with a reclining chair and stay there overnight, cheaper than staying at a hostel dorm. There was a shower and even a tanning booth (I think you have to pay a small fee to use them).
So there you go. Whether you just want a quiet place to read from, work from, or sleep in cheaply, check out these 24-hour manga cafes when you're in Japan.
Tags: travel, digital nomad, japan