Translated by Takuya Ozawa
Any Problem? The Net Café Solves them All!
Written by Marina Maeda
Japan, is the home of manga. You might see lots of manga in every single book store, which are internationally famous. Do you want to try some?
The bad news is that most of the manga in book stores are tied with vinyl tapes so that you can’t read them for free and you’ll never ever have enough money to buy ALL the manga you'll want. The good news is that you have net cafés here in Japan! Not only you can read as much manga as you want, but also you can use the internet and drink as much as you want too!
I’ll show you guys how to use net cafés by taking “メディアカフェポパイ天王寺店” in Osaka as an example.
Let me in!
Net cafés can be found here and there in Japan but most of them are basically near train stations. Thanks to this, it is pretty easy to find them if you are near a train station so you can quickly get to one even if you missed the last train of the day.
I’ll show you the process flow from the entrance.
1. Go inside and create a member card
Although it depends on the net café, most of them have membership system and require you to make a member card on your first visit. Note that you have to fill in information such as your name and address. Even though you will only use the net café once, just write your home address and phone number.
It costs about 210 yen to make a member card. Once you have made one, you can permanently use it for the same net café or net cafés in the same group.
2. Select the room type to use
In net cafés, you’ll stay in private rooms separated with walls.
For example, “メディアカフェポパイ天王寺店” has 4 types of room: open space, reclining, flat and two people, which have different prices respectively.
Other net cafés also have room grades, so you should ask the staff about what is different.
- (1) Table type
It is a seat which only has a PC, a table, a chair and half partition boards to keep your privacy from the next seats. Only this type is not a private room but it charges a lower fee than other types.
- (2) Reclining seat type
It is a private room with a reclining chair, which is the most popular type among net café users. You can lower the back of the chair if you want to take a nap or even pass the night,
- (3) Flat type
It is a private room with a sheeted floor where you can lie down. You have to take off your shoes before entering this room.
- (4) Twin seat type
It is a room for when you want to use a private room with a friend or your boyfriend/girlfriend. It has a larger space than other types and also has a large sofa where you can relax.
It’s time to go to the room if you have decided which type to use.
3. Get a ticket at the reception and go to the room with the number specified on your ticket
All the rooms have their own numbers and you have to go to the one with the number specified on your ticket. As shown in the picture, bookshelves and rooms are kind of mixed up, so it might be better to check where the manga you want to read is before you get to your room.
Optional services which make you feel at home
You might just want to do nothing but read manga in your room, however, there are optional services in net cafés which are useful especially for those who stay for a long time. Let’s take a look.
- Free drink service
Almost all net cafés offer a free drink service where you can get drinks and even soups without any additional fee on the room charge. You can use this service freely while staying in the net café.
- Shower room
Shower rooms are one of the useful facilities net cafés have and they are offered in almost all net cafés. They are empty most of the time but could be fully occupied from evening to night since many people use net cafés during that period.
It is up to the net café whether it is free to use shower rooms or not. You need to go to the reception with your ticket and talk to the staff if you want to use a shower room.
In net cafés, you can print out maps or information gained from the internet. There is no printer in private rooms but there are printers by the side of the reception (note that you will be charged an additional fee for printing out).
Matters to be noted
Unlike hotels or capsule hotels, there is no roof on net café rooms. Be careful as it will bother others if you listen to music or play video games on high volume. In addition, it is quiet in net cafés and it will be very noisy if you talk in a loud voice. Although you are in a private room, it is good manners to behave quietly.
Let me clarify that what I’ve introduced you this time is only for “メディアカフェポパイ天王寺店”, and prices or available options really depend on which net café you use. I consider “メディアカフェポパイ天王寺店” to be one with substantial facilities and services among many in Japan.
Just visit one and feel at home with good manners.
*Net cafés can be found here and there in Japan.
Media Cafe Popeye Tennouji Branch Store (メディアカフェポパイ天王寺店)
Address：AIT building 4F, 2-1-29 Abenosuji, Abenoku, Osakashi
Business hours：24 hours
Credit cards：Available (Edy)
Nearest station：JR Tennoji station
Access：3 minutes walk from JR line "Tennoji station" exit 13
/ 3 minutes walk from Kintetsu line "Abenobashi station" exit 1
/ 3 minutes walk from Osaka municipal subway tanimachi line, midosuji line "Tennoji station" exit 9
Official web site：http://www.media-cafe.ne.jp/