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Thread: Blogging the Net Cafe

  1. #1
    anti-semantics Pub Quiz Champion tsurara may be famous one day tsurara may be famous one day tsurara's Avatar
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    Blogging the Net Cafe

    Tonight I'm spending the night at the WiP, an internet and comic cafe in central Takamatsu (part of a nationwide chain) and thought I'd take the chance to talk about net/comic cafe culture in Japan while I'm at it.

    The place I'm staying:
    ƒƒCƒv‚¼Š¢’¬‚P’š–Ú“X[ƒCƒ“ƒ^[ƒlƒbƒgƒJƒtƒF^–Ÿ‰æ‹i’ƒ]

    How much: A "night pack" at the WiP (10 hours from 9pm onward) is 2,200yen (approx US$20). Upon check in you recieve a small clipboard with the time of check in and your booth number printed on it. You pay the balance on check-out (bringing the slip to the counter with you when you leave).

    The Membership: Recently, net cafes have begun to ID their patrons and require membership cards to keep track of their customers. This practice began after Japan's homeless population learned that it was possible to check into an internet cafe and never check out! In one case, it was more than a month before a homeless net-cafe squatter was caught and thrown out!

    The Booth: Quite a few different booth types are available, including lower-cost public-booths without privacy screens, private laptop hook-ups, regular seats, reclining seats with footstools, and loveseats designed to share with a friend. Tonight I'm staying in a recliner-booth.

    My own booth is about the size of a small bathroom and includes:
    -A desk/reading lamp
    -a universal cellphone charger
    -headphones
    -a pc/tv with a huge flatscreen monitor, keyboard and mouse
    -remote control (for the tv functions)
    -a PS2
    -a trashcan
    -a coat-hanger
    -a footstool
    -a reclining chair

    Also in my booth is a plethora of online gaming advertisements and a menu for food available at the counter.

    Services: Use of the net cafe includes free use of clean, neatly-folded blankets, a shower, a free drink (including an assortment of coffees, teas, soft drinks, iced-drinks, and smoothies), hot water for making instant noodles, and bathrooms.

    Movies: I'm going to start out tonight by checking out the movies... every month or so, the movies loaded onto the network change. This month my options are: Transformers, ZODIAC, Lucky You, Sakuran, Emporer, Bayside Shakedown 2, Warau Datenshi, DEATH NOTE -The Last Name-, UDON, Happy Feet, BABEL, The Reaping, Freedom Writers, Watashi wo Sukii ni Tsuretette, Sahara, 300, The Shooter, Aiden and Titi, Kurai Tokoro de Machiawase, Secretary, The Holiday, Andalucia no Natsu, In The Cut, The Grudge, September 11th, Francisco's Two Sons, Blood Diamond, Rabu Songu ga Dekiru Made, Smokin Aces, Perfume, Boku wa Imouto ni Koisuru, Koneko Monogatari, The Departed, Dreamgirls, An Inconvenient Truth, Kachikomi!, Lakeside Murders, Spiderman, Spiderman 2, Charlotte's Web, Nacho Libre, and a handful of others...

    Sure beats the hell out of the selection on the plane!

    You can take a peek at the list for yourself here: ƒlƒbƒgƒJƒtƒFŒü‚¯“®‰æ”zMƒT [ƒrƒX

    I'm going to cozy up to ZODIAC, because even though I've already seen it: it's a fabulous movie and I want to watch it again for free So after I've finished my tea and my serial killer movie, I'll update this thread with more net-cafe goodness...

    Also available on the watchable front: the entire "Shinigami no Ballad" live action series (10 episodes), The entire "Space Cruiser Yamato" anime, about 15 soft-core bouncy-model flicks, and a handful of hard porn for the so-inclined.

    Gaming: Net cafes in Japan are great for gamers. You can get your fix in a pleasant, convenient atmosphere without distraction...and best of all, completely for free! And with a Playstation 2 in most of the booths along with a huge selection of single and multiplayer games available to borrow completely free of charge: it's a bored gamer's paradise.

    Currently available for free play through PC: Yogurting, Mabinogi, Asgard, Tales Weaver, Maple Story, Emil Chronicle, Trickster, Tantra, Jinsei Game Online, ROSE, Pangya, Mu, Lineage, Silk Road, Ragnarok Online, RED STONE, Nemurenai Daichi Chronos, CABAL, Lineage 2, Ragnarok Online II

    Unfortunately, I've got a conference tomorrow... so I'm going to forgo the gaming to get some sleep...

    Reading Material: 5:00am and I'm up from my sleeping. I couldn't leave without cramming in a few hours of my favorite part of any Japanese media cafe - the comics!

    WIP has, on my count, 60 floor to ceiling bookshelves full of comics to choose from. Add to that a magazine rack to rival any small bookstore and you could spend a year in this place just reading. While some collections are more complete than others (shounen and seinen comics are pretty much ALL here... anything you could possibly want), others are incomplete (shoujo is somewhat represented... with full collections of Hana to Yume, Nakayoshi, flower, princess and margaret comics along with a good selection of smaller labels). There's also a smattering of josei, independant and boys love titles... mostly older stuff, but nearly always GOOD stuff.

    New comics arrive quickly and are featured prominently in the front of the shop, often with multiple copies available (so you don't need to wait for the really popular stuff).

    Today I've grabbed "WEST END" 1 -3 (boys love) and "To Loveru", a shounen romantic comedy being made in anime this spring season.

    To update: "WEST END" was meh... but I'll finish it next time I visit. "To Loveru" was lame... I guess I won't be watching it :P

    Checked out just before 7:00 am and camped out at McDonalds before the start of the conference, freshening up with convenience-store hairspray, toothbrushes and facial cleanser.

    Japan is great sometimes.

    FOR COMPARISON:
    -a round-trip ferry ticket (2,100yen)... 2 days go and come back: 4,200 yen
    -5 hours of heating my apartment (300 yen)
    -a love/business hotel (4,000-6,000yen)
    -a regular hotel (8,000-15,000yen)

    in other words: it costs half as much to stay at the net cafe as it does to go home or overnight at a hotel on a day I need to go back the next morning.
    Last edited by tsurara; Jan 19, 2008 at 05:16 AM.

  2. #2
    I'm all ears. Hassun has disabled reputation
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    Re: Blogging the Net Cafe

    Man that's a whole difference to just getting a desk and a computer with one game and internet on it.
    Must be addictive as well.

  3. #3
    Ever So Awesome Kaboom Champion, Archery Champion, Crazy Pool 2 Champion, Ninja-Boy Champion, Bubble Shooter Champion zyta may be famous one day zyta may be famous one day zyta's Avatar
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    Re: Blogging the Net Cafe

    i really envy you right now... You're so lucky! Have fun!

    Visit my blog: Rewriting Life

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    Otaku Evol may be famous one day Evol may be famous one day Evol's Avatar
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    Re: Blogging the Net Cafe

    you need to come adopt me, smuggle me over in your luggage, and then abandon me at one of these magnificent little places. I'll just stow away under one of the loveseats and steal snacks to sustain myself.

    I suppose music-wise you're good with the pc, although a radio/music network would be nice.

  5. #5
    Otaku Tetsanosuke Kirikami is off to a good start Tetsanosuke Kirikami's Avatar
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    Re: Blogging the Net Cafe

    Wow. That's awesome stuff! o-o;

    I wish we had those here in the US... Somewhat. x3

    "Walk in with Reason, and leave with Passion."

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    Otaku Fish Hunter 2 Champion, Ice Mania Champion, Pigeon Hunter Champion, Bear & Cat Champion exderz may be famous one day exderz may be famous one day exderz's Avatar
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    Re: Blogging the Net Cafe

    oh that looks fun we have thoes too in china though -.-, only ours is cheaper is like 10/per hour yuan which is ( 1 CAD sumthing here )

  7. #7
    Otaku ILikeApples5520 is off to a good start ILikeApples5520's Avatar
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    Re: Blogging the Net Cafe

    And you got that all for 20 bucks?

    It just goes to show how badly companies a ripping off U.S. citizens.

    A regular internet cafe pack in the US would cost $30.

    It also goes to show that Japan is paradise for everyone ages 15-35(At least, anyway). Technology light-years ahead of everyone else. Super iCafe's. Porno vending machines on some street corners(not completely sure this is true; from wavering sources) And of course, Anime and Manga.

    If I was older than 16, and if I had the money and time, my gf and I would learn Japanese and move to Tokyo.


    Thanks to _gwenibe_ for this awesome sig!

  8. #8
    I'm all ears. Hassun has disabled reputation
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    Re: Blogging the Net Cafe

    Quote Originally Posted by ILikeApples5520 View Post
    And you got that all for 20 bucks?

    It just goes to show how badly companies a ripping off U.S. citizens.

    A regular internet cafe pack in the US would cost $30.
    If you think that's ripping off you should check out Europe.

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