Manga cafe with 24-hour, all-you-can-eat food might be cheapest place to stay (or live) in Japan

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Food, shelter, shower, and laundry. Everything you need, and for just 2,140 yen (US$19.80) a day.

The term Japanese “manga cafes” doesn’t really do them justice. Sure, they started out as pay-to-read libraries that served drinks, but they quickly started adding amenities like Internet-access PCs and private booths, and Japanese Twitter user @toushikakeichan recently shared a photo of what might be the greatest perk of all: free, unlimited food.

According to the poster on the right, the Gran Customa manga cafe is offering all-you-can-eat takikomigohan. For those who’ve never tried it, takikomigohan is a traditional Japanese rice dish made by putting meat, vegetables, and other fortifying ingredients into the rice cooker along with the rice. Gran Customa even mixes things up by offering different varieties of takikomigohan every day, with the poster touting such tasty versions as chicken, clam, mushroom, and bamboo shoot rice. It’s also available 24 hours a day, meaning you could have takikomigohan for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, if you’re staying long enough, and there’s absolutely no additional charge over Gran Customa’s base usage fee.

The deal gets even better, though, when you couple it with the offers on the left poster. In addition to hourly rate, Gran Customa also has discounted packages for customers who are looking to stay a week, two weeks, or even a full month. With shower and laundry facilities, it’s basically a mini hotel, and the one-month price for a capsule hotel-style bunk (once again, with free food available 24 hours a day), is just 64,208 yen (US$595) after tax, which works out to roughly 2,140 yen (US$19.80) a day.

That’s a ridiculously low amount for room and board, and cheaper even than renting an apartment, considering that at Gran Customa you won’t have to pay electricity, water, gas, or Internet service provider fees. Even if you’re looking to splurge on a private booth or more spacious “cabin,” the one-month rate is just 80,708 yen.

▼ A Gran Customa cabin

▼ Bath

And while Gran Customa only has three branches, two of them are in extremely convenient locations: Shinjuku’s Kabukicho and Yokohama’s Isezakcho, giving guests quick access to downtown sights as well as tons of nightlife options (the third location is just a block away from Kawasaki Station, a convenient, if less glamorous, neighborhood that’s just a short train ride away from Tokyo).

There are a few incidental costs you might need to take into consideration. For instance, the laundry machines are coin-operated, and it’s also not clear if Gran Customa charges an additional fee for soft drinks, or includes them for free as part of its standard price. Still, a few hundred yen here and there for laundry and drinks is pretty easy to swing when the month-long package is so cheap. Oh, and the long-term packages also provide you with towels and pajamas, so you can feel clean and cozy anytime.

While the poster in @toushikakeichan’s photo doesn’t mention anything about the all-you-can-eat takikomigohan being a limited-time deal, it’d probably still a good idea to call ahead and double-check before you drop your Japan travel food budget down to zero, considering how unbelievably generous the offer is, and Gran Customa’s location list can be found here.

Related: Gran Customa
Source: Twitter/@toushikakeichan via Otakomu
Images: Gran Customa
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