Manga Art Hotel Tokyo: What it’s like to spend a night surrounded by 5,000 Japanese manga

Welcome to a dreamworld where you can stay up all night reading manga on a bed inside a bookshelf. 

Earlier this year, we were thrilled to hear about a brand new capsule hotel opening in downtown Tokyo, which promised to make all our bedtime story dreams come true with the announcement that it would contain over 5,000 manga titles.

Needless to say, the February opening date was marked in bold on our calendars, and when the Manga Art Hotel finally opened to the public, our reporter Masami was one of the first to step inside its doors.

▼ When she arrived at the street entrance, her heart was pounding with excitement at what she might find inside.

▼ The Manga Art Hotel is split into two levels, with the men’s quarters on the fifth floor and the women’s area on the fourth floor.

After checking in at the reception on the fifth floor, Masami picked up an entry key and headed down to the fourth floor, which had a sleek and modern entrance.

As soon as the door opened, Masami wanted to squeal with delight because all she could see was manga. Glossy new manga on the lower shelves, unopened classics on the higher shelves, colourful covers over by the window…it was like all her wildest dreams had come true and she decided then and there that she never wanted to leave.

While she didn’t see any people around at first, she did see some sets of shoes, which meant people were already inside their capsules. It added a cute look to the space, as it made it seem like people had been magically whisked out of their shoes and into the pages of their favourite manga.

As she walked along, she almost forgot that this was a hotel, as all the little capsules were beautifully flush with the bookshelves in which they were hidden, and covered with pale curtains that fit in nicely with the light decor. Once she’d found her bunk, she was happy to discover books set up right outside her bed, and they were so close she could simply reach out and grab one from the shelf while lying down inside.

These titles came highly recommended, with English and Japanese introductions giving a brief summary of the manga for visitors.

Pillow Fish by panpanya was one of the recommended books on display.

Masami was also pleased to find that her capsule was painted all white, which made it feel warm and inviting. There was a comfortable mattress, cosy pillows, two hangers, a safe, and a light switch and power points inside.

After checking out the capsule, Masami headed out to have a look around the hotel. There was a terrace so that guests could sit outside with a book during warmer weather…

▼ And some guidelines, which included a request to be quiet in the hotel after 10 p.m. and a limit of five manga per person at one time.

Masami was keen to start reading, so she went and had a shower and got changed into a set of comfortable pyjamas, which she rented for 500 yen.

After browsing the shelves, she picked out a selection of manga to enjoy in bed. According to staff, the manga collections on the fourth and fifth floors are different, so all guests are free to browse the manga titles on both floors until 7 p.m. However, if there’s a title you know you want but it’s on a different floor, staff will be able to fetch it for you after 7 p.m. upon request.

Masami was happy with the manga she’d selected, but she was a bit concerned that the shower she’d had earlier would make her drowsy and send her off to sleep before she’d had a chance to read anything.

However, she needn’t have worried because the whole experience, including the manga she’d chosen, was so exciting that she ended up reading book after book until…she realised it was four in the morning.

She decided to get in a couple of hours of sleep before checkout, but when she awoke later, she was tempted to go and browse all those shelves again!

Masami restrained herself from reading more manga, and begrudgingly headed to the exit to make her way home. She still wishes she could live here every day and is keen to recommend it to everyone, as it has a good selection of English and Japanese manga, and most of the titles are so delightfully image-heavy that the manga can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of their native language.

Hotel information
Manga Art Hotel, Tokyo / マンガアートホテルトーキョー
Address: Tokyo-to, Chiyoda-ku, Kanda Nishikicho, 1-14-13 Landpool Kanda Terrace 4th/5th floor
東京都千代田区神田錦町1-14-13 ランドプール神田テラス4F・5F
Website

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