Japan’s Net Cafe Residents

There’s a sadness in Japan in that land, property, housing, apartments, and almost everything else is expensive. The average cost of an apartment is over ¥2,500 per square meter. (Just over $20 per square meter.) Given an average Tokyo apartment, if such a thing exists, rent can vary from ¥39,000 to ¥125,000 or $321 to $1,028. That may not sound bad until you realize that the size of the apartment is about the size of a room in the average American house.

Rent, food, the cost of living, it all adds up… except when it doesn’t. Many temp workers won’t make enough to afford renting an apartment of their own. Sometimes they’ll get a roomate.

And sometimes they’ll find refuge at an Internet cafe. where they can rent a computer space and live in it. We’re talking about an area smaller than a walk in closet. That’s their home, where they can sleep, eat, watch television, get online, and, hopefully, leave behind.

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