The right cafe can be a great place for a writer to get some work done. Unfortunately, many cafes can be noisy, packed and distracting, making it hard to get into your creative zone.
Opened last week in Tokyo’s Koenji neighborhood, the aptly-titled Manuscript Writing Cafe was made purely with writers in mind.
For you to even get a seat, you first gotta let a staff member know what type of writing you’ll be doing. A wide range of writing forms from novels and magazine articles to copywriters and even manga storyboarding seem to grant you access to their primordial writer’s heaven. Finally, they require an intended writing goal for your time there.
Inside, seats are writer-ready, equipped with power and charger outlets, cooling stands and wi-fi. Writers can also request varying levels of verbal pressure from staff members, ensuring progress is being made.
You can enjoy extremely reasonable prices and unlimited refills of drip coffee for your stay there. Every 30 minutes, writers are only charged 150 yen ($1.20). The clever caveat is that you’re not allowed to end your session until you achieve the day’s writing goal, or the cafe closes for the night. These small details help create the necessary tension to inspire writers to be productive. A recent tweet from the owner highlights the cafe’s goal:
“Only people with a deadline looming can be admitted to the Manuscript Writing Cafe!” tweets owner Takuya Kawai. “Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in maintaining the cafe’s sense of tension.”
The cafe offers a simple menu because it isn’t ordinarily a cafe, it’s primarily a recording and broadcasting studio called Koenji Sankakuchitai. This means that Manuscript Writing Cafe only operates on the studio’s down days. In place of a menu, writers are allowed to bring their own food, briefly leave to stop by a convenience store and have food delivered as well.
Manuscript Writing Cafe is usually open 1 - 7pm when the studio isn’t operating. For updates you can check out their website.