Unique Tokyo Café Only Serves Struggling Writers Working on Tight Deadlines

The Manuscript Writing Café in Tokyo, Japan only caters to writers working on tight deadlines, providing the motivation and assistance required to make sure they meet those deadlines.

Japan is no stranger to offbeat cafes that sometimes inspire worldwide trends. Remember cat cafes? That popular trend originated in the Asian country, as did, maid cafes, owl cafes, reptile cafes, and even a cafe dedicated to female thighs. And those are just a handful of examples; in reality, Japan has come up with a plethora of intriguing cafe concepts, and somehow keeps coming up with new ones. The latest example is the Manuscript Writing Café in Tokyo’s Koenji neighborhood, a venue that only welcomes writers struggling to meet their deadlines.

Photo: Takuya Kawai/Twitter

“The Manuscript Writing Cafe only allows in people who have a writing deadline to face!” owner Takuya Kawai tweeted. “It’s in order to maintain a level of focus and tense atmosphere at the cafe! Thank you for your understanding.”

The cafe, which only opened a few days ago, charges patrons by time used (it operates at a rate of 150 yen or $1.32 per 30 minutes), and is equipped with USB ports, computer stands, and free Wi-Fi. Struggling writers can also bring their own food and drinks, or have it delivered there since coffee and water are the only things available, but it’s pretty strict when it comes to the actual writing.

Although the Manuscript Writing Cafe actually accepts a wide range of writers, from translators and copywriters to novelists and proofreaders, the rules are the same for everyone. When entering the cafe, patrons must write down at the reception desk how many words they plan to write and by what time they plan to finish. Every hour, a member of the staff will come by to check on their progress and apply a predetermined pressure level to help move things along.

For example, opting for the “S” course will have the cafe staff more aggressively pushing you to get the work done, while the “M” course involves a more mild approach. It’s all based on what kind of person you are, and what works better for you, I guess.

However, the craziest rule of the Manuscript Writing Cafe is that writers are not allowed to end their session until reaching their declared goal or until the place closes down for the day, whichever comes first. It’s not clear how the cafe enforces this rule, but it is meant to keep patrons from declaring ambitious targets that they won’t be able to meet.

The space in which the Manuscript Writing Cafe operates is actually a recording and broadcasting studio called Koenji Sankakuchitai. The cafe itself is only open when the studio isn’t, so you won’t be able to go every day. However, Takuya Kawai makes sure to always announce the next date that the cafe will be open. For example, this month, the Manuscript Writing Cafe will be open on the 20th next.

The guys at SoraNews24 recently featured the Manuscript Writing Cafe and the wacky concept went viral on social media. While some found it intriguing, others said that it was too much pressure.

“If it were me, I would no longer be able to leave the store and would end up having to live there,” one person commented.

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