Manuscript Writing Cafe – where writers facing deadlines can’t leave till their work is done

Japan maybe known as the ‘land of the rising sun’, but its bustling, neon-lit capital, Tokyo houses many cute and sometimes weird themed-cafes from micro pig cafes to maid cafes and anime-themed cafes. But one cafe has been recently making headlines: the Manuscript Writing Cafe, a cafe where writers facing deadlines can’t leave till their work has been completed. No, really.

Manuscript Writing Cafe - exterior

Located in the city’s Koenji neighbourhood, Manuscript Writing Cafe is a place for writers, editors, proofreaders, video producers or manga artists struggling with the distractions of the home or office.

Manuscript Writing Cafe - goal

According to the site, when you enter the cafe, you’ll first receive a card. Proceed to fill it out to indicate your work goal. For example, ‘Finish a 2,000-word manuscript’ or ‘Write a 2 page paper’. Don’t forget to indicate what time you plan on getting it done! The manager will ask you about your progress every hour. And the trick is, you are not able move on to the checkout process until your goal is met.

Manuscript Writing Cafe - writer

You can also request for progress checks from the staff as you work. These ‘checks’ come in 3 different levels, mild, normal and hard. Mild would just be the staff asking you if you have completed your work when you pay right at the end. ‘Normal’ however would be a check-in from the staff on an hourly basis and if you select ‘hard’, you’ll get to feel the pressure of a staff standing behind you as you attempt to complete your work.

Manuscript Writing Cafe’s proprietor, Takuya Kawai added on the site that “Everyone in the café is working on a manuscript with an imminent deadline. This unique sense of tension like studying for an exam in a library will really stimulate your creative work!”

Manuscript Writing Cafe - interior

The cafe charges 130 yen (RM4.18) / (S$1.29) for the first 30 minutes and then 300 yen (RM9.65) / (S$2.97) every successive hour. Though a few people have stayed past the official closing time, they have all eventually gotten their work done!

Do you dare enter the Manuscript Writing Cafe as a way to complete your deadline?

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