“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.
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.
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.