It’s a delicate balance, finding a good coffee to write with. It should be loud enough but not too loud, have good drinks and a bathroom open to the public, and, of course, have good Wi-Fi. For any writers in Japan or intending to get there, there’s a new cafe that won’t let them go until they hit their deadline.
the Handwriting coffee, which opened last week in Tokyo’s Koenji district, was created specifically for writers. To book time at the cafe, customers have to do some kind of writing, from novels and magazine articles to editors and even manga storyboarding, as long as the pen practically touches the paper. The other requirement for the coffee stay is a planned writing goal for your time there.
The shop provides writers with power and charger outlets, cooling pads, and Wi-Fi to make things as user-friendly as possible. Writers also have access to unlimited drip coffee refills to help them get through any writer’s block.
Editors can also request different levels of verbal pressure from staff members to ensure progress is being made. Every 30 minutes, to give writers a sense of urgency and help them meet their deadline, writers are charged 150 yen or $1.20. Not only will customers be charged every half hour, but customers also won’t be able to leave until they’ve reached the writing goal for the day or the cafe closes for the night.
Unfortunately, the Handwriting coffee cannot currently offer writers much more than coffee, but writers can bring their own food, stop briefly at a convenience store, or have food delivered. The cafe is operated from a recording and broadcasting studio called Koenji Sankakuchitai, so it is only open on public holidays when the studio is not in use for recording a show. The Manuscript Writing Cafe is generally open from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. when the studio is not operating.