Japanese work environments are infamous for their old fashion and frustratingly slow rate of development when it comes to keeping up with new international standards.
It's no wonder then, that Tokyo is starting to see individuals and private businesses move away from the traditional workplace and modernises with an increasing number of people working remotely.
With so many individuals starting to ditch the traditional office space, both residents and international travellers working on the go, the question becomes: Where's the best place to get work done?
If you have ever had to work remotely, you know that home can sometimes be a hazard to productivity; too many familiar distractions that keep you from reaching your goals. Cafes and the noises that go along with them can be just as bad, especially in some of Tokyo's more populated areas.
Below is a list of different types of co-working spaces located in the Tokyo area that offer everything you need to keep focused and stay productive.
JR East's Station Work
Definitely one of the more unique Japanese solutions to remote work on this list, JR East's work stations are designed for digital nomads that are always on the move.
JR East's describes their work stations as a “shared office within the train station.” Private cubicles installed near the ticket gates of popular stations such as; Shinjuku Station, Tachikawa Station, Tokyo Station - Nihombashi gate and Tokyo Station - Shimbashi gate.
Designed to fit one person, with some units having room for two, these private cubicles can act as a mini oasis for those who find themselves having to be constantly travelling to meet clients and need to get work done in-between meetings.
These enclosed booths have their own climate control air-conditioning and desk equipped with power outlets, Wi-Fi, and a computer monitor with an HDMI cable for your laptop.
How to use: To use these booths you will need to register online beforehand. The process is simple, but does require you to input payment card details. Once registered, you can book a booth online or simply drop into a vacant booth you come across. Your online account has a QR code linked with it and all you have to do is scan the code to gain access to your booth of choice.
Pricing: Starting at 162 yen per 15 minutes which makes these work stations competitive with most other drop-in co-working spaces.
The booths allow you to pay using a Suica or Pasmo card, which is a convenient option since you are already in the train station.
Get more information at their official website: JR East's Station Work
WeWork is a coworking space that focuses on community and design. If you are looking for an office space that feels modern and gives you opportunities to meet like-minded people, then WeWork is a great place to start.
WeWork opened in 2010 and have around 25 offices all over Tokyo to choose from, which include areas such as Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Omotesando, Ginza and more.
What makes WeWork stand out on this list their focus on holding community events and conferences in an attempt to bring people together and help you foster relationships to develop your business goals.
For those looking to for an office away from home, WeWork offers 3 main options to choose from.
- Hot Desk: An on-demand workspace that gives you access to any open seat in their coworking areas.
- Dedicated Desk: A private desk space that is solely for you and your business.
- Labs Desk: aimed at enterprises seeking a shared space where they can find community and mentorship.
All of the above gives you access to WeWork's wide array of amenities such as 24/7 building access, high-speed Wi-Fi, conference rooms, private phone booths, printing, post and package handling, on-site staff support and more.
How to use: You can gain access to WeWork's collection of co-working spaces by signing up through their website and choosing which office you would like to register with.
Pricing: Starting from around 50,000 Yen per month depending on your desired location and working space. WeWork is a great option for those who miss the social interaction of colleagues in a traditional office job.
Get more information at their official website: WeWork
WeWork's local competitor Tokyu's NewWork also operates co-working spaces in Tokyo, but it is targeted to 100+ people companies at this time – so purely mentioned here for reference only. If you are a CEO or just curious, visit NewWork's site for more.
One of the largest co-working spaces on this list able to seat 250 people. Entry is entirely free and the Yahoo Lodge can be found in Nagatacho, Tokyo. Yahoo Lodge is a great place for those looking for a workspace that isn't home or a cafe without having to commit to memberships with monthly fees.
The view from Yahoo's building is also a treat for those who want to enjoy the sight of Tokyo's cityscape between emails while sitting at a window seat. Yahoo Lodge is equipped to host both teams and individuals with its selection of window seats, rocking chairs, standing decks and hammocks - yes, hammocks!
There are also isolated deck spaces for individuals looking to focus on their work without distractions. However, due to the open office design, silence is hard to find and ambient noise will be present, but if you plan on bringing a pair of headphones it's not a problem. The co-working space comes equipped with such amities as; Free WIFI, Outlets and extension cords, PC monitors, Whiteboards, kitchen area and cafeteria.
How to use: Access to the Yahoo Lodge is completely free, but you are required to bring some form of official ID and fill out a short registration form before entering. Their opening hours are Mon-Sun 9:00–21:00 with holiday's operating hours announced on their homepage.
Pricing: Entrance and use of the co-working space is entirely free. Those looking to take advantage of co-working spaces cafeteria should note that they only accept IC cards as a form of payment, so remember to charge your card before you arrive.
Get more information at their official website: Yahoo Lodge
Hapon Shinjuku is a co-working space looking to make things as simple as possible for digital nomads looking for a place to work. Located next to Shinjuku station, Hapon has introduced their "Traveller Ticket" option who are looking for hassle-free co-working space experience.
With no paperwork or longterm commitment required, Hapon's "Traveller Ticket" initiative gives people the option to purchase tickets for on-the-day access to their co-working space. You can choose from a 5-day or 10-day ticket books, which gives you the ability to drop-in and work on days of your choosing.
Hapon Shinjuku has English friendly speaking staff, so don't worry if you don't speak Japanese. The facility comes equipped with high-speed Wi-Fi, conference spaces, meeting rooms, communal desks for collaborating and individual desks for focussed work.
How to use: No Paperwork, application fees, credit card or compulsory commitment required. Just buy or handover a ticket and then get to work. Tickets don't have expiry dates and can be used by anyone, meaning you don't have to worry about when you decide to use them and you're always able to bring a friend with you.
Pricing: Starting at 8,000 yen for 5 tickets and 14,000 yen for a 10 ticket book. Opening hours are Weekdays: 10:00～19:00 and Saturdays: 11:00～18:00.
Get more information at their official website: Hapon Shinjuku
Potential the most international friendly co-working space on this list, Ginza Hub gives foreign entrepreneur minded individuals a place to get their business off the ground and running.
Ginza Hub not only offers you a place to work on your business, but can put you in direct contact with services and experts that can help your business grow through their "Hire an Expert" directory. The directory is mainly composed of international individuals that specialise in doing business in Japan such as business coaches, photographers, videographers, accountants and lawyers.
Ginza Hub is owned by Robert Millar, an Australian entrepreneur who created the co-working space after working in Japan for 27 years; 18 of which was as a business consultant. It is located a few minutes walk from Higashi Ginza, Tsukiji Shijo and Shimbashi stations in central Tokyo.
How to use: The co-working space offers "Visitors" the ability to just drop-in and use any table or desk available alongside amenities such as high-speed WiFi, power-outlets to charge devices and free coffee, tea and snacks. Ginza Hub is open to visitors from 11 am to 6 pm weekdays, but those who become members gain access to the co-working space 24 hours, 7 days a week alongside additional perks like use of the conference/event room and optional postal address and private post box.
Pricing: Ginza Hub offers a simple pay-by-the-hour or day-pass for those wanting to use the "Visitor" access to the workspace. For 700 Yen per hour or 3000 Yen for the day, a "Visitor" can gain access to co-working space with no contract or deposit needed.
For ¥25,000 a month you get 24-hour access, a Ginza mailing address, meeting & event space, and other benefits.
Get more information at their official website: Ginza Hub
For those looking for something a little more off the beaten path, the co-working space Base Point offers a relatively low-key workspace in the busy Shinjuku area.
Approximately a 10-minute walk from Shinjuku Station's West Exit, Base Point can best be described as a "working-cafe". The co-working space allows you to pay by the hour for the use of their shared space or private room and gives you access to free drinks and good Wifi. Base Point offers simple, but good meals for those looking to eat something while working, keeping you from wandering off from your work for too long. If you like the feeling of working in a cafe, but want to avoid the noise the often companies it from non-workers, then Base Point might be the place for you.
How it works: For those of you familiar with Manga Cafes, the payment system will feel familiar and is pretty simple. When arriving at Base Point, you will receive a receipt that records your arrival time and when you are finished with your work, you hand your receipt to the register to pay your bill.
Pricing: The longer you stay working the greater the discount on your final bill, but on average you will find yourself paying 60 Yen for every 10 minutes after the first hour. E.g. 1 Hour: ¥480 / 3 Hours: ¥1,000 / 5 Hours: ¥1,500 / 1 Day: ¥1,890
Get more information at their official website: BasePoint
iiOffice is a well-designed co-working space for those looking to avoid having to step foot in the often overcrowded areas of such as Shibuya and Shinjuku.
iiOffice opened in Ueno, Tokyo on September 8, 2014 and is located just minutes away from JR Ueno Station. This modern-looking co-working space is reasonably priced and has a selection of local nearby restaurants to choose from - great for a client meeting or if you just need a good meal.
The iiOffice boasts a respectable 200 square meter open space available to both non-members and members alike. If you are looking for a place that gives you a bit of privacy to focus in on your work, the space offers 27 private rooms and booths that are available to rent.
The open co-working space is divided into two parts: an open wood-decor area outfitted with a mix of booths and four-person tables and a more traditional office like zone at the back - a space for those looking for little noise and no distractions.
During your stay, you get access to a full kitchen equipped with a free coffee and tea with other drinks and snacks being able for purchase.
How to use: iiOffice tries to keep things simple. Remote workings looking to simply drop-in, can do so by just by walking up to the front desk and paying for the amount of time you plan to use - easy. You can sign up and become a member through their online website which will give you access to monthly membership plans with them.
Their opening hours are: Mon-Fri 10: 00 am -22: 00 pm Sat-Sun 10: 00 am -20: 00 pm
Pricing: For those interested in the open space options, iiOffice offers a rate of 500 Yen for the first 2 hours or 2000 Yen for the whole day. Their memberships start as low as 8000 Yen per month depending on your needs and working hours - pricing works out favourable for those that are looking for a place to work from in the evening.
Get more information at their official website: iiOffice
Spaces is a co-working brand operated by Regus-parent IWG, with two branches currently located in Shinagawa and Otemachi. The Shinagawa office is located in one of the world’s most thriving business centres and is conveniently only a few minutes walk from the Konan exit of Shinagawa Station.
Otemachi is a hot spot for government-affiliated financial institutions, banks, trading companies and media houses, making Spaces Otemachi co-working office great for anyone looking to be at the centre of Tokyo's economic hub.
Spaces Otemachi is located on the ground floor of a large building in the Otemachi district that has a capacity of 10,000 Square meters. Spaces Otemachi offers not only a co-working area, but an event space, meeting rooms and a barista cafe for those that enjoy a good coffee while working or want to expand their network with those around them.
Spaces is a membership only co-working space that offers users 3 different options depending on your working needs.
- Standard co-working membership: Acess to Spaces's facilities and use of any available working spaces.
- Dedicated Desk: Gives you your own personal desk that you can work from every day.
- Office Space: a dedicated office for you or your team to work from.
How to use: You can sign up to become a member through Spaces's official website. The website is in English, so for nonjapanese-speaking, you should have no problem with the sign-up process.
For those of you who like yo try before you buy, Spaces offers you the chance to tour around the co-working space before committing to anything.
Pricing: Membership starts from 44,300 yen per month and prices for those looking to have their own private office start from 109,500 Yen per month. Spaces offers a free trial to potential members before committing to monthly payments by filling out a contact form on their website.
Get more information at their official website: Spaces, Tokyo