by Kirsty Munro
If you live in Tokyo, you probably have a small apartment where everything is within easy reach; even the walls. When it’s just you and your laptop in a small space, it can be hard to stay motivated. Here are some of our favorite workspaces and third spaces, when you need coffee, connection and inspiration.
Outdoor and free spaces
Since there are so many inspiring spaces, we’re running this as a series. Part one takes advantage of the spring weather, now that it’s finally warming up in Tokyo. So, charge up your devices and get out in the fresh air.
Share Green Minami Aoyama
It’s right in the city, and yet, you’ll feel like you’re in California as you lounge on the lawn, surrounded by colorful, low-slung buildings and an impressive garden of succulents. Wi-Fi can be a bit patchy, but you can head inside Little Darling Coffee Roasters for a stronger signal and a fresh brew. It’s a short walk from Aoyama Itchome and Nogizaka Station, and there’s plenty of free bicycle parking.
Hours: 8am-8pm every day.
On a sunny day, head to the rooftop of the Shinjuku Marui Main Building, which has a formal English garden with a fountain and bench seats. You can use the free Wi-Fi from Marui, after registering. Although it can be busy at lunchtime with office workers, you’ll often get the place to yourself, along with sweeping views across the Shinjuku rooftops.
Hours: 11am-8pm every day.
The new Shibuya Stream development near Shibuya Station’s south exit has two hours free Wi-Fi (you can reconnect after two hours) and plenty of seating next to the canal, running all the way to Shibuya Bridge and Daikanyama. There’s also a large Starbucks with indoor and terrace seating, and free Wi-Fi. On 2F there are coin lockers, an ATM, and a Yamato Transport service center for sending out parcels.
Hours: 6.50am – midnight
We like Ginza Terrace at Ginza Mitsukoshi for its plentiful seating, attractive gardens and large lawn for stretching out. There are cafes and restaurants on the same floor, when you need a break (the ice cream at Minori Cafe is a must). It can get busy with families on weekends, but at other times, you can usually find a quiet place to work. If you need a little divine intervention, visit the Ginza Shusse Jizoson shrine on the terrace to pray for professional success. Ginza Free Wi-Fi works in central Ginza, including the rooftops of Mitsukoshi and Matsuya Ginza; select @GinzaFree SSID, accept the terms of service and you’re good to go.
Hours: 10am – 8pm
This large coworking space on the 18F of Tokyo Garden Terrace Kioicho, near Nagatacho Station is managed by Yahoo, and is totally free, including fast Wi-Fi. You can bring your own food and drinks, but there’s also a café and a restaurant on site. Playful, colorful design and floor-to-ceiling windows make this an attractive workspace, but it can get crowded, so arrive early to secure a good spot. You’ll need some form of photo ID and you’ll get a one-day pass.
Hours: 9am to 9pm, closed first Sunday of the month and New Year holidays.
The first and sometimes the second floors of this airy glass space near Tamachi Station on Tokyo’s waterfront are designated for free use on weekdays, unless there’s an event or class. Be aware though, there may be groups of children or chatty locals, especially at lunchtime. Think of it as an indoor park, with Wi-Fi. The second floor is quieter and opens onto a small terrace. You can bring your own food, and coffee is available for ¥100.
Hours: 9am – 9pm, weekdays only
What are your favorite outdoor and free spaces around Tokyo? Please tell us in the comments below, and let’s share the knowledge.