It feels like there’s a new co-working space opening up in Tokyo every week! It’s quite an exciting trend and even though I didn’t purposely seek it out, I happened to visit three collaborative spaces, all in the space of a week.
- Tokyo Hacker Space
- co-lab Nishiazabu
Terminal in Harajuku is the new, cool kid on the block. It’s basically a very nice 24hr Internet cafe with no stalls, with the same type of loose membership system that requires a physical card. You can get wifi, comfortable seats, free refills for great coffee and soft drinks, electricity outlets at every table, and hot paninis (600JPY).
Its launch was brilliantly executed:
- a teaser site that got a lot of Twitter love from the Tokyo creative community
- a great opening party
- masterful copywriting that piggybacks on the nomad working boom
- pre-mentions and reviews on the right sites
There’s an event space on the first floor. It just was a stripped down, skeleton space when I was there, but I can imagine some exciting events being held there.
Tokyo Hacker Space
Interestingly enough, it’s a “real” house in a quiet, residential neighborhood. There was no signage and we spent a good five minutes peering into houses and glaring at Google Maps.
I say this with the upmost respect – this was the geekiest place I’ve ever been in! It’s a fabulous example of community building; a dynamic atmosphere that’s filled with mutual respect and joy in helping to bring each other’s projects to life.
The focus of the Space fluxes depending on its residents. Currently, there’s a strong hardware focus because Safecast is camped out there, building radiation sensors for deployment around Fukushima prefecture.
co-lab Nishi Azabu
co-lab is a series of collaborative spaces around Tokyo. It’s probably the largest and most established of creative, co-working spaces in Tokyo, and one that’s dear to my heart since Tokyo Art Beat used to be headquartered at the Sanbancho office for a few years.
The Nishi Azabu space also hosts furniture giant Kokuyo‘s incubation center for their inhouse designers, called “KREI open source studio”. This brings a much stronger corporate flavor to the space, although there doesn’t seem to be a natural mixing of the KREI people and co-lab residents.
The underground salon area, which is where the non-permanent residents can work, turns into a wonderful event space. We dropped by a talk event organized by the ticketing service Peatix, in co-lab’s underground event space.