Due to the ongoing situation, staying at home can’t be avoided (which is probably for the best since cases are on the rise again). Then again, it gets boring to stay in, surrounded by those same four walls daily — and this is coming from an introvert like me. Sometimes, if not at most times, studying can be difficult if you’re staying in the same place for weeks. Although we do recommend everyone to stay home as much as possible, perhaps it’s not a bad idea to go out and be productive in a café or a public library. Coming from a university student herself, I thought: why not share five study spots in Tokyo that are accessible and comfortable for students? Now that us Waseda students are having our midterm exams, perhaps this article can help you (and me) get motivated to study, and ace those exams!
1. Café Asan
Get yourself a seat—or a hammock—and enjoy the cozy and comforting feeling Café Asan provides. With the café equipped with a stable internet and power outlets, getting work done here is pretty great. Aside from this, they also serve fluffy pancakes topped with a diverse range of sweets from fresh berries to a smooth mixture of cream cheese and maple syrup—just right for all you sweet tooths out there.
Just a couple of minutes by foot from Okachimachi Eki (御徒町駅), maybe writing that Media and Politics essay or completing your Japanese Portfolio at this comfy café might make you less stressed compared to doing it at home.
2. Streamer Coffee Company
Streamer Coffee Company has four different branches in Tokyo, and I must say, serves great coffee (both taste and size). Besides the flavorful coffee they make, the ambiance of this coffee shop is just welcoming and calming from the wooden (and a touch of grunge) aesthetics. One of the branches is located in a much quieter area of Shibuya (8-10 minutes away from the Hachiko statue), so there is almost little to no noise, making this a great place to get some work done.
The coffee shop is equipped with strong Wi-Fi service and has power outlets on a couple of seats. So, if you’re in the mood to get some studying done and drink a huge cup of delicious warm coffee, perhaps Streamer Coffee Company is a study spot you want to check out.
2. Waseda University Library
The Waseda University Library should not be a surprise for any of us — it’s simply a fantastic library filled with a huge (as in really huge) variety of books and academic journals, along with a nice and quiet space to study. The university has over 5 campus libraries: Central Library (Waseda Campus), S. Takata Memorial Research Library (Waseda Campus), Toyama Library (Toyama Campus), Science & Engineering Library (Nishi Waseda Campus), and Tokorozawa Library (Tokorozawa Campus) — accessible for students from different departments to read, research or study in these 5 well-equipped libraries.
However, due to Covid-19, campus libraries have put up some restrictions to avoid the spread of the virus. Nevertheless, they have still provided the Waseda family with a wide array of resources. If you are interested in visiting one of the libraries, do read more about the special entry service for students, professors, alumni, and visiting researchers.
3. Daikanyama T-Site
If you are a book worm like me, you most likely have heard of Daikanyama T-Site. Based in the not-so-crowded part of Shibuya, this huge Tsutaya bookstore (which can honestly pass as a shopping mall) is not only known for its wide collection of books and stationery products, but as well as its modern architecture. The beautiful glass building is accented with various different green plants.
Besides selling books and stationery, this place also has cafés. Daikanyama also provides tables, making it a great place to have a study session or a group project with classmates — or maybe yourself if you are the type of person who needs a lot of space to work.
If you do ever go out, why not spend the day where nature meets city; a Library in the Woods.
4. Sumidagawa (隅田川)
If you’ve been to Sky Tree, you’ve most likely seen the long river, known as Sumidagawa, with a couple of tables and cafes nearby. Since the purpose of going out is to be outside, studying near the river under the sun might be a good idea. Get your study buddy, and get your work done together beside the river while listening to the soft sounds of the running water (it’s very relaxing). I’d usually bring required class readings and my notebook to write down a few notes or comments to use in a discussion or essay whenever I do decide to work outdoors, and I highly recommend this to everyone just to get away from your laptop for an hour or two.
Now, you might be thinking that there is no WIFI and plugs—and that’s a valid argument. There are quite a few cafés nearby Sumidagawa, so if you do need the internet, then do feel free to move to there — your study spot is ultimately your choice.
There are obviously more places to get some work done, but these 5 are my favorite so far—and I hope that you can find another comfortable studying spot besides your room.
And this article concludes this week’s theme of “Travel Guides and Recommendations!” As much as it is kind of sad that we can’t exactly go out and explore as much due to the pandemic, I think it’s still important to know about more places so that we can all plan accordingly once it’s safe.
Although it is somewhat sad to say goodbye to this week’s theme, I hope you all are excited for next week because *drum roll please*… it’ll be a week about online events, which is safer and more inclusive for everyone!