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A writer’s retreat in Tokyo will treat you like a Real Author, deadlines, nosy editors, and all.

Aaron Robertson

August 27, 2020, 3:27pm

We may not all be able to churn out a book during this pandemic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a bare-knuckle, nose-to-the-grindstone writing experience. One Tokyo inn has fully embraced the “writer” part of a writer’s retreat with a one-night program that puts guests through the mill.

The Homeikan inn’s program, the Bungo Kanzume Plan, doesn’t exactly offer its writers pacific vistas and bucolic, lakeside views. One reporter for Sora News 24 checked into the inn to see what the experience was like.

The inn’s staff welcomes the guest by introducing themselves as the “editing department.” Once the writer changes into comfortable slippers, the staff takes the guest to a spacious, well-lit room. There’s enough room, in fact, for at least a dozen tatami mats and a workstation.

One of the guest’s optional services is an editing team that can help the author stay on track, encouraging (or gently pestering) her to meet a deadline. They can also lock the guest’s phone in a safe upon request. They may stand outside the inn, peering at the guest through binoculars and holding up signs that ask, sadistically, “How’s it going?”

The best part is clearly the option to have actors pose as debt collectors or, in one scenario, the guest’s lover and spouse (separate people) who happen to meet at the worst possible time.

There’s nice food and a pleasant bath, yeah, but Homeikan goes that extra step in giving writers the option to add on unwanted, potentially cataclysmic stress. Sign me up?

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