Qusca is part of a recent boom in “third spaces” (i.e. not work or home) that allow you to sleep or rest in private. Internet cafes have for years now been as much about overnight accommodation and reading manga as surfing the net — even before smartphones, Japanese mobiles were online moons ahead of their western counterparts, so being online wasn’t such a biggie — but they are noisy places hardly conducive to the more strained or stressed of patrons.
Enter a space like Qusca, a sleeping cafe for women to catch forty winks during their lunch break or in between yet another few hours of overtime.
Located in Akasaka, a key business district, it is aimed squarely at hard-working women in Tokyo. The charge is ¥150 (about $1.60) per ten minutes, or you can get a lower rate if you buy four-hour slots (¥3,120, just over $33) or more. In this way it will no doubt appeal to women with only thirty minutes at lunch to spare — or who are between appointments for a few hours and want to relax. (You can also rent the cafe for seminars.)
There is free snacks and drink provided, plus wifi. They serve lunches and desserts, and have a special area where you can touch up your make-up.
But most importantly, it’s women-only, so tired ladies can nap away without having to worry about prying colleagues or lecherous guys.
A special earphone is distributed to the nappers so that the staff can give you a wake-up call when your time is up and you have to return (a little less weary) to your desk.
Of course, these kinds of services do little to improve the Japanese working culture, the insane beast that gave birth to a new word, karoshi (death by overwork). Qusca’s website promotes its concept boasting that taking a power nap will improve work efficiency by twenty percent.
However, I’m sure that everyone going home at a decent hour, spending quality time with family and friends, and then returning to work the next day to perform tasks that are adequately managed is even more efficient!