"Kodomo Shokudo" Kids' Cafeterias Spreading in Japan

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, Oct. 5 (Jiji Press)--"Kodomo shokudo," or cafeterias offering meals to children for free or at low prices, have been spreading in Japan since the first such place was created in the country 10 years ago.

The first cafeteria bearing the name "kodomo shokudo" was launched in Tokyo's Ota Ward in August 2012 by Hiroko Kondo after she learned that there was a child at a nearby elementary school who could only eat a banana for dinner and breakfast, other than school meals.

Her kodomo shokudo initially offered meals for 500 yen to adults and for 300 yen to children every Thursday. It has been providing "bento" boxed meals since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kondo, 63, has been operating the kodomo shokudo under the name "one-coin children's cafeteria" since 2017. It is currently charging children up to 100 yen and even accepting amusement arcade game tokens as payment.

Her kodomo shokudo does not provide meals for free because "having paid for food leads to a sense of self-esteem," Kondo said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press