Kyoto Shimbun 2014.5.9 News

Cafés Appearing in Universities One after Another Stylish Campus Productions

As a place for student socializing, there has been an increase in café openings at universities in Kyoto and Shiga Prefectures. Ryukoku University has decided to open a branch of the major U.S. coffee chain, through Starbucks Coffee Japan, Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo, at the Fukakusa Campus, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, in April 2015. It is the first "Starbucks Coffee" in both a domestic private university and in a university in western Japan. Amid the escalating competition for students, the university wants to produce a stylish campus with the attraction of a popular café.

Ryukoku University's Starbucks Coffee will be opening on the new campus at the same time as the establishment of the tentatively named "Faculty of International Studies." There will be approximately 30 seats inside the store, and about 40 to 50 seats outside, and it can be used by the general public as well as students.

According to the university, a questionnaire directed at students showed a large number hope for cafes to be established. The most common response was specifically for "Starbucks Coffee" which is popular among young people. The Office of the University President expressed the hope that "Students will spend a long time there, which leads to the activation of our campus." Ryukoku University's Starbucks will be the company's fourth university coffee shop in Japan, following the University of Tsukuba, University of Tokyo, and Nagoya University.

In other cases, Doshisha University set up a total of three cafes at its Imadegawa Campus, Kamigyo Ward, and Kyotanabe Campus, Kyotanabe City, Kyoto, between 2004 and 2007. Ritsumeikan University opened a major sandwich chain store, "Subway" at the Biwako-Kusatsu Campus, Kusatsu City, Shiga Prefecture, in 2008, in addition to some cafés operated by the University Co-op.

Kyoto University, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, opened "Tully's Coffee," a major coffee chain, in 2010. A graduate student, who was enjoying a chat with friends over a cup of coffee in a common room, said, "When I'm talking in an open space like the café and looking at the surrounding scenery, I get ideas that wouldn't usually come to mind."

(translated by Galileo, Inc.)

Photo= A conceptual drawing of the "Starbucks" opening on the Fukakusa Campus of Ryukoku University (provided by Ryukoku University)