Eat Cheaply at University Cafeterias

January 24, 2013

by Minako Ueda and Ryoko Umekawa

There are over thirty universities in Kyoto. All of them have student cafeterias, or gakusei shokudo, that are open to the general public. Anyone can’t eat in these cafeterias. Travelers to Kyoto can also use them. And the food is cheap, so they are good for travelers on a budget. We would like to introduce a few university cafeterias in Kyoto.

Kyoto University

Kyoto University is one of the most famous universities in Japan and is located near Imadegawa and Higashioji streets. It has three campus areas. We will introduce cafeterias in the Yoshida Shrine area of the campus.

Kyoto University Central cafeteria


The central cafeteria is located in the center of the Yoshida campus where many students and teachers are coming and going.

This cafeteria, just across from the main campus on the west side of Higashioji Street, is being renovated and will reopen in April of 2013. We can eat breakfast in this cafeteria, and can choose food from a Viking-style buffet. The menu includes Japanese omelet, salad, croquette, boiled dishes, and miso or egg soup.

The breakfast price is very inexpensive, only 320 yen. Rice is optional for an additional 80 yen. The breakfast is cheap and hearty.

Also we can eat lunch here, but of course there many students at lunch time.

OPEN 8:00-CLOSE 21:00 (weekdays only)


Camphora is café restaurant just to the west of the main front gate of Kyoto University, which stands before the famous the school’s famous clock tower. It is more causal and stylish. In addition to coffee, sandwiches and cakes, all kinds of alcohol—beer, cocktails, wine—are served at this restaurant.

Lunch is served from 11:00-14:00 and inexpensive specials which include a soup, a main dish and, bread or rice are only 570 yen

Pasta lunches with salad and bread are only 550 yen

There is also a special lunch, which has soup, half a serving of the regular pasta, a main dish, and bread.

Dinner is served from 17:00 21:30. It is also quite reasonable.

The pasta dinner for 680 yen includes antipasto, soup, Pasta, bread,

The Camphora dinner includes antipasto, soup, a main dish, bread or rice, and dessert.

OPEN 11:00 CLOSE 22:00 (last order 21:30) weekdays

OPEN 11:00 CLOSE 15:30 (last order 15:00) Saturday, Sunday, and holidays.

Doshisha University


Next, are the cafeterias of another famous university in Kyoto, Doshisha University. Doshisha is has two campuses, and has more than twenty students dining halls. For example, there are curry shops, Chinese noodle shops, coffee shops, a French restaurant and a bakery. Having a French restaurant in your university is very rare. It is located on the seventh floor of  Kanbaikan and has a great view. We can enjoy meals a quiet atmosphere, which is like that of a church. Doshisha University has so many restaurants, so you can never get bored.

OPEN 11:00-CLOSE 22:00

Kyoto University of Foreign Studies

Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, or Kyoto Gaidai, is the university of this website. Many languages are taught at this university. It is located about ten minutes by foot west of the Saiin Subway Station on Shijo Street in western Kyoto

Café Taro


The name of this cafeteria on Gaidai campus comes from Taro Okamoto. Taro Okamoto is a famous modern artist of post-war Japan . He is most famous for the design of the “Tower of Sun,” which was a min sympbol of the Osaka Expo in 1970.

The Café was named after this artist for a painting of his in the cafeteria. It is titled “Eyes” and it depicts communication. Visitors can feel an international and ethnic atmosphere here. The cafeteria serves fine quality cakes and coffee.

Lunch menu:

Daily lunch —500 yen

Pasta lunch —500 yen

Daily lunch

Pasta lunch



Libre menu

Libre is the largest student-dining hall in Kyoto University of Foreign Studies. There are about 650 seats in Libre, so many students eat there at lunch time. A variety of food is served at Libre, for example, bowl of rice, noodles, Japanese food and cakes. Only KUFS students can eat breakfast for 100 yen. It is very helpful for students who are living alone.

In special events, local specialties from different prefectures in Japan are served, for example, misokatsu-don of Nagoya (deep fried pork cutlet on rice with miso sauce)


By eating from a TABLE FOR TWO menu, you are able to donate funds for help children in developing countries.

You can eat meals at a low price in these university cafeteria.

Leave A Comment…