Tokyo Re-Discovery

Cheap & Good University Cafeteria: Rikkyo University

Nov 20 2015

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Enjoy lunch at a red brick dining hall like an abbey

University cafeterias - commonly referred to as gakushoku (GAKUsei means student & SHOKUdo, cafeteria)

You may think they are exclusively for students, professors and staff of the university.

Actually there are many university cafeterias that are open to the public.

Today, I tried "Daiichi Shokudo - No.1 (Main) Dinning Hall" at Rikkyo University.


Rikkyo University, also known as Saint Paul's University, is an Anglican Christian affiliated university. Their campus, dotted with ivy-covered red brick buildings and a chapel, is very beautiful and worth visiting if you are passing by Ikebukuro.

Walking through the front gate, you will soon find the Main Building, the symbol of the University built in 1918. Keep going straight ahead of the arch - Main Dining Hall is right in front of you.


Main Dining Hall as well as Main Building (Building No. 1 / Morris Hall), Building No. 2 and No. 3, and Rikkyo All Saints Chapel are designated as Selected Historical Buildings of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

Just like at most cafeterias, you need to purchase your ticket from a vending machine.

Now, go to the entrance on the right side of the hall to check samples of today's menu and buy the ticket.

Unfortunately, menus/ signs are in Japanese: you need to memorise the name behind the dish and find the letters on the ticket machine, or might want to go with someone with basic Japanese ability.

Once you get your ticket, walk further into the hall.

Pick up a tray and chopsticks or cutlery.

Then help yourself to a glass of water or tea.


Now hand your ticket to staff and wait for your food.

Let's enter the dining hall once your food is served.


Today I ordered katsudon: pork cutlet rice bowl. 370 yen with miso soup... cheap!!

And what a hearty lunch! This is the best thing about gakushoku - cheap and plentiful because they are for students!


When you finish your meal, return your tray to a drop-off counter near the pick-up counter.


"Daiichi Shokudo" is open from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm on weekdays, from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm on Saturdays.

I suggest avoiding students' lunchtime, from 11:30am to 1:30pm. The hall gets crowded so why not show courtesy - it's the cafeteria for students.

Between 2:30pm to 5:30pm, they offer limited-time special: some menus are priced lower.


Share if you are tempted to try lunch at gakushoku!


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Miss Echo (Translator)

Born and grew up in downtown Tokyo, she is the true lover of Tokyo’s traditional & unique culture. She does researches as she finds something interesting on streets.

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