March 18, 2017 1:00 pm JST

More Japanese adults are hitting the books at study cafes

Concerns for future fueling interest in professional skills development

OSAKA -- Study rooms for adults are growing in Japan's major cities as people uncertain about the future study for certifications and work to acquire language skills.

Monthly membership fees of around 10,000 yen ($87) typically grant users unlimited access to the facilities. Over the past two years, study room listings in Tokyo surged 30% to 113 locations, while Osaka saw a 40% increase to 96 locations as of March 7, according to Jishusitu.com, a price comparison site for the spaces.

The Tokyo-based study cafe company Bookmarks currently operates 21 locations and plans to set up six new spots by the summer of 2019. At the "Benkyo-cafe," members can choose where to sit, and free beverages are offered. "We often see people who come to study foreign languages," says Hiroshi Yamamura, the company's president and founder.

"I wasn't comfortable in a deserted and desolate study room. Here, I can make new friends and it also helps me refresh," says Rikako Tachibana, a Tokyo resident studying for the certified accountant exam.

An Osaka-based study cafe company that operates nine study spaces in Osaka opened a location last fall in Takadanobaba, a neighborhood in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward. There is large demand for study rooms in Tokyo, according to the company's president, who hopes to expand operations to multiple stores.

The Osaka-based operator of Jishuu Cafe established four new locations within the last six months, and currently operates six cafes. The company's goal is to eventually hit 20 locations, which will include spaces without drink services and membership fees starting around 6,000 yen per month.

(Nikkei)

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