Science cafes

In recent times, I’ve noticed many brochures from our local library announcing talks at “Science Cafes”.

I wondered what these were, did they serve up a new scientific potion or cocktail in a cuppa? Was this a new coffee chain trying to rival Starbucks by serving hipper brands of coffee with science-sounding names?

So I thought I’d check up on what these were and where you could find these in Japan.

The concept is based on science cafes found elsewhere like in the US and in UK.

Science cafes are places where, for the price of a cup of coffee (elsewhere it might be a glass of wine), anyone can come to listen to talks on the latest ideas in science and technology. Meetings take place in casual settings like cafes, bars, restaurants and other spaces that do not resemble the stuffy traditional ivory tower (academic) environment.

Science cafés involve a lively conversation with a scientist about current science topics. They are open to everyone. At a café you can… learn about the latest issues in science, rub shoulders with a scientist in plain language, meet new friends interested in science… like a club without the commitment.

The science cafe is an informal forum for debating science issues, designed to provide a stimulating creative and intellectual atmosphere, such as the well known cafes in Vienna’s or Paris’ cafes where intellectuals gathered to exchange ideas.

The science cafe is not a commercial shop that sells science or educational products … for that you must look to the Study Room.

Below is a list of links to science cafes around Japan:

Science cafes in Japan (click on the map to access science cafes all over Japan)

Kobe University – Science Cafe City Project

Hokkaido University, Sapporo –Science Cafe (NB – links to large pdf file)Tohoku University –

Takeda Foundation (Tokyo) –


Tokyo University

Tokyo – downtown

TokyoCafe Scientifique

SCIENCE CAFE: Tsukuba University’s Grad school of Life and Environment Sciences will provide casual e xplorations of science from 6:20 pm to 8 pm on Feb 19 at the university’s 30th Anniversary Hall in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture.
Yasushi Takano, executive director of the Japan Food Additives Association, will talk about the benefits and risks of food additives. Reservations are not required, but admission is 100 yen in the form of a coffee fee.
For further info, email

Miraikan – Science CaféKyoto

Sanseido –

KSP Kawasaki Challenge Tanto, Meeting Place: Town Cafe Kawasaki
Kawasaki city
3-2-1 KSP Nishi 304
Ph: 044-819-2001 Fax: 044-819-2009 Mail:

Science cafe Kawasaki city

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