Japanese School Lunch: It’s Not Just About the Food


Get inspired to see how Japanese students operate their lunch period! You can see why lunch period is placed as a learning period in Japanese schools. In Japan things are completely different: kids are assigned some tasks to take care of the lunch time!


First of all, every month the teacher distributes the menu for each during the month, and everyday a student will be assigned to make an announcement of the menu! Cute, right? Before leaving for school, kids pack some personal belongings such as chopsticks, a cup to drink and their toothbrush.

This makes students themselves to learn good manners, respect the elders and taking care of every think. The work which made by the students may put many full-blown adults to shame, as shown in this video of all the things Japanese grade schools are expected to do during a typical school day in addition to studying.

The campus is somewhat unique in that it has its own vegetable patch from which it sources some of the ingredients for its school lunches. Japanese schools don’t have dedicated cafeterias, so the students eat in their classrooms. However, there’s still one central kitchen where everything gets cooked. So each day students take turns going to the kitchen to pick up the food and serve it to their classmates. And even class teacher will join with students during lunch timing.

All of this takes about 45 minutes, but even when the meal is over, it’s not time to go outside and play. Instead, it’s time to clean the school. And no, it’s not just their classrooms that the kids sweep and scrub, as they also take care of the hallways, gymnasium, entryway, and yes, even the bathrooms. At this particular school, it looks like the students even clean the teachers’ room.


The kids follow this routine every day, and it’s all part of the belief in Japanese schools that the students shouldn’t just be learning math, science, and literature, but also how to be self-sufficient, not be a burden to others, and to appreciate the efforts made on their behalf. Some may say that’s a lot for a young mind to digest, but the video shows that by instilling these values at an early age kids learn to take such responsibilities in stride, a lesson that will no doubt serve them well for the rest of their lives.

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