Japanese University Makes Special 'Forever Alone' Dining Tables

One of Japan's most prestigious institutions, Kyoto University, has installed new lunchroom seats for students who don't want others to watch them while they eat. Alone.

The seats are called "bocchi seki" (ぼっち席), with "bocchi" meaning "alone" in Japanese.

According to Asahi News, Kyoto University first installed the "lonely seats" last spring at its engineering school campus while it was refurbishing the dining hall. The university special ordered 10 dining tables with 50-centimeter dividers in the middle.

The lonely seats are apparently popular with students, Asahi reports. Students are busy, and they don't always have time to meet with friends. Also, for some people, eating alone is not enjoyable. It's nice to have some privacy when you do.

"If you are sitting at a big table by yourself it's like you don't have any friends and that is embarrassing," said one 22-year-old male student. "When I don't have much time or I'm in a hurry, the lonely seats are convenient," said a 22-year-old female student.

Kobe University has also installed its bocchi seats, helping students avoid uncomfortable dining hall experiences. Now, if only they'd install side dividers so that lonely diners don't have to rub elbows with the people next to them.

視線気にせずおひとりさま 京大学食「ぼっち席」人気 [Asahi]


    Bad romaji, it should be Bouchi

      Bouchi = ぼうち
      Bocchi = ぼっち
      う っ see the difference?

      As GreyWolf pointed out that's a "tsu" not an "u'. An important thing to note is it's a small tsu, which means it represents a double consonant, so it doesn't make a sound.

    I'd be happy enough if my uni had a proper dining hall at all, let alone these ぼっち席. That being said, having a uni campus in the centre of town has its perks, it's a 5 min walk from all the restaurants and cafès you could ever dream of :p It's just too bad students can't afford any of it besides fast food or takeaway sushi XD


      As an introvert I would've used these seats quite often if my uni had this when I was studying.

    Talk about Japan being bizarre!

    Seriously, embarrassed about eating alone and hiding being a partition? Grow a pair and stop being so socially awkward...

      As someone who attends a Japanese university, welcome to my dealing with Japanese every single day. lol :(

      And you think our way of doing things is "normal"? Western society is biased towards extroverts, which is not necessarily a good thing.

      Some of the most famous philosophers, creators, and politicians were introverts. The western way actually inhibits the talents of potential great minds.

      I have yet to see a famous Thinker in my lifetime. Your way is not always the right way.

    One thing that really surprised me when I came to Japan was how at university (and in Starbucks, McDonalds, etc) people would just come in, buy the smallest thing on the menu, and then just sit there for hours to study, play on their phone, or just outright sleep. It's "private time" for Japanese people, since they almost always live at home and get no privacy there, or live 1-2 hours away on the train so going home isn't an option. I'm still surprised at the amount of the people in the library are just sleeping at the desks, that never happened at my Australian university. And at night you can expect most fast food places to be full of women sitting by themselves doing whatever. Probably one of the biggest culture shocks for me.

      Happens in China too.. and I've done it myself there.. no problem at all.. they even will continue to provide you with free greentea and/or hot water while you sit there as well. Once I was stuck in a city for 8 hours because there was a festival on and I couldn't get a ticket until 8 hours away....

      So I found myself a nearby coffee shop that had wifi and ordered a cheap meal and some coffee... and I sat there for the entire 8 hours on their comfortable lounges, with their free wifi and only spent around $10AUD the entire time. I felt a bit weird doing it.. but I'd seen so many other people do it, including expat friends, and it was just something people did... it is considered normal to sit there for hours after a coffee...

      Saizeriya practically built their business on this. School kids live there on weekdays.

    The divider should come all the way down to the table top... Why doesn't it?
    Don't make me go there and spill orange juice on purpose just to make a point.
    I wouldn't want to see people's hands doing things.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now