About Musubie

About Musubie

Musubie acts as an intermediary, offering vital support to children’s cafeterias (kodomo shokudo).
We aim to ensure that children’s cafeterias provide sanctuary to all children and adults.


Create a society in which no one is left behind,
by supporting children’s cafeterias


We will establish a network of children’s cafeterias throughout Japan to ensure that everyone has a safe place to go. We will enable members of the community to help shape the future by volunteering at children’s cafeterias.


We are working to create a society in Japan in which no one is left behind.

We support local children’s cafeteria networks

We connect with corporations and organizations interested in community development to provide assistance to children’s cafeterias

We conduct surveys and research and raise awareness to enhance community activities

Our Accomplishments

Total number of
organizations supported


(based on support provided in FY2022, including the provision of grants to 1,302 organizations and supplies to 11,052 organizations)

Total financial
support provided



billion yen

(based on support provided in FY2022, including approx. 524 million yen in grants and approx. 550 million yen of supplies)

What are Children’s Cafeterias?

Children’s cafeterias are places where children can go in groups or on their own to enjoy a free or low-cost meal.
The concept started as a voluntary private sector initiative and has morphed into a variety of formats. Most cafeterias are not exclusively for children, but are open to people of all age groups, both young and old, as a place to interact, while some focus on addressing child poverty. Children’s cafeteria essentially have two functions, to be a base for community interaction and to fight child poverty.
The number of child

Number of children’s cafeterias in Japan

*Data up to 2016 is based on research by the Asahi Shinbun while data from 2018 is based on a research byNationwide Children’s Cafeteria Support Center, Musubie and regional network organizations

Background of the increase in children’s cafeterias

Japan is an aging society with a declining birthrate. It is estimated that the population will decrease from 125.71 million in 2020 to 88.08 million in 2065.*1 The number of single-person households is also increasing, and 18% of the population is expected to be living alone in 2040.*2 Meanwhile in 2018 the government announced that the relative poverty rate for children was 13.5%, a rate slightly higher than other OECD countries, which equates to one in seven children living in poverty.*3

As community ties weaken in many parts of Japan and the risk of social isolation among children and adults with difficulties increases, Musubie is working to expand the value of children’s cafeterias as a place for communities to interact.

*1: 2021 Annual Report on the Ageing Society (Full Version), “1. Situation of the Ageing Population (Trends in Ageing Population and Projection for the Future Prospects for Aging)”, (Cabinet Office Japan, July 2021)
*2: Summary Report of Comprehensive Survey of Living Conditions 2019 , “II Income, etc., of various types of households” (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare 2020)
*3: “Overall Trends in Single-person Households: Long-Term Trends since 1970” (Fujimori, Katsuhiko 2017)
https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/consumercoopstudies/494/0/494_5/_pdf (in Japanese)

Our Activities


Regional Network Support Projects

Regional Network Support Projects

Regional network organizations (intermediate support groups) that support children’s cafeterias have been established in each prefecture in response to increasing number of children’s cafeterias. We support the activities of these network organizations by working with them to provide children’s cafeterias with the support they so vitally need. Such support ranges from assisting with the opening of new children’s cafeterias to creating networks of cafeteria operators, cooperating with authorities and related organizations, acting as an intermediate for donated goods, and providing information.


Collaborative Projects
with Corporations and Organizations

Collaborative Projects

We collaborate with corporations and organizations interested in supporting children’s cafeterias to deliver donations and programs to children’s cafeterias through regional network organizations. We provide support in the form of food and other supplies, activities to enhance safety and peace of mind at children’s cafeterias, and a variety of hands-on programs for children.


Surveys and Research Projects

Surveys and Research Projects

We conduct surveys and research to find out what needs to be done to make children’s cafeterias more commonplace in society and accessible to more children. We use the results our surveys and research to broaden regional and social understanding of the cafeterias and to establish appropriate systems and government policies to ensure their success.

Click here for more information on children’s cafeterias and Musubie’s activities



2022 Annual Report (PDF)


Companies and organizations that support our activities

Media Coverage


Name Certified Nonprofit Corporation Nationwide Children’s Cafeteria Support Center, Musubie
Location 16F Link Square Shinjuku, 5-27-5 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Established 2018
President and CEO Makoto Yuasa

< Profile >
Makoto Yuasa is a social activist and specially appointed professor at the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo.

He was born in Tokyo in 1969. After graduating from The University of Tokyo’s Faculty of Law he embarked on, but ultimately withdrew from a Master’s program in The University of Tokyo’s Graduate School for Law and Politics. He has been involved in projects supporting the homeless since the 1990s and he served as a special advisor to Japan’s Cabinet Office for three years from 2009. He has also held positions as Director of the Cabinet Secretariat’s Office for Social Inclusion and Director of the Office for Earthquake Disaster Volunteer Coordination.
Main projects - Regional network support projects
- Collaborative projects with corporations and organizations
- Surveys and research projects

Inquiries *Link to Contact Form

Contact Form