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CAUSES

Chiba

Women’s Action Against FGM, Japan invites you to International FGM Zero Tolerance Day in Funabashi, Chiba, on Sat., Feb 7, 1:30-4 p.m. at Gender Equality Center (Danjo Kyodo Sankaku Center). Event includes screening of “Noires Douleurs” (French documentary with Japanese subtitles), talk on what female genital mutilation (FGM) is, and demonstrations using anatomical model. This is a free event. Address: 2-1-4 Miyamoto, Funabashi, Chiba. Access: Five minutes from Dajingu Shita Station on the Keisei main line or 12 mins from JR Funabashi Station. For details, visit www.jca.apc.org/~waaf/ or mail waafjapan@hotmail.com.

Chubu

NIC disaster language volunteers wanted: Volunteers need to be 20 or over and be able to communicate in both Japanese and a foreign language. Participants must also either live, work or study in the Nagoya area. If a major natural disaster were to occur in Nagoya city, language volunteers will be present at ward office and evacuation centers to interpret information for non-Japanese-speaking foreign nationals. If interested, please contact the Nagoya International Center’s Exchange and Cooperation section and be part of a valuable program. For more information, see www.nic-nagoya.or.jp.

Help orphans in Nagoya: If you are interested in spending time with some fantastic children and huge-hearted volunteers, both from the international community as well as local Japanese, we invite you to volunteer with Santa and Friends Nagoya. Please visit our website: www.santaandfriendsnagoya.com

Labor consultations: Interested in improving your working conditions? Have questions about labor rights? Our offices in Osaka (please e-mail union@generalunion.org) and Nagoya (mail nagoyaoffice@generalunion.org) are open for consultations. Website: www.generalunion.org

Kansai

Osaka YMCA language center in Tosabori is seeking volunteers to teach language and culture in charity lessons in order to benefit victims of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Mail tosabori.language@osakaymca.or.jp or visit www.oylc.org.

Labor consultations: Interested in improving your working conditions? Have questions about labor rights? Our offices in Osaka (please e-mail union@generalunion.org) and Nagoya (mail nagoyaoffice@generalunion.org) are open for consultations. Website: www.generalunion.org

Tohoku

Aid for Japan: We are pleased to report that our children’s charity, Aid For Japan, has now received its Charity Commission Registered Charity Number (1,159,233) in the U.K. Previously, H.M. Revenue & Customs had already confirmed that, for tax purposes, this is a charitable trust. Our aim is to provide long-term support to more than 250 children made orphans by the tsunami on March 11, 2011. We and the children very much appreciate all of your support. We work purely for the public benefit and we thank you for your great kindness. Website: www.aidforjapan.org.uk

Teaching teachers for a good cause: Social Enterprise English Language School (SEELS: bit.ly/Rmk7Zk), an organization committed to improving the lives of migrant women who were among the disaster victims by training them to become certified English language teachers, is seeking interns for its operations in Tokyo and the northeastern region of Japan. The interns will work closely with the CEO and gain first-hand experience to scale social enterprises. For more information, please contact Cesar Santoyo (sa_ryo@hotmail.com).

The Rebuilding Japan Program: The needs of survivors are various and increasing since the disaster. As a housing specialist, Habitat for Humanity Japan is strategically best placed to assist families in finding suitable housing solutions. Our projects: house repairs and housing consultation in Ofunato, Iwate; building storage cabinets and steps for the residents of temporary shelters in Ofunato; building fishermen’s storage units in Onagawa, Miyagi; renovating a community center in Higashimatsushima, etc. See a slideshow of HFHJ work here: teachme.jp/contents/14328/embed?fs=1

Living Dreams is a Japan-based nonprofit organization striving to rebuild, enrich and empower orphans both in Tokyo and Tohoku. For more information, go to www.livingdreams.jp.

Volunteers and supplies needed: Operation Tohoku is working to assist the thousands of refugees still in temporary housing. Supplies urgently needed include rice, canned and instant food, shampoo, towels, used laptop computers, hot water pots, gas and electric stoves. Volunteers urgently need for a day or more. Wire support to Postal Furikae Account 00160 7 162438, The Japan Emergency. For volunteer information, please e-mail team@jhelp.com.

Fukushima Future is a young NPO based in France also with a network in Japan. We are working for a better future in Fukushima Prefecture and the rest of Japan. Please help by joining us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Fukushima.Future. Phone: +33 (0) 6-4980-5731. Email: fukushimafuture@hotmail.com. Twitter: twitter.com/FukushimaFuture

Knit for Japan is an initiative to collect and distribute hand-knitted/crocheted items, yarn and knitting tools to victims of the Tohoku earthquake. This can be a woolly hat, pair of socks, a scarf or some gloves. For more info: knitforjapan.com

Tokyo

General manager wanted for dynamic nonprofit based in Tokyo: Stimulating, rewarding position for an inspiring and motivated candidate. Japanese nationals must have functional English, non-Japanese must be fully bilingual. Responsibilities include overseeing all aspects of the organization, including staff management, fundraising, sponsorship, marketing and organizational development. Public appearances, public speaking and working with hospital staff also required. Interested candidates, please send CV to info@sokids.org. For more information about the organization, please see www.sokids.org.

Photo exhibition in aid of refugees at the Axis Gallery will present the images by Alexander Treves from his travels in India and to the Thai-Burma border with Refugees International Japan (RIJ) for a project. Admission is free, but all donations received for photographs will directly benefit RIJ. The show will be open from Wed., Feb. 18, to Sat., Feb. 21, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Address: Axis Building B1F, Symposia 5-17-1, Roppongi. For more information, please visit www.axisinc.jp, www.refugeesinternationaljapan.org or mail info@refugeesinternationaljapan.org.

Amnesty International Tokyo English Network (AITEN) gets together once a month to discuss human rights issues. Newcomers welcome — no obligation! Join us for information, action and fun. See www.aiten.org for directions and call 090-4744-7111 with any queries.

Tokyo Embassy Choir is Japan’s leading ensemble of Japanese and expatriate choristers. It has a broad repertoire and a reputation to match. Major concerts are offered with free entry, with collections for charity. Auditions twice a year. Visit www.bec.ac.

A Dream a Day in Tokyo provides weeklong, expenses-paid vacations to kids with life-threatening illnesses and their families. We welcome volunteers and supporters. For more information, please mail m-uehara@guesthouse.or.jp or see www.guesthouse.or.jp/english.

Living Dreams is a Japan-based nonprofit organization striving to rebuild, enrich and empower orphans both in Tokyo and Tohoku. For more information, go to www.livingdreams.jp.

Nationwide

Film about international child abduction: We are proud to announce that the “From The Shadows” DVD is now available. Please go to our home page at fromtheshadowsmovie.com, locate the “Buy DVD” button on the right hand side and follow the prompts to pay through PayPal. The DVD includes the feature film, “From The Shadows,” as well as the short animated film, “The Two Mothers.”

Adopt a rescued pet: There are many kittens as well as dogs available in shelters and many more out there waiting for rescue. Please consider opening your home and heart so that we can bring another in from the cold, lonely streets! Contact us today about fostering or adoption, in order to find a friend and save a life. Visit japancatnet.com.

Donate books and DVDs to Caribon, and the resale value will be given to Shine On! Kids, an organization that supports children with cancer and other diseases. Books can be picked up from your home or office, or you can send them to Shine On! Kids. Business, legal and computer books are accepted; novels, paperbacks and manga are not. Contact joy@sokids.org.

The Japan Helpline: 24 hours a day, from anywhere about anything, from a simple question to emergency assistance since 1975. Visit www.jhelp.com and press “help” or call 0570-000-911. To volunteer or donate, mail team@jhelp.com.

Used stamps wanted (full postmarks where possible) to raise funds for a cancer hospital charity in Sri Lanka. Send to: 574-0011 Osaka-fu, Daito-shi, Hojo 2-16-35, Kokusai Rentai. (Acknowledgements will be sent by e-mail.)

Aid for Iraq: The Japan Emergency Team asks the community to help with its efforts by donating used laptop computers for use in Baghdad, Iraq, to assist in resettlement and relief efforts for the nearly 500,000 refugees. Any used laptop computer with Wi-Fi function can be sent to: Operation Baghdad, The Japan Emergency Team, Box 65, Tokyo 106-8691. E-mail help@jhelp.com for more information.

Stop Nukes Japan: APC Japan (an NGO in Japan working with two major national networks and social movements) provides relevant information to the world in English, and has set up a joint project, Stop Nukes Japan, on Twitter at twitter.com/nonuke_jp. It includes information in English from Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center, Green Action, Friends of the Earth, Japan, NINDJA (Network for Indonesian Democracy, Japan), No Nukes Asia Forum, Japan, The Takagi Fund for Citizen Science, Alternative People’s Linkage in Asia (APLA). Updates on the Fukushima nuclear crisis can be found at 2011shinsai.info. I hope you can help us by letting your friends know and following @nonuke_jp on Twitter.

Peace Boat is a Japan-based international NGO/NPO that works to promote peace, human rights, equal and sustainable development and respect for the environment. Peace Boat seeks to create awareness and action based on effecting positive social and political change in the world. For more information, visit www.peaceboat.org.

International societies: Inexpensive Japanese language classes, international events and free consultations (legal, doctor info., etc.) — local government-supported NPOs (“international societies”) throughout Japan offer these services. For details, see www.tokyo-international.org.

Stop Kose animal testing: Join the petition to get Kose, Japan’s third-largest cosmetics company, to put an end to its animal testing. Every signature counts! For more information, go to www.change.org/petitions/kose-please-stop-testing-on-animals.

The template for peace was set 69 years ago, but most of the world either doesn’t know about it or ignores it. One year after World War II, U.S. Occupation forces rewrote the Japanese Constitution. Article 9 states unequivocally that Japan will never again make war. Japan has not made war in 69 years. The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom is now sponsoring a movement in the U.S. to bring a version of Article 9 as an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. With Article 9 in the U.S. Constitution, America and Japan can lead a coalition to bring full support to the United Nations to abolish war-making as a political/economic tool. Please see our website at www.hibakusha-ourlifetolive.org and sign our petition at signon.org/sign/the-end-of-war-making.

Animal welfare/rights: choicesfortomorrow.org is a site with comprehensive information in Japanese and English about animal welfare and animal rights. Choices for Tomorrow strives for a cruelty-free lifestyle and aims to provide beneficial content for you. We would like many people to know about the current condition that animals are facing every day. Please check out www.choicesfortomorrow.org and mail inquiries to info@choicesfortomorrow.org.

EDUCATIONAL

Chiba

Women’s Action Against FGM, Japan invites you to International FGM Zero Tolerance Day in Funabashi, Chiba, on Sat., Feb 7, 1:30-4 p.m. at Gender Equality Center (Danjo Kyodo Sankaku Center). Event includes screening of “Noires Douleurs” (French documentary with Japanese subtitles), talk on what female genital mutilation (FGM) is, and demonstrations using anatomical model. This is a free event. Address: 2-1-4 Miyamoto, Funabashi, Chiba. Access: Five minutes from Dajingu Shita Station on the Keisei main line or 12 mins from JR Funabashi Station. For details, visit www.jca.apc.org/~waaf/ or mail waafjapan@hotmail.com.

Chubu

Comprehensive seminar and consultations for parents and guardians of foreign children is offered by Nagoya International Center on Sat., Feb. 7, 1-4 p.m. The seminar topic is “First language retention.” It will look at some of the issues surrounding this important aspect of raising children in a foreign environment. During the personal consultations with an education specialist, parents can get advice on any aspect of education. English, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese and Filipino interpreters will be provided for both the seminar and consultations. Reservations are required. Address: Nagoya International Center 5F #1 Conference Room. For reservations and additional information, see bit.ly/1Cvw1kZ, call the NIC on 052-581-0100, visit the information counter on 3F or e-mail us at info@nic-nagoya.or.jp.

Nagoya International Personal Computer Club meets at noon on the third Saturday (Feb. 21) of the month in Fushimi, Nagoya. Call 070-5152-2662 or visit www.nipcc.org for details.

Sakae Toastmasters Club: An international club that aims to develop leadership and English communication skills in a no-pressure atmosphere. We meet on second and fourth Wednesdays at 7-9 p.m. at Nadya Park. Attend one of our club meetings. Contact Rina 080-3647-6996 or email sakae-tmc@freeml.com.

Children’s Story Book Time: Come and share in the fun at the Nagoya International Center 3F Library and listen to foreign volunteers as they read a selection of books in their native language from the library’s vast collection of children’s storybooks. All are welcome! Participation is free! See www.nic-nagoya.or.jp/en/e/archives/10998.

Free educational counseling services at the NIC: A child’s educational matters are a high priority for parents — and justifiably so. The Nagoya International Center offers an educational advice and counseling service to assist children and their parents every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on the third floor of the NIC building. Professional counselors are on hand to provide advice and information on education for children of Japanese and foreign nationality, including information about schools, school admissions, daily life and potential problems. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 052-581-0100 on Tuesdays to Sundays, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

HiROSHIMA

Japanese and English Language Exchange in Hiroshima: This group is for those who want to learn Japanese and English. All ages and levels are welcome. Our meet-ups are every other Sunday, 5-7 p.m. Location: Fukuya Yaleyale A-Kan Shopping Center, Floor 11 food court, 9-1 Matsubara-cho, Minami-ku. See www.meetup.com/HAJELE

Kanagawa

Free English with Church of Latter Day Saints in Fujisawa, every Thursday, 7-8:30 p.m. Goeigo Eikaiwa is a free English conversation class. We can offer this service because the buildings are donated and the staff are all volunteers. 60-90 minute lessons every week focused on conversation learning to speak real English with real English speakers. Our teachers are fluent in both English and Japanese. Most are from America or other English-speaking countries. Event site: Church of Latter Day Saints, 2-27-7 Shonandai, Fujisawa. Phone: 0466-43-4236. More information at ishonan.com/event.php?function=showEvent&event_id=4984.

Kansai

Applied Linguistics Colloquium in Osaka: Temple University Japan Campus invites you to the 17th Annual Temple University Japan Campus Applied Linguistics Colloquium on Sat., Feb. 7, and Sun., Feb. 8, 12-6 p.m. at Temple University Japan’s Osaka Center. The event aims to explore current research into second language acquisition and pedagogy and provide researchers with an opportunity for discussion. Address: Osaka Ekimae Bldg. 3, 21st Floor, 1-1-3-2100 Umeda, Kita-ku, Osaka. Map: bit.ly/1wpsHDi. Cost: ¥1,500; fee covers your attendance for either one or both days. For additional information, visit bit.ly/15v081f.

2nd Carat Seminar: Teaching English Methods Institute is organising a 2nd Carat Seminar on Sun., Feb. 8, 9:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m. This seminar is intended for teachers who have attended 1st Carat. Address: Eru Osaka (Osaka Furitsu Rodo Center) 5F Seminar Room 3, 3-14 Kitahama Higashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi. Map: bit.ly/1BIIogG. Fee: ¥10,500. For more information, visit temi.or.jp/?lang=en.

Language teachers, please join the Osaka JALT email list www.osakajalt.org for free announcements of various ESL events in the Kansai area. Also join our Facebook group (Osaka JALT) and follow us on Twitter (@osakajalt), too! You can join JALT officially online via www.JALT.org.

Community House & Information Centre is a nonprofit community organization committed to meet the needs of the international community in Kansai, located at the RIC Central Tower, 3rd floor, 5-15 Koyocho Naka, Higashinada-ku, Kobe 658-0032. CHIC is a place for Japanese and the international community to socialize in a casual, fun atmosphere. We offer classes (language, cooking, arts and crafts, children’s focus), day trips (sightseeing, Japanese cultural experiences, shopping tours, and special events (coffee mornings, carpet auction, holiday bazaar, China Pete’s pottery sale). Hours of operation: Monday to Friday 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., closed national holidays and during summer between mid-June to August. For more information, look us up on Facebook: Chic Community House & Information Centre (CHIC), visit www.chickobe.com or email information@chickobe.com.

Osaka YMCA language center in Tosabori is seeking volunteers to teach language and culture in charity lessons in order to benefit victims of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Mail tosabori.language@osakaymca.or.jp or visit www.oylc.org.

Bridges is a year-round program for non-Japanese who want to experience Japan, offering monthly events covering a wide range of subjects. With programs that include Japanese language education and development of international volunteers, the Osaka YWCA runs Bridges and has centers in Umeda and Kita Senri. Email info@osaka.ywca.or.jp or please visit osaka.ywca.or.jp/english/activities.html.

Kyushu

Study Abroad Experience Hiroba: Have all of your questions about studying overseas answered at one of the Fukuoka International Exchange Foundation’s “Study Abroad Experience Hiroba” events at Kokusai Hiroba (3F Acros Fukuoka, 1-1-1 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka). Veterans of overseas study will speak about their recent experiences, and the latest information will also be provided by foreign government agencies. “Let’s go to Asia” is on Sun., March 8, 2015. Both events run 2-4 p.m. Participation is free, but there’s a limit of 40 participants per session so reserve by phone (092-725-9200) or fax (092-725-9206). Web: www.kokusaihiroba.or.jp/news/detail/?content_id=1432.

Tohoku

Teaching teachers for a good cause: Social Enterprise English Language School (SEELS: bit.ly/Rmk7Zk), an organization committed to improving the lives of migrant women who were among the disaster victims by training them to become certified English language teachers, is seeking interns for its operations in Tokyo and the northeastern region of Japan. The interns will work closely with the CEO and gain first-hand experience to scale social enterprises. For more information, please contact Cesar Santoyo (sa_ryo@hotmail.com).

Tokyo

Lakeland College will hold a free lecture (in English) on Wed., Jan. 28, at 7 p.m.: “The History of Hansen’s Disease in Japan,” presented by Kwi Boon Kim, curator of the National Hansen’s Disease Museum. The lecture is open to the public and free of charge. For directions to the Lakeland campus in Shinjuku, see our website at lcj.lakeland.edu/lakeland-lectures or phone 03-3225-0425.

English discussion group meeting: The East West Discussion Group presents a discussion on “Je suis Charlie, or I am Charlie” following a presentation by Isao Takizawa on Thu., Jan. 29, from 7-9 p.m. Venue: Room 104, Waseda Hoshien Seminar House, 2-3-1 Nishiwaseda, Shinjuku-ku 169-8616 (phone 03-3205-5411). See www.hoshien.or.jp. ¥700 Japanese, ¥500 non-Japanese and students. For details, mail Shigetomi Imai at sigetomii@yahoo.co.jp.

Tea ceremony experience: Would you like to learn more about Zen-ism, Japanese gardens and Japanese architecture? Would you like to escape from your hectic daily life? Come and join our monthly tea parties! We hold tea ceremonies on the first Sunday of each month (Feb. 1) at Otowa-Garou (1-15-12 Otowa, Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo; tel: 080-2158-4400. The fee is ¥1,500 per person (with teas, Japanese sweets included). Bookings are essential. To book, or to find out more, please contact Asako on asakomiyata@hotmail.co.jp. Please note that the event will not be held if less than three bookings are received.

Yamanote Bilingual Toastmasters meet on the first (Feb. 6) and third (Feb. 20) Fridays of each month at 7:15 p.m. at Nakameguro Square! We make speeches and give each other constructive feedback, do impromptu speeches, and have a lot of fun in English and Japanese. Visitors only need to introduce themselves in either language. Constructive, professional, sometimes hilarious atmosphere. Welcome to join and see what the international fuss is about! For more information, see yamanote-tmc.org/en.

Breakfast Toastmasters Club: Are your communication and leadership skills keeping you ahead or behind in today’s economic climate? Your confidence and effectiveness as a public speaker can grow in the supportive atmosphere of Breakfast Toastmasters. We are an English speaking club that meets 8 p.m. every second (Feb. 12) and fourth Thursday at the Dai-Ichi Hotel in Shinbashi, Tokyo. Prior reservation required. For more info, visit 4947.toastmastersclubs.org.

Pioneer Toastmasters Club welcomes you to join club meetings as a guest. An NPO for education, the club is part of Toastmasters International, which helps people of various backgrounds improve their communication and leadership skills using a proven education system. We meet every second (Feb. 13) and fourth Friday at Aoyama Lifelong Learning Center, Omotesando (A4 exit), Tokyo. Visit www.meetup.com/pioneertmc for further details.

The Tokyo International Children’s Choir (TICC) is a not-for-profit children’s choir. The TICC provides elementary and middle school children with a fun and high-quality opportunity to learn musical and life skills over the course of the academic school year from September through May. Rehearsals are held at St. Paul International Lutheran Church in Iidabashi. Find out more about TICC at www.tokyochildrenschoir.com or “Like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TokyoInternationalChildrensChoir.

Teaching teachers for a good cause: Social Enterprise English Language School (SEELS: bit.ly/Rmk7Zk), an organization committed to improving the lives of migrant women who were among the disaster victims by training them to become certified English language teachers, is seeking interns for its operations in Tokyo and the northeastern region of Japan. The interns will work closely with the CEO and gain first-hand experience to scale social enterprises. For more information, please contact Cesar Santoyo (sa_ryo@hotmail.com).

Keio University students want a reduction in their fees when they ask for one-year gap in their studies. Currently, the university asks students to pay ¥300,000, and students think this is excessive if they want to take a year off to study abroad or do internships to be better qualified in the future. The students have started a petition at Change.Org. As a parent, I want my son to progress and be a pillar of society in the future. It is imperative that Keio University reduce the cost of absence years and keep students’ places so they can graduate. I call on all faculty members, professors and students to support this initiative and sign the petition here: chn.ge/17WWspB. Please do it now — they need your support!

Akasaka Nihongo Club is offering a beginner’s and intermediate-level Japanese class taught by volunteer instructors every Saturday in Tokyo from 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Venue: Akasaka Iki-iki Plaza, a four-minute walk from Exit 6 of Akasaka Station, on the Chiyoda subway line. To sign up for membership, please call 080-5432-4306 or 03-3401-4306 (evenings only)

Want to learn about humour? Want to be funnier in life, with your friends, or just in general? Maybe you even want to try getting on stage? Come to the Tokyo Comedy Store’s Standup Comedy Workshop! For more information, see www.tokyocomedy.com/standup_workshops.

Choir practice takes place every Thursday from 7:30 p.m. till 9:30 p.m. at Tokyo Metro Church in Tachikawa. Each session includes English pronunciation practice by native speakers, breathing techniques and lots of singing. No experience necessary. For more info (in Japanese), please call 042-548-0132, or (in English) e-mail englishattmc@yahoo.com.

Time Forum (English discussion group): Time Forum is a weekly English forum to discuss current topics. It provides an arena in which the participants can exchange their views freely and candidly and aims to enhance their knowledge and awareness of current topics, communication skills in discussion and mutual understanding through discussion. Anyone interested can participate in Time Forum, which meets from 10 a.m. till 12 noon every Saturday at Hokutopia (usually on the eighth floor) in Oji, Kita Ward, Tokyo, near Oji Station. The participation fee (which goes to paying the room rent only) is ¥200 per forum (per person). For further information, please contact Yoshihito Kurasawa at prehend@ma.kitanet.ne.jp.

English-speaking women’s group: College Women’s Association of Japan (CWAJ) is an organization for women committed to education, cross-cultural exchange and friendship. CWAJ holds monthly luncheons with interesting speakers and has several special interests groups such as hiking, Japanese conversation, trips and tours, music and ceramics. It’s a great way to meet new people and become involved! See www.cwaj.org.

Public lectures at TUJ: Temple University, Japan Campus’ Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS) hosts more than 40 lectures and symposiums each year. Please visit www.tuj.ac.jpicas/events/upcoming for details. Temple University: www.tuj.ac.jp

Aikido in English: Join Seidokan Aikido of Tokyo, a modern style of aikido taught in English every Saturday from 1 p.m. till 3 p.m. We welcome men and women, foreign and Japanese. The first month of instruction is free. In Itabashi Ward, on Toei Mita/Saikyo lines. See www.tokyoseidokan.com. Email dojo@tokyoseidokan.com for details.

Yokohama

Volunteers provide Japanese language support for non-Japanese parents and preschool children on the first or second Thursday of the month (Oct-March) at 2-3 p.m. The next two meetings will be on Feb. 5 and March 5. Enjoy learning Japanese with fun material such as picture books and flashcards. No reservations required. Please come directly to the venue: Nonbirinco Training Room, Kannai Station-mae Certe Bldg., 9F. For inquiries, call 045-663-9715.

Nationwide

University teachers: Uncertain times at work? Isolated? Don’t know where to turn? We’re stronger if we stand together. Contact the University Teachers Union (National Union of General Workers Tokyo Nambu) via www.utu-japan.org.

SHARED INTERESTS

Chubu

Nagoya International Personal Computer Club meets at noon on the third Saturday (Feb. 15) of the month in Fushimi, Nagoya. Call 070-5152-2662 or visit www.nipcc.org for details.

Japanese home cooking, ikebana, tea ceremony in English: Learn to use the different sauces and spices common to traditional Japanese home-cooked dishes. Flower arranging and tea ceremony lessons available; private or group lessons OK. Call Hideko at 052-211-2586.

Free Sunday soccer in Nagoya: Whether you are a beginner or Lionel Messi, you are welcome to join in for soccer every Sunday in Nagoya. The playing starts at 2 p.m. at the Shonai Ryokuchi Koen, Nishi Ward, just by Shonai Ryokuchi Koen Station on the Tsurumai Line. Everyone is invited to join the kickabout games, but for the more serious players, Shonai FC has regular training and competitive games. For more information, please email sundayshonai@yahoo.co.uk or visit www.facebook.com/shonaifc.

The Aichi Goodwill Guides Network (AGGN) offers five free English-speaking tours of sightseeing spots around Nagoya. Guides are free but entrance fees are to be paid by participants. Tours include Nagoya Castle, Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology, Atsuta Jingu shrine, Osu Shopping Arcade and Arimatsu. For further information and to make reservations, contact the AGGN at guide-desk@aggn.jp or call 0561-75-6977.

Kanagawa

Weekend shogi tournament in Fujisawa at Fujisawa Shogi Center most weekends. Venue: Mitsuhashi Bldg 4F, Fujisawa 532 (call 0466-27-3107). Times: Opens at 12 p.m., starts at 1 p.m. For details, see ishonan.com/event.php?function=showEvent&event_id=4412.

Serendipity Sunday in Chigasaki most Sundays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. with Serendipity Sunday Market selling locally made honey, coffee, baked sweets, cheese, as well as sun-catchers, clothing, natural and glass crafts, ceramics, handmade hats. Also, aroma massage, personal color diagnosis, nail art. Where: Serendipity Cafe, 1-7-35 Matsugaoka, Chigasaki. Call 0467-84-5244. Blog: serendipitycafechigasaki.doorblog.jp. Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Serendipity-cafe/255070147875219. On iShonan: ishonan.com/event.php?function=showEvent&event_id=4919

Want to watch some fresh stand-up comedy? Want to try your hand at making an audience laugh yourself? The Mad Cows of Tokyo give you the chance to do both. There are regular shows in Tokyo, Yokohama and Fujisawa, Kanagawa Pref., including an open mic show where newcomers and old hands alike can try out new material in front of a friendly, supportive crowd. For details of shows and performance opportunities, email bignightout@madcowscomedy.com.

The American Village in Misaki, Kanagawa, is seeking new members. Located on the water only one hour from Tokyo, the Village is perfect for sailing, beach and family time for the international community. For further information, e-mail amakusashiro1@msn.com.

Kansai

Kansai Bulldogs Cricket Club is now looking for players for the new season — players of all levels are welcome. The club plays regular matches around Osaka and Kobe. For more info, call Jason at 090-3995-7908 or e-mail kansaibulldogs@gmail.com.

Australian football in Osaka: We are the Osaka Dingoes Australian Football Club. We hold weekly training at Osaka Castle Park. We have regular games with teams from Tokyo and Osaka. Male and female teams. See www.osakadingoes.com or mail osakadingoes@hotmail.com.

Tokyo

Comedy Juku: Interested in trying out stand-up comedy? Join our comedy jukus! It’s an open forum of comedians talking about their jokes, giving feedback or critiques and performing small sets to a limited audience. In this relaxed atmosphere, you can meet other people who are interested in comedy and fine-tune ideas you have. We hold the juku on the last Wednesday of every month (Jan. 28) at the VEGa wine bar in Shibuya (www.vega-bar.com) from 8 p.m. More information at www.madcowscomedy.com.

English discussion group meeting: The East West Discussion Group presents a discussion on “Je suis Charlie, or I am Charlie” following a presentation by Isao Takizawa on Thu., Jan. 29, from 7-9 p.m. Venue: Room 104, Waseda Hoshien Seminar House, 2-3-1 Nishiwaseda, Shinjuku-ku 169-8616 (phone 03-3205-5411). See www.hoshien.or.jp. ¥700 Japanese, ¥500 non-Japanese and students. For details, mail Shigetomi Imai at sigetomii@yahoo.co.jp.

Wine seminars and cooking classes in Tokyo are monthly events with wine tasting and gourmet food. The next wine seminar will be held on Sat., Jan. 31 at 7-10:30 p.m. at the upscale restaurant Stellato in Shirokanedai. The theme is : “Burgundy wine seminar with a French gourmet dinner.” You will taste five kinds of wines while speaker explains wine production, grape varieties and how to coordinate with food. Admission price: advance reservation ¥11,980 plus tax; ¥14,980 plus tax. Website: bit.ly/1ARoQkN. Contact email: wineandcooking@gmail.com

Breakfast Toastmasters Club: Are your communication and leadership skills keeping you ahead or behind in today’s economic climate? Your confidence and effectiveness as a public speaker can grow in the supportive atmosphere of Breakfast Toastmasters. We are an English speaking club that meets 8 p.m. every second (Feb. 12) and fourth Thursday at the Dai-Ichi Hotel in Shinbashi, Tokyo. Prior reservation required. For more info, visit 4947.toastmastersclubs.org.

Pioneer Toastmasters Club welcomes you to join club meetings as a guest. An NPO for education, the club is part of Toastmasters International, which helps people of various backgrounds improve their communication and leadership skills using a proven education system. We meet every second (Feb. 13) and fourth Friday at Aoyama Lifelong Learning Center, Omotesando (A4 exit), Tokyo. Visit www.meetup.com/pioneertmc for further details.

Tokyo Book Group is a casual discussion of fiction, held in Shibuya once a month. All adult ages are welcome. Discussions will be based on: “The Silence and the Roar” by Nihad Sirees, a novel on life under a repressive Mideast regime (Sun., Feb. 15); “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison, the debut novel of a Nobel Prize winner (Sun., March 15); “Dead Souls” by Nikolai Gogol, a classic of world literature blending realism and absurdity (Sun. April 19); “Giovanni’s Room” by James Baldwin, a love triangle involving an expat in 1950s Paris (Sun., May 17); and “Modern Japanese Stories,” an anthology of 20th century Japanese writers compiled by translator Ivan Morris, introducing Tanizaki, Kawabata, Mishima and others (Sun., June 21). For further information, please mail jeffdjp@yahoo.com.

Kokubunji Toastmasters Club, an international English-language public speaking club, welcomes people to its monthly meetings, which are held on the third Saturday night (Feb. 21) of each month. E-mail: yamaumi@hotmail.com

The Tokyo International Children’s Choir (TICC) is a not-for-profit children’s choir. The TICC provides elementary and middle school children with a fun and high-quality opportunity to learn musical and life skills over the course of the academic school year from September through May. Rehearsals are held at St. Paul International Lutheran Church in Iidabashi. Find out more about TICC at www.tokyochildrenschoir.com or “Like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TokyoInternationalChildrensChoir.

International Adventure Club Tokyo (IAC-Tokyo) is an international club managed by volunteers. The club provides fantastic ways to explore the outdoors of Japan and meet great people whilst having fun — hiking, rock-climbing, walks, camping, skiing and more. Once you become a member, you can participate in events and even organize them yourself. We are looking forward to sharing many great adventures with you. Check out our website for more information at www.iac-tokyo.org.

Genesis Art Workshops presents a Sunday drawing class in the traditional gardens of magnificent Shinjuku Gyoen, every week, 1-4 p.m. Ideal for all ages to learn how to draw in nature using fun intuitive techniques. Community picnic followed by 90-minute drawing session. Price: ¥1,500. More details at www.genesiscards.com/workshop-schedul/ or phone: 090-4122-6626.

Tokyo Embassy Choir is Japan’s leading ensemble of Japanese and expatriate choristers. It has a broad repertoire and a reputation to match. Major concerts are offered with free entry, with collections for charity. Auditions twice a year. Visit www.bec.ac.

Dance with the Disabled: Body & Mind is aiming to open our body and mind through dance. Under the guidance of Natsu Nakajima, a professional Butoh dancer, anyone, including the intellectually disabled, can participate. Three locations in Tokyo, classes are held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Each class consists of movement for relaxation, group-work and improvisation dance. Yotsuya class: second and fourth Saturdays, Yotsuya Hiroba Gallery Lamp. Suginami class: first and third Saturdays, Koenji Shogaisha Koryu Kan. Machida class: first and third Wednesday, Tamagawa Bunka Center. Fee: ¥1,500 per class. For more information, see www.geocities.jp/mutekisha/index1-e.html, email nnakajima7@ams.odn.ne.jp or call 042-391-4087.

Want to watch some fresh stand-up comedy? Want to try your hand at making an audience laugh yourself? The Mad Cows of Tokyo give you the chance to do both. There are regular shows in Tokyo, Yokohama and Fujisawa, Kanagawa Pref., including an open mic show where newcomers and old hands alike can try out new material in front of a friendly, supportive crowd. For details of shows and performance opportunities, email bignightout@madcowscomedy.com.

Love Shakespeare? Amateur group in Tokyo meets once a month to celebrate our love of the Bard. Come to read or just to listen. All nationalities welcome, and no experience is necessary! Visit groups.yahoo.com/group/Shakespeare-sama.

Tokyo Theatre for Children has been bringing the magical world of musical theatre to kids, young and old, for over 35 years! We are an English-speaking, adult community theatre troupe and nonprofit always looking for volunteers. Can you paint? Build? Act? Sing? Sew? Dance? Want to work backstage? No experience? No problem! How about being a patron of the arts? Production costs are extremely high. Please help us keep Tokyo Theatre for Children alive and bring the world of make-believe to life! Please contact Gerri at ttfc.japan@gmail.com or check out www.tokyotheatreforchildren.blogspot.com.

Support the Tokyo Sinfonia: We welcome anyone who is interested in supporting the Tokyo Sinfonia as volunteers. There is one area where the assistance of a volunteer would be extremely helpful. We would love to hear from someone who would like to keep our website updated every couple of weeks. If you are interested, please contact 03-3588-0738. For tickets or further information, please email tickets@tokyosinfonia.com. Website: www.tokyosinfonia.com

Want to learn about humour? Want to be funnier in life, with your friends, or just in general? Maybe you even want to try getting on stage? Come to the Tokyo Comedy Store’s Standup Comedy Workshop! For more information, see www.tokyocomedy.com/standup_workshops.

Choir practice takes place every Thursday from 7:30 p.m. till 9:30 p.m. at Tokyo Metro Church in Tachikawa. Each session includes English pronunciation practice by native speakers, breathing techniques and lots of singing. No experience necessary. For more info (in Japanese), please call 042-548-0132, or (in English) e-mail englishattmc@yahoo.com.

Time Forum (English discussion group): Time Forum is a weekly English forum to discuss current topics. It provides an arena in which the participants can exchange their views freely and candidly and aims to enhance their knowledge and awareness of current topics, communication skills in discussion and mutual understanding through discussion. Anyone interested can participate in Time Forum, which meets from 10 a.m. till 12 noon every Saturday at Hokutopia (usually on the eighth floor) in Oji, Kita Ward, Tokyo, near Oji Station. The participation fee (which goes to paying the room rent only) is ¥200 per forum (per person). For further information, please contact Yoshihito Kurasawa at prehend@ma.kitanet.ne.jp.

Women’s network: Women in Tokyo, we welcome you to join our network For Empowering Women (FEW), and to begin building your professional and social network. We offer monthly events incorporating many different topics from lectures to social outings and volunteering. For more information, please visit www.fewjapan.com.

English-speaking women’s group: College Women’s Association of Japan (CWAJ) is an organization for women committed to education, cross-cultural exchange and friendship. CWAJ holds monthly luncheons with interesting speakers and has several special interests groups such as hiking, Japanese conversation, trips and tours, music and ceramics. It’s a great way to meet new people and become involved! See www.cwaj.org.

Square and Compass Masonic Lodge #3 meets Sundays in Kunitachi, Tokyo. Meetings begin 1 p.m. with lunch at 12 noon For info, contact Wm. W. Burgos at wm@square-compass3.org.

Tokyo American Club: A home away from home for the international community since 1928! Call 03-4588-0670 for information on special packages to fit your needs or visit www.tokyoamericanclub.org.

Tokyo Canadian Club for Canadians and friends of Canada. Join the club for events with Canadian nostalgia and a monthly pub night. Visit our website at: www.tokyocanadianclub.com.

Aikido in English: Join Seidokan Aikido of Tokyo, a modern style of aikido taught in English every Saturday from 1 p.m. till 3 p.m. We welcome men and women, foreign and Japanese. The first month of instruction is free. In Itabashi Ward, on Toei Mita/Saikyo lines. See www.tokyoseidokan.com. Email dojo@tokyoseidokan.com for details

Overeaters Anonymous can be contacted on (03) 5605-9425, by emailing oatokyo@yahoo.com or visiting www.oaintokyo.org.

Yokohama

Yokohama Runners: This is a group for anyone interested in running in the Yokohama area. All skills levels are welcome. Different distances, workouts and routes. Training for a marathon? Need motivation to get off the couch? Want to see the sites a different way? Looking to meet new people? And for those who enjoy beer, Yokohama offers plenty of local pubs to grab a cold one at the end of a run. Web: www.meetup.com/Yokohama-Runners-Meetup-Group

Nationwide

Association of Foreign Wives of Japanese supports foreign women with Japanese partners. See www.afwj.org for more information.

SOCIAL

Chubu

Sakae Toastmasters Club: An international club that aims to develop leadership and English communication skills in a no-pressure atmosphere. We meet on second and fourth Wednesdays (Jan. 28) at 7-9 p.m. at Nadya Park. Attend one of our club meetings. Contact Rina 080-3647-6996 or email sakae-tmc@freeml.com.

Nagoya Meet and Greet: A monthly lunch where more than 40 women of various nationalities, interests and ages gather to meet, eat and greet. Great for new arrivals and those seeking new friends. Children’s play area available. English is the language of communication. E-mail: nagoyameetandgreet@gmail.com

Fukuoka

Samurai FC: We enjoy playing football (soccer) and futsal in Fukuoka. If you like these activities, come join us and drink beer! We are looking for players, club secretaries and supporters. We welcome any expats and Japanese, regardless of age, gender or football skills. The focus is on relieving the stress from our workdays by playing football and hanging out. We play football for fun and to make friends. Let us share the court expenses to have fun! We meet on Sundays a couple times a month at the Futsal Court in Fukuoka (Tenjin) or Runbretta Bayside (Hakata). For more information and dates check out the website: www.meetup.com/samuraiFC

Discover Fukuoka: This is a group for anyone interested in meeting new people, discovering the city, dining out, holding events, etc. Planning to meet up once in every one week or two weeks; at night for the weekdays and lunch, dinner or one-day event for the weekends. Looking forward to exploring the city with everyone of you. See www.meetup.com/Discover-Fukuoka

HiROSHIMA

Japanese and English Language Exchange in Hiroshima: This group is for those who want to learn Japanese and English. All ages and levels are welcome. Our meet-ups are every other Sunday, 5-7 p.m. Location: Fukuya Yaleyale A-Kan Shopping Center, Floor 11 food court, 9-1 Matsubara-cho, Minami-ku. See www.meetup.com/HAJELE.

Kansai

Osaka Language Exchange Party: Every Sunday an Osaka Language Exchange Party is held for women and men aged 18-35. Practice your English or any other language while making new friends. Admission is ¥1,000. Contact andre-paris@aol.com or 0793-084-7222. For more information: www.meetup.com/osaka-language-exchange-party

Community House & Information Centre is a nonprofit community organization committed to meet the needs of the international community in Kansai, located at the RIC Central Tower, 3rd floor, 5-15 Koyocho Naka, Higashinada-ku, Kobe 658-0032. CHIC is a place for Japanese and the international community to socialize in a casual, fun atmosphere. We offer classes (language, cooking, arts and crafts, children’s focus), day trips (sightseeing, Japanese cultural experiences, shopping tours, and special events (coffee mornings, carpet auction, holiday bazaar, China Pete’s pottery sale). Hours of operation: Monday to Friday 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., closed national holidays and during summer between mid-June to August. For more information, look us up on Facebook: Chic Community House & Information Centre (CHIC), visit www.chickobe.com or email information@chickobe.com.

Kobe Club is a nonprofit, private-membership club serving Kansai’s international community. Featuring fine dining and a wide range of events and activities, it is a center of social, cultural and family life for the transient and long-term expatriate as well as the internationally minded local resident. Email kobeclub@office.email.ne.jp or check out www.kobeclub.org.

FEW Kansai is a networking organization for foreign women in Japan. Dinner meetings feature a variety of guest speakers, usually held at the Hilton Hotel Osaka in Umeda on the last Thursday of each month. The organization also organizes monthly events that provide professional and personal support. Email info@fewkansai.com or visit www.fewkansai.com.

Tokyo

Comedy Juku: Interested in trying out standup comedy? Join our comedy jukus! It’s an open forum of comedians talking about their jokes, giving feedback or critiques and performing small sets to a limited audience. In this relaxed atmosphere, you can meet other people who are interested in comedy and fine-tune ideas you have. We hold the juku on the last Wednesday of every month (Jan. 28) at the VEGa wine bar in Shibuya (www.vega-bar.com) from 8 p.m. More information at www.madcowscomedy.com

Tokyo Comedy: Improvazilla Main Stage Show: This is where you want to be on the last Friday (Jan. 30) of every month! Improvazilla is a 2.5-hour show that features the best improv in Edo! Join us as experienced players team up with up-and-coming improvisers to perform improvised games and scenes based on your suggestions. Reservations are not required. Entry is ¥1,500. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and show runs 8-10:30 p.m. Food is served all night, with one drink minimum purchase. Located at the Crocodile Live House, Sekiguchi Bldg. B1, 6-18-8 Jingumae, Shibuya 150-0001. Map: www.tokyocomedy.com/the_crocodile Web: www.tokyocomedy.com/improvazilla_main_stage_show

Wine seminars and cooking classes in Tokyo are monthly events with wine tasting and gourmet food. The next wine seminar will be held on Sat., Jan. 31 at 7-10:30 p.m. at the upscale restaurant Stellato in Shirokanedai. The theme is : “Burgundy wine seminar with a French gourmet dinner.” You will taste five kinds of wines while speaker explains wine production, grape varieties and how to coordinate with food. Admission price: advance reservation ¥11,980 plus tax; ¥14,980 plus tax. Website: bit.ly/1ARoQkN. Contact email: wineandcooking@gmail.com

“Return to the Forbidden Planet”: the cosmic sci-fi rock ‘n’ roll musical for the whole family, will be shown in Tanner Auditorium on Feb. 6-8. Based on the story of the cult 1950s sci-fi film “Forbidden Planet” mixed with the characters from the stormy shipwreck tale of William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” this musical is packed with pop and rock hits from the 1950s and ’60s. Show times: Fri., Feb. 6, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 7, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 8, 2 p.m. Admission: ¥1,500 adults/¥500 students. Please visit website for more information: tiny.cc/43o4px.

International Adventure Club Tokyo (IAC-Tokyo) is an international club managed by volunteers. The club provides fantastic ways to explore the outdoors of Japan and meet great people whilst having fun — hiking, rock-climbing, walks, camping, skiing and more. Once you become a member, you can participate in events and even organize them yourself. We are looking forward to sharing many great adventures with you. Check out our website for more information at www.iac-tokyo.org

Genesis Art Workshops presents a Sunday drawing class in the traditional gardens of magnificent Shinjuku Gyoen, every week, 1-4 p.m. Ideal for all ages to learn how to draw in nature using fun intuitive techniques. Community picnic followed by 90-minute drawing session. Price: ¥1,500. More details at www.genesiscards.com/workshop-schedul or phone 090-4122-6626.

HIV Peer Support: Tokyo peer support grew from a need for peer support programs in English. We offer peer support for any person living with HIV every Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., at Waseda university. We work with Japanese HIV support Organization Place Tokyo, to provide ongoing peer support groups and workshops where you can get together with other people in the same boat as you. People who understand. We operate in a safe, considerate and 100% confidential setting to discuss what’s on your mind, ask questions and make new friends. For questions, email info@peersupporttokyo.com or visit www.peersupporttokyo.com.

Women’s network: Women in Tokyo, we welcome you to join our network For Empowering Women (FEW), and to begin building your professional and social network. We offer monthly events incorporating many different topics from lectures to social outings and volunteering. For more information, please visit www.fewjapan.com.

Need a good laugh? There’s standup, open mic, improv and more! The Tokyo Comedy Store hosts shows in Shibuya and Asakusa, with the entrance fee ranging from free to ¥2,000 (drinks included). Reserve by emailing Chris Wells (chris@tokyocomedy.com) or please visit www.tokyocomedy.com/schedule.

English-speaking women’s group: College Women’s Association of Japan (CWAJ) is an organization for women committed to education, cross-cultural exchange and friendship. CWAJ holds monthly luncheons with interesting speakers and has several special interests groups such as hiking, Japanese conversation, trips and tours, music and ceramics. It’s a great way to meet new people and become involved! See www.cwaj.org.

Open Mic Night: Every Thursday night from 8 p.m. till 1:30 a.m., CoZmo’s Cafe in Shibuya comes alive with local and talented musicians. Free. Musicians, singers, dancers and poets are welcome to take the stage, and music lovers are welcome to listen to new, talented artists. Sign up on arrival — no reservations. Alternatively, just come to listen and enjoy. For more info, send a mail to info@cozmoscafe.com, call 03-3407-5166 or check out www.cozmoscafe.com.

Nationwide

The Canadian Alumni Association in Japan (CAAJ) holds monthly events that are designed for networking between people who have studied in Canada and those who are interested in doing so. For more info, contact 03-3224-0944, e-mail membership@caaj.jp or check out www.caaj.jp.

SPIRITUAL

Chubu

All Nations Fellowship is an international bilingual (English/Japanese) worship service. Our Bible-based teachings are focused on the gospel and the doctrines of grace. We meet every Sunday at 10:30 in Nagakute, Nagoya. We offer bilingual Sunday School for children aged 4-12. Please visit us at www.allnationsfellowship.net for more information.

Islam Ahmadiyya Mosque hosts Friday Prayer at 1 p.m. and is open for all five daily prayers. You can also study the Holy Quran, Arabic and Urdu, use the Islamic library and attend cooking classes. Address: Kifune 2-1602, Meito Ward, Nagoya. Email: info@ahmadiyyat.jp. Phone: 052-703-1868. Web: www.ahmadiyyat.jp

Hiroshima

Setsubun bean-throwing ceremony: Do not miss a chance to participate in Setsubun, performed on Tue., Feb. 3, in Saikoku-ji at 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Sumiyoshi-jinja at 2 p.m. and Gokoku-jinja at 3:30-4:30 p.m. The ceremony includes rituals to banish evil spirits and welcome in good fortune, which vary with each temple and shrine. Access: Saikoku-ji Temple, 29-27 Nishi-kubo-cho, Onomichi-shi, Hiroshima-ken. (phone 0848-37-0321); Sumiyoshi-jinja 5-10 Sumiyoshi-cho, Naka-ku, Hiroshima (phone 082-241-0104, web: www.sumiyoshijinja.net); Gokoku-jinja 2-21 Motomachi, Naka-ku, Hiroshima-shi, (phone 082-221-5590)

Kanagawa

Shonan-Yokohama-Tokyo Thich Nhat Hanh Meetup: Interested in mindfulness practices inspired by teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh? Let’s come together as a community. We focus on enjoying the mindfulness practices inspired by Plum Village tradition, gentle and peaceful in every way possible, free of ideology or beliefs. We welcome all ages, nationalities, genders, faith or of none. “There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.” See bit.ly/ThichNH

Sagamihara church seeks musicians: The Triumphant Bible Church is looking for guitarists and a keyboard player to join her weekly Sunday “Let’s Praise God” music festivals. Address: Meson Sagamihara 102, Minami-dai, 4-16-4, Minami Ward, Sagamihara city (a four-minute walk from Odakyu Sagamihara Station’s North Exit on Odakyu Line). Please call Brother George on 090-1265-1042 (24 hours).

Faith & Victory International Church Yokohama has church services in both English and Japanese. Activities: Sunday Worship (from 2 p.m.), Gospel Choir Practice (7 p.m. Wednesdays), Gospel Choir Practice (10 a.m. Thursdays), Variety Night (7:15 p.m. Fridays). Place: Yokohama, Nishi Ward, Minamisaiwai 2-16-20, Ochuu Yokohama Building 9F (5 mins walk from Yokohama Station, West Exit). Phone 045-479-5060, 090-9813-3545 or mail naokiatanda@yahoo.com.

Osaka

Meditate in Osaka: “Living in the moment, learning to be mindful.” Drop into any class and enjoy listening to practical, down-to-earth advice to help solve your daily problems such as those related to anger, attachment or other negative states of mind. Location: Café Natura, New Shinmachi Building floor 2, Osaka Shin-machi 2-17-10, Nishi-ku. See map: kyousoucafe.blog.fc2.com/blog-entry-8.html. For upcoming events, visit www.meetup.com/Meditate-in-Osaka. Phone: 06-6537-7882

Tokyo

The Unitarian Fellowship of Tokyo meets at 3 p.m. every second Sunday (Feb. 8) of the month (except in July and August) for stimulating discussions on topics of faith and social justice at International House, near Roppongi or Azabu-Juban stations. Contact us for more info on 03-3470-4611 or at unitarianfellowshipoftokyo@gmail.com.

International Buddhist Congregation holds Sunday service in English every week from 10:45 a.m.-1 p.m at Birthplace Hall,1-15-1 Wada, Suginami Ward, Tokyo, two minutes from Nakano-Fujimicho Station’s exit on the Marunouchi Line. Ceremony, dharma talk, dharma circle sharing and social time. Friendly atmosphere. For more information, call 03-5341-1230 or visit www.ibc-rk.org.

Foundations for Christian Life at St. Alban’s Anglican-Episcopal Church (3-6-25 Shiba Koen, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0011) every Thursday at 7 p.m. Foundations for Christian Life can help you to say an even deeper “Yes!” to the life and love our God offers you in the Church and world now, and in God’s eternal Kingdom. For further information, please see our website at www.saintalbans.jp. Email stalbans@saintalbans.jp or call 03-3431-8534 for details.

Contemplative Prayer at St. Alban’s Anglican-Episcopal Church (3-6-25 Shiba Koen Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0011). Please join us for Still Prayer (or Christian Meditation) at St. Alban’s. We meet for Still Prayer on Thursdays 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the parish hall. Still Prayer is simply resting wordlessly in God’s presence. It’s the most natural thing in the world and all human beings were created to share in this kind of communion with God. For more information please contact our website at www.saintalbans.jp. Mail stalbans@saintalbans.jp or call 03-3431-8534.

Choir practice takes place every Thursday from 7:30 p.m. till 9:30 p.m. at Tokyo Metro Church in Tachikawa. Each session includes English pronunciation practice by native speakers, breathing techniques and lots of singing. No experience necessary. For more info (in Japanese), please call 042-548-0132, or (in English) e-mail englishattmc@yahoo.com.

Shinjuku Shalom Church has an English service every Saturday from 3 p.m. at Shinjuku Ward, Nishi-Shinjuku 7-9-6 Kotobuki Bldg., Rm 201. Phone 03-3371-7558. With ice-breaking, singing, messages and refreshments. This is a chance to practice English and get some spiritual food.

Introduction To Christianity class at St. Paul International Lutheran Church, Tokyo. For a map to the church, please visit www.spilchurchtokyo.org. All are invited!

NOTICES

Fukuoka

Yanagawa Kotatsu Bune offers a trip on a kawakudari, a canal boat, in Yanagawa until Sat., Feb. 28. Yanagawa is referred to as “Japan’s Venice” because of its long canals in which gondolas cruise. The boatmen offer interesting commentary and sometimes sing songs as the scenery passes by. In winter, passengers stay warm with blankets, heaters and atsukan (hot sake!). Price: adult ¥1,500, child ¥800. Boat launch is a three-minute walk from Nishitetsu, Yanagawa Station. For more information, call 0944-73-4343 or visit bit.ly/1sB6tD2.

Hiroshima

Hiroshima Minato Marché, an outdoor market in Ujina, is held every first (Feb. 1) and third Sundays (Feb. 15), 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Fresh local produce and food stalls are installed in open space between the east and west terminals of Hiroshima Port. For more information, call 082-255-6646, mail info@hm-marche.net or visit hm-marche.net.

Kansai

Kamigamo Shrine in Kita Ward, Kyoto, offers daily tours with English-speaking guides. Participants should be at the shrine at 9:30 a.m. Tours at other hours available on request. Cost: ¥500. Please check in advance that tour for the day will take place. Please call 075-781-0011 or visit www.kamigamojinja.jp for details.

Tokyo

East Blue Free Tours of Asakusa: Are you looking for tour that is more than some dull facts and meaningless dates and names? More than what you can find on Wikipedia? We believe in providing tours that are unique, fun and interesting — tours that tell a tale and give you a real taste of the legends, history and culture of Tokyo. Our guides are skilled at bringing history and sights alive through their excellent storytelling. These free walking tour runs every day, all year around, in almost all weather. In extreme cases such as typhoons, the tour may be cancelled and information will be clearly located on our web page. Email: info@freetourjapan.com. Website: www.freetourjapan.com

See Tokyo through the eyes of an English-speaking native! Our guides might not speak perfect English, but their hospitality, spirit and cultural insight will make your Tokyo experience heart-warming and memorable. They’ll show you around your favorite neighborhood for free. Call Kimi Information Center on 03-3986-1604. Open Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Web: www.kimiwillbe.com/guide

Nationwide

“The Expat’s Guide to Japan” is an online guide that covers all the basic yet essential info to help make living in and around Tokyo and Yokohama more pleasant and convenient. Printed copies also available free of charge. Contact info@mais.co.jp or see expatsguide.jp.

Washington office available: Office in Washington, D.C., across from Union Station/Capitol Hill with kitchen, conference room, gym available for Japan-based organizations and individuals to use when in Washington. Contact help@keikyo.com for further information.