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CAUSES

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

Hokkaido

World Music and Dance Festival (WMDF): For one week every August, artists from all over the world perform at four outdoor stages, give workshops, and carry out an Outreach program in the community. Since 2008, WMDF has seen over 1,400 performers, from 42 countries/republics, play to over 200,000 attendees. This eighth edition features 33 groups from countries such as Bangladesh, Lithuania, Taiwan, India, and Indonesia. WMDF is co-located with the “Mogu Mogu Festival,” bringing you 60 booths of goods and gourmet from around the world. This event is hosted by World Meets Japan. When: Wed., Aug. 5, to Wed., Aug. 10, 4-9:30 p.m. Starts at 2 p.m. on Sat. and Sun. Where: Motomachi Park, located at 12 Motomachi-shi,, Hakodate, Hokkaido. Cost: ¥1,000 for one-day pass, ¥2,000 for six-day pass (limited numbers). For any inquiries, email wmdf@wmdf.org or call 0138-52-3815.

Kansai

Residential course for tsunami orphans with the Aid For Japan charity (www.aidforjapan.co.uk) from Mon., Aug. 3, to Wed., Aug. 5, at Yakushi-ji in Nara (www.nara-yakushiji.com). The monks of this historic temple have very kindly offered their wonderful hospitality to our volunteers and orphans. This is a unique chance to see the famous temples from the inside. Akemi Solloway (www.akemisolloway.com), a lecturer in Japanese culture, will lead this course. Meet at Nara Station at 1:30 p.m. on the 3rd and leave the temple after lunch on the 5th. Cost: ¥30,000 including meal, accommodation and sightseeing in Nara and Kyoto. Please watch these videos from courses in 2013 and 2014: bit.ly/aidforjapan2013 and bit.ly/aidforjapan2014. For more information, please contact info@aidforjapan.co.uk

Think Global U.K.-Japan Forum on International Perspectives in Education (Kyoto): This event aims to promote and facilitate an exchange of ideas between Japanese and British teachers; to encourage a global outlook in the classroom, for both students and teachers; and to embed a global perspective in teacher professional development in Japan and the U.K. Workshops will be held on technology to connect classrooms, schools, countries; language and communication for global collaboration; science as global language; independent learning; women in science and education; and global citizenship. When: Sun., Aug. 25 (9 a.m.-4 p.m.). Where: Kyoto City International Foundation (Kokoka). Price: ¥5,000 (free for volunteer helpers). Learn more at thinkglobalukjapan.edublogs.org. To contact us, email rgallagher@thomas-hardye.net.

2015 CWAJ’s 60th Anniversary Print Show in Kobe: Held annually since 1956, the CWAJ Print Show is both an exhibition and sale of original artwork. The Print Show serves two purposes: to showcase contemporary Japanese prints for an international audience and to secure funds for the scholarships and grants which CWAJ has to date provided to more than 800 students and artists. This year’s landmark show will feature the top 60 entries from the CWAJ competition for up-and-coming artists as well as a special exhibition, “Kanreki: A 60-year Journey,” which traces the contribution of the CWAJ Print Show to the history of contemporary Japanese hanga. Fri., Nov. 6, to Sun., Nov. 8, at Kobe Club, in collaboration with the Kobe Biennale. Open to the public and free admission. For inquiries, contact Paula Murakami, Tomoko Toda and Hiromi Matsumura at printshowpublicity@cwaj.org. For further information, visit www.cwaj.org.

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.

Tohoku

Think Global U.K.-Japan Forum on International Perspectives in Education (Fukushima): This event aims to promote and facilitate an exchange of ideas between Japanese and British teachers; to encourage a global outlook in the classroom, for both students and teachers; and to embed a global perspective in teacher professional development in Japan and the U.K. Workshops will be held on technology to connect classrooms, schools, countries; language and communication for global collaboration; science as global language; independent learning; women in science and education; and global citizenship. When: Sun., Aug. 23 (9 a.m.-4 p.m.). Where: Fukushima Corasse Building. Price: ¥5,000 (free for volunteer helpers). Learn more at thinkglobalukjapan.edublogs.org. To contact us, email rgallagher@thomas-hardye.net.

International English camp volunteers: Recovery Assistance Center of Miyagi is looking for volunteering staff for International English camps held in the Kanto and Tohoku regions from April to August on Saturdays and Sundays. If you love children and speak conversational English, please join one of the camps. For more details and camp schedules, please see www.ganbaro-miyagi.com/camp2015/en

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).

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 needed 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

AITEN Acoustic Music Evening: An evening of music to free the spirit, presented by the Amnesty International Tokyo English Network. Mr. Carl Herring (guitar) and Ms. Chiaki Yamazaki (violin) will play some of their favorite music. When: Wed., July 29, from 7-9 p.m. (doors open at 6). Where: Good Heavens Pub, Shimokitazawa. Cost: free admission, but suggested donation of ¥2,000 (includes one free drink). All proceeds go to Amnesty International. For further inquiries, contact info@aiten.info. For more information and a map to the venue, visit www.aiten.info.

International English camp volunteers: Recovery Assistance Center of Miyagi is looking for volunteering staff for International English camps held in the Kanto and Tohoku regions from April to August on Saturdays and Sundays. If you love children and speak conversational English, please join one of the camps. For more details and camp schedules, please see www.ganbaro-miyagi.com/camp2015/en

Think Global U.K.-Japan Forum on International Perspectives in Education (Tokyo): This event aims to promote and facilitate an exchange of ideas between Japanese and British teachers; to encourage a global outlook in the classroom, for both students and teachers; and to embed a global perspective in teacher professional development in Japan and the U.K. Workshops will be held on technology to connect classrooms, schools, countries; language and communication for global collaboration; science as global language; independent learning; women in science and education; and global citizenship. When: Sun., Aug. 28 (9 a.m.-4 p.m.). Where: Rikkyo University, Ikebukuro, Tokyo. Price: ¥5,000 (free for volunteer helpers). Learn more at thinkglobalukjapan.edublogs.org. To contact us, email rgallagher@thomas-hardye.net.

2015 CWAJ’s 60th Anniversary Print Show: Held annually since 1956, the CWAJ Print Show is both an exhibition and sale of original artwork. The Print Show serves two purposes: to showcase contemporary Japanese prints for an international audience and to secure funds for the scholarships and grants which CWAJ has to date provided to more than 800 students and artists. This year’s landmark show will feature the top 60 entries from the CWAJ competition for up-and-coming artists as well as a special exhibition, “Kanreki: A 60-year Journey,” which traces the contribution of the CWAJ Print Show to the history of contemporary Japanese hanga. Fri., Oct. 30, to Sun., Nov. 1, at Tokyo American Club. Open to the public and free admission. For inquiries, contact Paula Murakami, Tomoko Toda and Hiromi Matsumura at printshowpublicity@cwaj.org. For further information, visit www.cwaj.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.info 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

Wanted: used books and DVDs for Charibon. The resale value will go to Shine On! Kids, an organization that supports children with cancer and other serious diseases. Fill out the online form (www.charibon.jp/donation/action.cgi) to request pickup from anywhere within Japan — free for five or more items! See www.sokids.org/?p=20309 for more details in English.

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.

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.

EDUCATIONAL

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 (July 22) at 7-9 p.m. at Nadya Park in Nagoya. Attend one of our club meetings. Contact Rina 080-3647-6996 or email sakae-tmc@freeml.com.

Nunoike English Speech Contest: An English Speech Contest for all ages from junior high school students to adults, with two divisions: 1. Recitation (recitation of a designated text) — junior and senior high school students. 2. Creative speech (presentation of an original speech of less than five minutes’ duration) — from junior high school students to adults. When: Sat., July 25 (9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.). Where: St. Mary College in Higashi Ward, Nagoya. Access: A 4-minute walk northeast from Shinsakae-machi Station on the Higashiyama Subway Line. For further inquiries, call 052-935-6113 or email info@st-mary-college.com.

Children’s Story Book Time (English and French): Listen to foreign volunteers in the NIC’s 3F Library as they read story books in their own respective languages from the library’s vast collection of international children’s books. Participation is free, and no reservations are required! When: Sun., July 26, from 2-2:30 p.m. Where: Nagoya International Center, which is located at Nagono 1-47-1, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya 450-0001.

School Guidance Seminar for Children of Foreign Nationals: This Nagoya International Center seminar, co-hosted by the Nagoya Board of Education, consists of two sessions: a morning session featuring a film screening on multicultural children, and an afternoon session providing advice on the Japanese post-junior high admission system and possible options that students will have available to them once they have graduated from JHS, an explanation of the entrance examination schedule, and a series of short presentations by representatives from local high schools. Individual consultations with school representatives will also be available after the seminar. English, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese and Filipino interpreters will be available. The seminar is free, but places are limited to 80 parents and students. Reservations are required and can be made by calling the NIC (052-581-0100), or visiting the Nagoya International Center 3F Information Counter. When: Sun., Aug. 2 (Morning session 10 a.m.-12:15 p.m.; Afternoon session 1-4:30 p.m.). Where: Nagoya International Center Annex Hall. Access: Above Kokusai Center Station on the Sakura-dori subway line.

The Nagoya Touring Children’s Theater: This group began in 1980 to give children the opportunity to experience the excitement of live theater — something that can’t be conveyed through television. Events are held at local low-cost venues to make participation as easy as possible for everyone! 1. Nagoya Opera Association — Operetta “Noharahime” on Wed., Aug. 5, at Minato Bunka Shogekijo; Thu., Aug. 6, at Meito Bunka Shogekijo; Fri., Aug. 21, at Nakamura Bunka Shogekijo; Sat., Aug. 22, at Kita Bunka Shogekijo. 2. Kyogen Kyodosha — “Here’s Kyogen!” on Tue., Aug. 18, at Chikusa Bunka Shogekijo; Wed., Aug. 19, at Nakagawa Bunka Shogekijo. 3. Pleasure Planning — “Pleasure B’s Comedy Mini-circus” on Thu. Aug. 20, at Naka Ward Office Hall; Fri., Aug. 21, at Minami Bunka Shogekijo. 4. Kawaguchi Setsuko Ballet Troupe — “An Invitation to the Ballet” on Wed., Aug. 26, at Midori Bunka Shogekijo; Thu., Aug. 27, at Tenpaku Bunka Shogekijo; Fri., Aug. 28, at Moriyama Bunka Shogekijo; Sat., Aug. 29, at Nishi Bunka Shogekijo. Tickets: ¥700 for everyone 3 years and over. Children under 3 may enter for free if they share a seat with their parent/guardian. Tickets can be purchased through the Nagoya City Cultural Promotion Corporation Ticket Guide (weekdays 9 a.m.-5 p.m.). Phone: 052-2499387. For further details, visit www.bunka758.or.jp (Japanese).

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

Children’s Peace Forum: A three-day, two-night program for kids of various backgrounds to meet and overcome differences such as nationality and age to have fun and interact with one another. Directed towards children of ages corresponding to between 3rd and 6th grade attending elementary school or international school. Maximum 25 places, to be determined on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations required. When: Wed., Aug. 19 (starts at 11 a.m.) to Fri., Aug. 21 (ends at 2 p.m.). Where: Nagoya Youth Center, Showa Ward. Access: A five-minute walk from Nagoya Daigaku Station Exit 1 on the subway Meijo Line. Cost: ¥5,000. Reservations: Contact Nagoya Youth Center, phone: 052-781-0165; fax: 052-781-4334; e-mail: nyc.chubu@nskk.org.

Shirayuri Association provides educational and cultural services to both Turkish and Japanese societies in order to promote the Turkish community in Japan and further friendship between Turkish and Japanese communities. Located in Yabuta-cho, Moriyama-ku. For information, call 052-710- 9808.

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

Think Global U.K.-Japan Forum on International Perspectives in Education (Kyoto): This event aims to promote and facilitate an exchange of ideas between Japanese and British teachers; to encourage a global outlook in the classroom, for both students and teachers; and to embed a global perspective in teacher professional development in Japan and the U.K. Workshops will be held on technology to connect classrooms, schools, countries; language and communication for global collaboration; science as global language; independent learning; women in science and education; and global citizenship. When: Sun., Aug. 25 (9 a.m.-4 p.m.). Where: Kyoto City International Foundation (Kokoka). Price: ¥5,000 (free for volunteer helpers). Learn more at thinkglobalukjapan.edublogs.org. To contact us, email rgallagher@thomas-hardye.net.

The 9th Annual Japan Writers Conference: This year, the Japan Writers Conference takes place on Sat., Oct. 24, and Sun., Oct. 25, at beautiful Kobe Women’s University (Suma Campus). As in the past, the conference will be free and open to all who wish to attend. Furthermore, published writers, translators, editors, agents and publishers who would like to lead a session are invited to submit proposals. Please see our website for details: www.japanwritersconference.org

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.

Tohoku

Think Global U.K.-Japan Forum on International Perspectives in Education (Fukushima): This event aims to promote and facilitate an exchange of ideas between Japanese and British teachers; to encourage a global outlook in the classroom, for both students and teachers; and to embed a global perspective in teacher professional development in Japan and the U.K. Workshops will be held on technology to connect classrooms, schools, countries; language and communication for global collaboration; science as global language; independent learning; women in science and education; and global citizenship. When: Sun., Aug. 23 (9 a.m.-4 p.m.). Where: Fukushima Corasse Building. Price: ¥5,000 (free for volunteer helpers). Learn more at thinkglobalukjapan.edublogs.org. To contact us, email rgallagher@thomas-hardye.net.

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

English discussion group meeting: The East West Discussion Group presents a discussion on “”The disappearance of Harold Holt, former prime minister of Australia”” following a presentation by Mr. Isao Takizawa on Thu., July 23, 7-9 p.m. Venue: Room 104, Waseda Hoshien Seminar House, 2-3-1 Nishiwaseda, Shinjuku Ward 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 (Aug. 2) 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 and third Fridays (Aug. 7 and 21) 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.

Think Global U.K.-Japan Forum on International Perspectives in Education (Tokyo): This event aims to promote and facilitate an exchange of ideas between Japanese and British teachers; to encourage a global outlook in the classroom, for both students and teachers; and to embed a global perspective in teacher professional development in Japan and the U.K. Workshops will be held on technology to connect classrooms, schools, countries; language and communication for global collaboration; science as global language; independent learning; women in science and education; and global citizenship. When: Sun., Aug. 28 (9 a.m.-4 p.m.). Where: Rikkyo University, Ikebukuro, Tokyo. Price: ¥5,000 (free for volunteer helpers). Learn more at thinkglobalukjapan.edublogs.org. To contact us, email rgallagher@thomas-hardye.net.

Children with an autism spectrum disorder can find it hard to connect to peers. Are you aware of a family looking for another family to organise, for example, a play date, a Lego play group or a swimming date for your child? They can connect here! This service is not only for Tokyo Neuropsychologist clients. See www.tokyoneuropsychologist.org/playdates-for-asd-kids.html

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.

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. 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 Sydney Running Festival: Nagoya and Sydney became sister cities in 1980. In 2012 the Nagoya Marathon and Sydney Marathon (Sydney Running Festival) began a partnership, and continue to send runners to compete in one another’s events. This will be a special running event in Nagoya to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the sister cities’ relationship, held on the same day as the Sydney Marathon. Run in solidarity with the runners in Sydney! When: Sun., Sep. 20. Where: Shonai Ryokuchi Park. Courses: 1. Quarter Marathon (10.5 km) — participation fee ¥3,500. 2. Relay Marathon (2.3 km x 6 laps — 2-6 runners per team) — participation fee ¥2,500 per runner. Applications: See the Nagoya Sister Cities Association website (Japanese) at nsca.gr.jp/news/2015/post_50.html for form. Application deadline: Thu., Aug. 20

Nagoya International Personal Computer Club meets at noon on the third Saturday (Aug. 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.

Kanagawa

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.

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.

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

The 9th Annual Japan Writers Conference: This year, the Japan Writers Conference takes place on Sat., Oct. 24, and Sun.,Oct. 25, at beautiful Kobe Women’s University (Suma Campus). As in the past, the conference will be free and open to all who wish to attend. Furthermore, published writers, translators, editors, agents and publishers who would like to lead a session are invited to submit proposals. Please see our website for details: www.japanwritersconference.org

Mustang Movie Mondays are held in Bar Mustang Amemura every week at 7:30 p.m. We will watch a very fun, very mockable movie every week. Mustang has a new big TV. The event is free, but we ask to buy something in the bar. Address: Higashi Shinsaibashi 2-9-13, Chuo-ku, Osaka. More details: bit.ly/1JqSIe5

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 (July 29) at the VEGa wine bar in Shibuya (www.vega-bar.com) from 8 p.m. More information at www.madcowscomedy.com.

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 and fourth Friday (Aug. 8 and 22) at Aoyama Lifelong Learning Center, Omotesando (A4 exit), Tokyo. Visit www.meetup.com/pioneertmc for further details.

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 and fourth Thursday (Aug. 13 and 27) at the Dai-Ichi Hotel in Shinbashi, Tokyo. Prior reservation required. For more info, visit 4947.toastmastersclubs.org.

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: “Amulet” by Roberto Bolano, a contemporary author from Latin America (Sun., Aug. 16); “The Setting Sun” by Osamu Dazai, on a nation in social and moral crisis (Sun., Sep. 6). For further information, please mail jeffdjp@yahoo.com

Wine seminars and cooking classes in Tokyo are monthly events with wine tasting and gourmet food. Admission price: advance reservation ¥11,980 plus tax; ¥14,980 plus tax. Website: bit.ly/1ARoQkN. Contact email: wineandcooking@gmail.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 Carla at ttfc.japan@gmail.com or check out www.tokyotheatreforchildren.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 (Aug. 12 and 26) at 7-9 p.m. at Nadya Park, Nagoya. Attend one of our club meetings. Contact Rina 080-3647-6996 or email sakae-tmc@freeml.com.

Shirayuri Association provides educational and cultural services to both Turkish and Japanese societies in order to promote the Turkish community in Japan and further friendship between Turkish and Japanese communities. Located in Yabuta-cho, Moriyama-ku. For further information, call 052-710- 9808.

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.

Hokkaido

World Music and Dance Festival (WMDF): For one week every August, artists from all over the world perform at four outdoor stages, give workshops, and carry out an Outreach program in the community. Since 2008, WMDF has seen over 1,400 performers, from 42 countries/republics, play to over 200,000 attendees. This eighth edition features 33 groups from countries such as Bangladesh, Lithuania, Taiwan, India, and Indonesia. WMDF is co-located with the “Mogu Mogu Festival,” bringing you 60 booths of goods and gourmet from around the world. This event is hosted by World Meets Japan. When: Wed., Aug. 5, to Wed., Aug. 10, 4-9:30 p.m. Starts at 2 p.m. on Sat. and Sun. Where: Motomachi Park, located at 12 Motomachi-shi,, Hakodate, Hokkaido. Cost: ¥1,000 for one-day pass, ¥2,000 for six-day pass (limited numbers). For any inquiries, email wmdf@wmdf.org or call 0138-52-3815.

Kansai

Mustang Movie Mondays are held in Bar Mustang Amemura every week at 7:30 p.m. We will watch a very fun, very mockable movie every week. Mustang has a new big TV. The event is free, but we ask you to buy something at the bar. Address: Higashi Shinsaibashi 2-9-13, Chuo-ku, Osaka. More details: bit.ly/1JqSIe5

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 few@fewkansai.com or visit www.fewkansai.com.

Tokyo

AITEN Acoustic Music Evening: An evening of music to free the spirit, presented by the Amnesty International Tokyo English Network. Mr. Carl Herring (guitar) and Ms. Chiaki Yamazaki (violin) will play some of their favorite music. When: Wed., July 29, from 7-9 p.m. (doors open at 6). Where: Good Heavens Pub, Shimokitazawa. Cost: free admission, but suggested donation of ¥2,000 (includes one free drink). All proceeds go to Amnesty International. For further inquiries, contact info@aiten.info. For more information and a map to the venue, visit www.aiten.info.

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 (July 29) 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 (July 31) 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. Website: bit.ly/1ARoQkN. Contact email: wineandcooking@gmail.com

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.

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

Bait ul Ahad, the Japan 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 communicate with Muslims. Address: Aichi Pref., Tsushima city, Hiruma-cho, Miyashige 526. Email: info@ahmadiyyat.jp. Phone: 052-703-1868. Web: www.ahmadiyya-islam.org/jp

Nagoya Orthodox Church in Showa-ku, near Subway Tsurumai Line, Arahata Station or Tsurumai Station. Vespers held on Saturdays at 5:30 p.m. and Holy Liturgy on Sundays at 10 a.m. Call Father George Matsushima on 052-734-9000 or e-mail nagoya@orthodox-jp.com. Website: www.orthodox- jp.com/nagoya

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.

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

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.

Kansai

Anglican/Episcopal Kawaguchi Christ Church offers the Holy Eucharist every Sunday at 7:30 a.m. (at the side chapel) and 10:30 a.m. Address: 3-8, Kawaguchi 1-chome, Nishi-ku, Osaka. Phone: 06-6581-5061. Map: www.nskk.org/osaka/church/kawaguchi

Jewish Community of Kansai: Congregation Ohel Shelomoh, 4-12-12 Kitano-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe. All Jews throughout the world are welcome to attend our shabbat services. Friday night services begin at sundown, Saturday morning services begin at 10 a.m. A kiddush meal follows each service. Orthodox Mizrachi (Sephardic) tradition. For more information, email Moshe Gino moshegino1@gmail.com or visit www.jcckobe.org.

Nara Episcopal Church offers English Sunday services. All denominations are welcome. For additional information and map, see www.nskk.org/kyoto/nara.

Orthodox (Greek, Russian, Japanese) church: The Holy Protection of Most Holy Theotokos Church in Osaka. Phone 06-6388-4512. Address: Yamate-cho-1-8-15, Suita, Osaka. For more details, email osaka-orthodox@sutv.zaq.ne.jp or visit www.sutv.zaq.ne.jp/osaka-orthodox.

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

Evening Buddhism Study Circle once a month on Thursday evenings (next on July 23), 7:30-9 p.m., (7-7:30 informal discussion time with the lecturer). This study circle will explore the Lotus Sutra with Dominick Scarangello, Ph. D. (www.ibc-buddhism.info/Dominick.html), scholar of early-modern and modern Japanese Buddhism and religion, once a month to both familiarize ourselves with the sutra, but also to gain insights for our lives. Venue: Ikuseikan, 1-15-9 Wada, Suginami-ku, Tokyo. Free of charge. Organizers: International Buddhist Congregation (www.ibc-rk.org). Phone: 03-5341-1230

The Unitarian Fellowship of Tokyo meets at 3 p.m. every second Sunday of the month (Sept. 13) (except in July and August) for stimulating discussions on topics of faith and social justice at International House, near Roppongi or Azabu-Juban stations. At our next meeting, K. R. Matsui will speak on “Reconciliation and nonviolent Conflict Resolution 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.

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!

Nationwide

Japan Catholic Expatriates is an online group helping Catholics in Japan, especially non-Japanese people. Whether you are a long-term resident of Japan, a short-term resident, or just visiting, we can help you maintain and deepen your Catholic faith during your time in this predominantly non-Catholic land. Join us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/JapanCatholicExpats) or on Twitter (www.twitter.com/JapanCatholicEx) Pax vobiscum! Email japancatholicexpatriates@gmail.com if you have any questions.

NOTICES

Chubu

The Foreign Artists Exhibition: This year’s Foreign Artists Exhibition (FAE) show, hosted by the CJIS (Central Japan International Society), will be the 30th in the ongoing series. The annual exhibition welcomes foreign artists from the Chubu region of central Japan to display their artworks to local citizens. We are looking for painters, printers, illustrators, photographers, designers, potters (very much), sculptors — in fact, anyone who is creating fine art in a recognized medium (sorry, although computer graphics is warmly welcomed as an art form, artists will have to provide their own hardware). When: Tue., Nov. 3, to Sun., Nov. 8. Where: Nagoya International Center’s 4th floor display room. Please note that last year’s participants will automatically receive application forms and info in due course. Further information and application forms available on the FAE website at www.nic-nagoya.or.jp/fae.

Hiroshima

Hiroshima Minato Marché, an outdoor market in Ujina, is held every first and third Sunday (Aug. 16), 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

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

Multilingual Living Information website for foreign residents in Japan: Take advantage of this site — hosted by The Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR) — which provides a wealth of information on topics such as resident registration, marriage and divorce, work and training, medical issues, pensions, childbirth, education, taxes, emergencies and more. Information is available as downloadable PDF files in English, German, Chinese, Korean, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Thai, Russian, Japanese (with furigana to help with the kanji) and easy Japanese. Visit www.clair.or.jp/tagengo for an app version of this site for iOS and Android mobile devices.

“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.