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Kyoto: Notices (upcoming)

Fourth Annual Kyoto Writing Competition: Writers in Kyoto, a group of published and self-published English-language authors based in the old capital, presents the Fourth Annual Kyoto Writing Competition. First Place cash prize of ¥30,000 and the opportunity to be published! Your piece must be submitted in Microsoft Word format by Sun., March 31, 2019. For more details: www.writersinkyoto.com/2018/11/wik-4th-competition-2019/

Nagoya: Learning (upcoming)

Nagoya International Personal Computer Club: We meet at noon on the third Saturday (Dec. 15) of the month in Fushimi, Nagoya. For more information, please call 070-5152-2662 or visit www.nipcc.org.

Sakae Toastmasters Club: An international club that aims to develop leadership and English communication skills in a no-pressure atmosphere. We meet on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month (Dec. 26) from 7-9 p.m. at Nadya Park in Nagoya. To attend one of our club meetings, please contact Rina at 080-3647-6996 or email sakae-tmc@freeml.com.

Children’s Story Book Time: Listen to foreign volunteers in the Nagoya International Center’s 3F library as they read storybooks in their own languages from the library’s vast collection of international children’s books. Participation is free, and no reservations are required! Upcoming schedule: Sun., Jan. 13 — English; Sun., Jan. 27 — English and another language. All sessions are usually 2-2:30 p.m. For more information, please visit www.nic-nagoya.or.jp/en/e/archives/10998.

Supporting Foreigners During Disasters seminar: Through workshops and simulations, this seminar aims to help participants to think about providing assistance to foreigners when a disaster occurs. Open to NIC Disaster Language Volunteers and anyone interested in emergency support for foreigners. Limited to 50 places, determined on a first-in, first-served basis. Reservations required. When: Sat., Jan. 19, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Where: Nagoya International Center Annex Hall. Reservations: Visit or contact the NIC Exchange and Cooperation Division. Phone: 052-581-5689. Email: vol@nic-nagoya.or.jp. URL: www.nic-nagoya.or.jp/en/e/archives/22926

Osaka: Learning (upcoming)

Shikiji/Nihongo Cafe: The Shikiji/Nihongo (Literacy/Japanese) Cafe is open every last Saturday of the month (Dec. 29), from 2-6 p.m., except the month of December. If you want to study Japanese, please join us! Those who are already involved in Japanese literacy activities or have an interest in teaching Japanese are also welcome. Beyond nationalities and languages, the Shikiji/Nihongo Cafe is a place to share friendly cultural exchanges while enjoying drinking tea. Reservations not necessary; just go directly to the venue. Admission free. Venue: Osaka Municipal Lifetime Learning Center, Network Corner, 5F Osaka Ekimae Dai-2 Building. Inquiries: osakademanabu.com/umeda/archives/3967 or call 06-6345-5004 or 06-6345-5019 (Osaka Municipal Lifetime Learning Center)

Osaka: Notices (upcoming)

Free legal counselling for foreign residents: Consultations are strictly confidential and are 40 minutes per person. Appointments are necessary. General interpreting assistance can be provided. (Languages: English, Chinese and Korean.) When: Every first and third Wednesday of the month (Dec.19). Venue: International House, Osaka. Appointment telephone number: 06-6772-1127 (Information Center, Osaka International House Foundation). Web: www.ih-osaka.or.jp/english/information/counter.html.

Free visa consultation for foreign residents: We hold a free monthly consultation with an immigration lawyer on visa procedures. Consultations are offered twice a month on the second and fourth Wednesdays (Dec. 26). Available languages: Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean. Consultations are confidential. 40 minutes per person. Admission: Free, but appointment necessary. Venue: Osaka International House. Contact: Information Center, Osaka International House Foundation. Phone: 06-6772-1127. Web: www.ih-osaka.or.jp/english.

Tohoku: Causes (upcoming)

Knights in White Lycra Santa Ride: On Sat., Dec. 15, cycle 70 km to a care home, dress as Santa and give presents and Xmas cheer to the excited kids. People can donate directly to the group we support, Mirai no Mori (mirai-no-mori.jp/get-involved/), or volunteer with them for their various activities. KIWL always seeks participants for our events too. Contact: info@kiwl.net. URL: www.kiwl.net

Tokyo: Causes (upcoming)

DAJ Speakeasy and Write-Your-Reps: Democrats Abroad Japan meet on the second Thursday of every month (Dec. 13), 7:30-9:30 p.m., at the Aldgate Pub in Shibuya. Join us for food, drink, conversation and writing to our representatives to make your voice heard in D.C. For more information on future events, please be sure to check out updates posted online at www.facebook.com/groups/demsabroadjapan/ and www.democratsabroad.org/jp_events

TELL events: 1) Recharge with Nature, vol. 2: On Thu., Dec. 13, 10 a.m., in Hadano, Kanagawa. Did you know that nature, exercise and fresh air are all important parts of mental wellness? Join us for our second hike, this time in lovely Kanagawa. ¥500 and you can pay on the day, but please drop us a line to let us know you’re coming. Email outreach@telljp.com with any questions!; 2) TELL Bonenkai on Fri., Dec. 14, 7 p.m., at What the Dickens. Join us for some live music at our b?nenkai, featuring bands such as Spudzooka, The Complaints Department, and Living Rex! Admission is free, and donations are appreciated. See you there! 3) Knit Together: A TELL Stitch & Bitch vol. 2 on Mon., Dec. 17, 7-9 p.m. Location: Weekend Garage Tokyo. Let’s chat and craft over a hot cup of something delicious. Bring your project, or just bring yourself and we can get you started. Further details: www.telljp.com

JAMBO events: On Sat., Dec. 15, 1) Satoyama Nature Exploratory Course and 2) Edogawa River Clean Up and Dinner (separate events); on Sun., Dec. 16, Chichibu Hiking, End of the Year Party (reservations required ASAP; please see information online) and Christmas Illuminations; on Sun., Dec. 30, Hiking in Zushi and Beach Sunset; on Mon., Dec. 31, Okutama Hiking. For any questions, feel free to contact David at jambodave@green.email.ne.jp. Facebook: www.facebook.com/JAMBO.int/. URL: jambointernational.org/en

Amnesty International’s December Pub Quiz: On Wed., Dec. 19, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Test your general knowledge at the AITEN monthly pub quiz! Amnesty International Tokyo English Network invites you to a fun event with serious aims: Show what you know to win prizes, maybe learn a few new things, meet a multinational crowd of like-minded people and support AI’s work to promote and protect human rights for all. Only ¥1,000 per person to participate, up to five members on a team. If you don’t have a team, we’ll help you to find or make one. Venue: Hobgoblin Shibuya, Ichiban Building 3F, 1-3-11 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku. Admission: ¥1,000 per person. Contact: antoine.senkoff@mail.mcgill.ca or 080-8747-2806. Web: www.aiten.info/amnesty-internationals-december-pub-quiz/.

Tokyo: Learning (upcoming)

The East West Discussion Group: We meet on Thursdays, 7-9 p.m., for an English presentation followed by a discussion. Upcoming schedule: Dec. 13 “‘Calling Dr. Yamada’: The Emergency of Telehealth/Telemedicine” by Lloyd Peace; Dec. 20 1 “Our international communication in English” by Shintaro Mitani, 7-8 p.m., then Year End Dinner Party at nearby Chinese restaurant, 8:15-10 p.m. Venue: Waseda Hoshien Seminar House, 2-3-1 Nishiwaseda, Shinjuku 169-8616 (phone 03-3205-5411). See www.hoshien.or.jp. ¥700 Japanese, ¥500 for non-Japanese/students. For details, mail Eijiro Hashiseko at ye-hashiseko@m3.dion.ne.jp.

Pioneer Toastmasters Club: We welcome 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 of the month (Dec. 14 and 28) at Aoyama Lifelong Learning Center, Omotesando (A4 exit), Tokyo. For more information, please visit www.meetup.com/pioneertmc.

Not For Sale Japan Cafe No. 14: “Through a Legal Lens: The Case of Prajwala, an Anti-Trafficking Organization in India.” Featuring Saloni Lakhia, lawyer and policy researcher, and Rotary Peace Fellow at International Christian University. When: Fri., Dec. 21, 7-8:30 p.m. (doors open 18:45). Join us for a casual, small-group learning opportunity on a variety of topics concerning human trafficking. Tea, coffee and small refreshments served. Where: Musashino Place, 3rd floor “Space E,” 2-3-18, Kyonan-cho, Musashino (one-minute walk from South Exit of Musashi-Sakai Station on JR Chuo Line or Seibu Tamagawa Line. Admission: Free (max. capacity 20). To reserve a seat: Email japan@notforsalecampaign.org. Access: www.musashino.or.jp/var/rev0/0001/0776/musashino_place_e.pdf

FCCJ Toastmasters Club: Learn how to step up your game and become a confident speaker. Please be our guest at the next meeting at FCCJ Toastmasters Club. Our meeting is a learn-by-doing workshop. Everyone gets a chance to participate. You can improve your speaking and leadership skills in a no-pressure atmosphere. Meeting participants give impromptu talks on assigned topics, conduct meetings and become better speakers each time. From 12:15-1:45 p.m. twice a month (next meetings are Tue., Jan. 15, and Mon., Jan. 28; no meetings in August). Venue: Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, Yurakucho Denki North Building 20F, Yurakucho 1-7-1, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 100-0006. Admission price: Guests attend free. Lunch cost ¥1,500. Web: www.fccj.or.jp and www.fccj.toastmastersclubs.org. Email: admin-1362687@toastmastersclubs.org.

Tokyo: Shared interests (upcoming)

Breakfast Toastmasters: Does public speaking make you cringe? For over 25 years, Breakfast Toastmasters has been helping our members to become both better public speakers and leaders. Meetings are held in English. When: Second and fourth Thursdays (Dec. 13 and 27) of each month — no meetings held in August or last week of December. Time: 8-9:30 a.m. Where: Dai-ichi Hotel Annex 3rd floor meeting room, 1-5-2 Shinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-8621. Cost: ¥3,400. Web: www.breakfast.toastmastersclubs.org.

Concert and Lecture Series II: “Neglected American Art Songs” on Sat., Dec. 15, from 7 p.m. Art songs created by American composers will be performed by Mio Hatanaka, mezzo soprano; Aran Matsuda, baritone; Minako Watanabe, violin; and Reiko Fukuyama, pianist. We feature “Hermit Songs” by Samuel Barber, based on anonymous Irish poems of the 8th and the 13th centuries written by monks and scholars. They had a continual spiritual exercises in nature and put their thoughts into words. You will also hear pieces by Bernstein, Rodgers and Copland. Tickets: https://t.livepocket.jp/e/22_0b. Venue: L’atelier by apc. Admission: ¥3,000. Location: Shibuya East Buildings, 1-26-39 Higashi Shibuya-ku. Web: www.latelierbyapc.com/latelier/index.html. Reiko Fukuyama: olivemusique.wixsite.com/mysite or via musicholiday@gmail.com

Tokyo Sinfonia: We are a Japanese string orchestra of 19 that has won much praise for our imaginative programming and inviting presentations, distinguished by our warm sound, lively expression and friendly rapport with our audience. Upcoming concerts: Champagne Concert at Oji Hall (Ginza) on Wed., Dec. 19, from 7 p.m.; Mozart concerts at Tokyo Masonic Center (Shibakoen) on Fri., Jan. 25, from 7 p.m. and Sun., Jan. 27, Sunday from 2 p.m. For tickets and information, email tickets@tokyosinfonia.com. Web: www.tokyosinfonia.com

Tokyo: Social (upcoming)

Tokyou Friends Monthly Meetup Party: Language exchange, chat and make friends on the first Friday (Jan. 4) of every month, from 8:30-10:30 p.m. Friendly and international meetup. Free to join. There are other events too. Venue: First House, Roppongi. Email: osakaneil@yahoo.com. Web: www.meetup.com/tokyo-part.

Improvazilla Comedy Show: In the style of “Whose Line is it Anyway?” professional singers and actors perform improvised scenes based on audience suggestions. Nonsmoking venue, table service and food. On the last Friday of the month (Jan. 25) except December, 8-10:30 p.m. Admission: ¥1,500. Venue: Crocodile, Sekiguchi Bldg. B1, 6-18-8 Jingumae, Shibuya 150-0001. Phone: 03-3499-5205. Web: www.crocodile-live.jp. Event: www.tokyocomedy.com/improvazilla_main_stage_show.

Tokyo: Spiritual (upcoming)

Sacred harp singing: Meets every third Thursday (Dec. 20) of the month, 7-9 p.m. Exceptions: March singing on fifth Thursday; no singing in August. The Sacred Harp is a collection of early American sacred songs written in shape notes and sung in robust, unaccompanied four-part harmony. In recent years, it has been enjoying a revival all over the world, and has now come to Tokyo. All are welcome to sing or listen. No experience necessary. Copies of songs provided. Venue: Ikebukuro Anglican Church, 5-24-5 Nishi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo. Admission free. Organization name: Tokyo Sacred Harp. Flyer: bit.ly/tokyosacredharp. Blog: www.tokyosacredharp.blogspot.jp. Email: tokyo.sacred.harp@gmail.com.

Tokyo Shape-Note Singing: Come sing to your heart’s content and learn to sight-sing music through the ingenious early-American invention of shape notes. We sing in English (with easy Japanese explanations of English lyrics) and in Japanese (in both hiragana and romaji). Copies of songs provided. Roughly half the songs are from the Christian Harmony, a 19th-century shape-note tunebook which is available for purchase for ¥2,800. No experience is necessary. We meet every first Saturday of the month (Jan. 5) at the Shimokitazawa Church of the Nazarene. For more information, please call 080-3416-5376, email tokyo.sacred.harp@gmail.com or visit tinyurl.com/shimokita-sing.

The Unitarian Fellowship of Tokyo: meets at 3 p.m. every second Sunday of the month (Jan. 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. Contact us for more information at 03-3470-4611 or unitarianfellowshipoftokyo@gmail.com.

Fukuoka: Shared interests

One Love Yoga: This group is for people interested in practicing yoga with English instruction in Fukuoka. We hold weekly classes for ¥1,000. We also hold free, low-cost or donation-based special events such as Park Yoga, Beach Yoga, Group Meditations and social events. People of all yoga levels and all English levels are welcome to all events. For more information, please visit www.meetup.com/FukuokaEnglishYoga.

Hiroshima: Learning

Hiroshima Language Exchange: Join English and Japanese speakers at regular get-togethers to make international friends and meet new people. With meetups two or three times a week, steady improvements and strong friendships are undeniable. For meetup details, please visit www.meetup.com/Hiroshima-Language-exchange.

Hiroshima: Social

Hiroshima International Group Jam: Have fun and establish friendships with people from all over the world at our regular meetups. You will be able to learn and practice Japanese, English and other languages for free while enjoying yourself and learning about other culture. For more information on future meetups, visit bit.ly/hiroshimajam.

Kanagawa: Learning

Free English, Church of Latter Day Saints, Fujisawa: Goeigo Eikaiwa is a free English conversation class every Thursday, 7-8:30 p.m. We can offer this service because the buildings are donated and the staff are all volunteers. The lessons are 60-90 minutes long and we meet every week to focus on conversational English with native English speakers. Our teachers are fluent in both English and Japanese and are from America or other English-speaking countries. Event site: Church of Latter Day Saints, 2-27-7 Shonandai, Fujisawa. For more information, please contact 0466-43-4236 or visit bit.ly/GoeigoEikaiwa.

Kobe: Learning

Community House & Information Centre: A nonprofit community organization committed to meeting 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). Our hours of operation are Mon. to Fri. 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., and we are closed national holidays and mid-June to August. For more information, please visit us on Facebook at Chic Community House & Information Centre (CHIC), www.chickobe.com or email information@chickobe.com.

Kobe: Social

Kobe Club: Kobe Club serves 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. For more information, please email kobeclub@office.email.ne.jp or visit www.kobeclub.org.

Kobe: Spiritual

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, please email Moshe Gino moshegino1@gmail.com or visit www.jcckobe.org.

Kyoto: Learning

Hailstone Haiku Circle: Kansai-based group founded by Stephen Henry Gill (based in Kyoto) with about 50 members, both foreign and Japanese nationals, who compose, critique and publish haiku in English (and related forms). The circle holds regular seminars and workshops, as well as occasional walks, readings and other events. Email: Tito at aquahaiqua@yahoo.com. The circle’s Icebox: www.hailhaiku.wordpress.com

Nagoya: Causes

Help orphans with Santa and Friends 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. For more information, please visit www.santaandfriendsnagoya.com.

Labor consultations from General Union Tokai: Interested in improving your working conditions? Have questions about labor rights? Our Tokai office in Nagoya is open for consultations. Fore more information, please contact nagoyaoffice@generalunion.org or visit www.generalunion.org.

Nagoya: Learning

Furthering Turkish-Japanese friendship: 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, Nagoya. For more information, please 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 counselling 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 counsellors 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.

Nagoya: Shared interests

Nagoya Writes: We are a literary circle that provides writers, both aspiring and seasoned, the opportunity to participate in open readings that are held about once a month. For more information, please visit www.nagoyawrites.wordpress.com.

Japanese 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. For more information, please 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.

Nagoya: Social

Nagoya International Partying Meetup: Organising various parties around Nagoya, this meetup is a great way to talk with people from various countries and make friends in a fun environment. It’s a great chance for Japanese people to talk with foreign students from Nagoya University, GSID, Nanzan, Meijo, among other universities, and for foreigners to make some local friends. Visit www.meetup.com/international-party for information about future meetups and join the fun!

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

Nagoya: Spiritual

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. For more information, please email anees1978@gmail.com., call 052-703-1868 or visit 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. For more information, please call Father George Matsushima at 052-734-9000, e-mail nagoya@orthodox-jp.com or visit 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. For more information, please visit www.allnationsfellowship.net.

Nara: Spiritual

Nara Episcopal Church: All denominations are welcome. We offer English services. For More information, please visit www.nskk.org/kyoto/nara.

Osaka: Causes

CARE — People Helping People: CARE, which stands for Children, Activity, Relationships and Enjoy, is an international volunteer group dedicated to helping people become happier and healthier. From building self-esteem and confidence to participating in charity events and overcoming troubles as a community, this group provides a positive environment full of great opportunities. We hold regular meetups and events in Nishinomiya. To join, please visit www.meetup.com/CARE-People-Helping-People or visit www.care-volunteer.com for more information.

Osaka: Learning

Fureai Salon: Enjoy learning Japanese with experienced volunteer teachers at the Osaka International House Foundation every Saturday, 2-3:30 p.m. The first class is free. No booking needed. The registration fee is ¥500 and the participation fee is ¥2,000 and includes 12 sessions that are valid for one year. For more information, please visit www.ih-osaka.or.jp/english/international/post_6.html.

Kodomo Hiroba: We hold classes on Japanese and other subjects for children ages 6 through 18 who have foreign roots at the Osaka International House. In this class, students can learn to read and write in Japanese, review their school lessons or do their homework. The lessons will take place every Monday from 5-8:30 p.m. Please call us before joining the class and come to the first class together with a parent or guardian. Admission is free. For more information, please contact 06-6773-8989 or visit www.ih-osaka.or.jp/english.

Osaka JALT’s email list: For free announcements of various ESL events in the Kansai area, sign up at www.osakajalt.org. Also join our Facebook group (Osaka JALT) and follow us on Twitter (@osakajalt), too! You can join the Japan Association of Language Teachers officially online via www.JALT.org.

Osaka: Shared interests

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. For more information, please visit www.facebook.com/OsakaDingoes, www.osakadingoes.com or mail osakadingoes@hotmail.com.

Osaka: Social

For Empowering Women Kansai: FEW is an 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. For more information, please email few@fewkansai.com or visit www.fewkansai.com.

Osaka: Spiritual

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. For more information, please call 06-6581-5061 or visit www.nskk.org/osaka/church/kawaguchi.

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

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: Cafe Natura, New Shinmachi Building floor 2, Osaka Shin-machi 2-17-10, Nishi-ku. For more information, please visit www.meetup.com/Meditate-in-Osaka or call 06-6537-7882.

Osaka: Notices

Housing Information Plaza at Osaka International House: Consultations and information about housing are provided in English, Chinese, and Korean. Foreign language consultations are available 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (weekdays and Saturdays) and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Sunday and national holidays) (closed Tuesdays, the day after national holidays and on end of year and new year holidays). For more information, please call 06-6242-1177 or visit www.ih-osaka.or.jp/english.

Multilingual Consultation Desk for Foreigners: We offer free consultation and general advice, over the telephone or in person, for issues related to life in Osaka in four languages: Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean. Also, we provide interpretation assistance for foreign residents who visit Osaka City Hall, ward offices and other affiliated municipal institutions via a three-way telephone line. Using this function, telephone calls made to the Osaka International House Foundation can be connected to a municipal office/institution, allowing you to talk with a municipal officer and interpreter. For more information, please visit www.ih-osaka.or.jp/english/information/counter.html or our FAQ page www.osaka-livinginfo.jp/en.

Shizuoka: Shared interests

Meetup Crew of “The Zu”: For those living in or around the beautiful port town of Numazu to connect, meet and share some great experiences with awesome people in town, along the beach, in the mountains, or in any other beautiful location that Shizuoka Prefecture has to offer at our doorstep, Meetup Crew of “The Zu” is just the place for you! For more information, please visit www.meetup.com/Meetup-Crew-of-The-Zu.

Tohoku: Causes

Place to Grow volunteers: Place to Grow is a 100% volunteer based nonprofit that strives to connect and inspire a rising generation of leaders in disaster-stricken Tohoku communities. For more information, please visit www.placetogrow-ngo.org/activities.

Aid for Japan — the Charity for Orphans: In the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent tsunami, hundreds of Japanese children lost their parents and families. Aid For Japan was founded by Akemi Solloway in the U.K. in 2011 to support the orphans of this tragedy. In the short term, the charity lends help to these children by supporting them and their carers as they rebuild their lives. For more information, please contact info@aidforjapan.co.uk or visit www.aidforjapan.co.uk.

Living Dreams: We are a nonprofit organization striving to rebuild, enrich and empower orphans in the Tokyo and Tohoku areas. For more information, please visit www.livingdreams.jp.

Volunteers and supplies needed: Operation Tohoku is working to assist the thousands of refugees still in temporary housing. Volunteers 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.

Tokushima: Learning

Exchange English and Japanese Culture in Tokushima: This is a good opportunity to speak in English and Japanese with new people and to exchange cultures. All nationalities are welcome. This group is open to everyone who is interested in English and Japanese conversation or cultural exchange. We look forward to seeing you! For more information, please visit www.meetup.com/Tokushima-English-Japanese-speak-exchange-culture-Meetup.

Tokyo: Causes

Jambo: Jambo is the only group whose purpose is to provide fun activities for people while, through these activities, providing support for the less fortunate. Have fun while doing some good! For more information and upcoming events, please visit www.jambointernational.org/en.

A Dream a Day in Tokyo: We provide weeklong, expenses-paid vacations to kids with life-threatening illnesses and their families. We welcome volunteers and supporters. For more information, please mail contact@guesthouse.or.jp or visit guesthouse.or.jp/?lang=en.

Living Dreams: We are a nonprofit organization striving to rebuild, enrich and empower orphans both in Tokyo and Tohoku. Fore more information, please visit www.livingdreams.jp.

Support the Tokyo Sinfonia: We welcome anyone who is interested in supporting the Tokyo Sinfonia as volunteers. We would love to hear from someone who would like to help us keep our website updated every couple of weeks. If you are interested, please contact 03-3588-0738. For tickets or more information, please contact tickets@tokyosinfonia.com or visit www.tokyosinfonia.com.

Tokyo: Learning

Tokyo Writers Workshop: We have been meeting for over 30 years, usually on the third Sunday of the month. Those who wish to have their work — mostly poetry and fiction — critiqued may post manuscripts to the group’s site for review before the next meeting. For more information, please visit www.meetup.com/Tokyo-Writers-Workshop.

Akasaka Nihongo Club: Offering a beginner’s and intermediate-level Japanese class taught by volunteer instructors every Saturday in Tokyo from 10-11:30 a.m. at 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).

Tokyo Comedy Store’s Stand-up Comedy Workshop: Want to learn about humor? 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 Stand-up Comedy Workshop! For more information, please visit www.tokyocomedy.com/standup_workshops.

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.jp/icas/events/upcoming for details.

Tokyo: Shared interests

Trump Team Japan: If you are a Donald Trump supporter in Japan there is a place for you. Meet up and support our president. For events, activities and news, contact hatanokawakatsu@yahoo.com.

Tokyo Book Group: A casual discussion of fiction, held in Shibuya 1-2 times a month. For more information, please mail jeffdjp@yahoo.com.

Tokyo Vegan MeetUp: Held once a month (time and place varies). Please check the Tokyo For more details, please visit www.meetup.com/vegan-389.

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 while 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’ 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. The price is ¥1,500. For more information, please visit www.genesiscards.com/workshop-schedul or call 090-4122-6626.

Tokyo Embassy Choir: 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. For more information please visit www.tec.ac/en.

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 can participate. There are three locations in Tokyo and 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, please visit www.geocities.jp/mutekisha/index1-e.html, email nnakajima7@ams.odn.ne.jp or call 042-391-4087.

Amateur Shakespeare group in Tokyo: We meet 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! For more information, please visit www.groups.yahoo.com/group/Shakespeare-sama.

Tokyo Theatre for Children: We have 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.

Tokyo Comedy Store’s Stand-up Comedy Workshop: Want to learn about humor? 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 Stand-up Comedy Workshop! For more information, see www.tokyocomedy.com/standup_workshops.

For Empowering Women: 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.

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! For more information, please visit www.cwaj.org.

Tokyo American Club: A home away from home for the international community since 1928! Call 03-4588-0687 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. For more information, please visit www.tokyocanadianclub.com.

Aikido in English: Join Seidokan Aikido of Tokyo, a modern style of aikido taught in English every Saturday from 1-3 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. For more information, please visit www.tokyoseidokan.com or email dojo@tokyoseidokan.com.

Tokyo: Social

For Empowering Women: 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.

Tokyo Comedy Store: There’s stand-up, 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.

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! For more information, please visit www.cwaj.org.

Tokyo: Spiritual

Find Your Element Workshop: Every Wednesday, 7:30-9 p.m. Find Your Element Workshop is the best workshop Tokyo has to offer that is led by top experts from a variety of fields. FYE Leaders are carefully selected each season to best equip and empower you with necessary life skills in order to maximize your true potentials. All Leaders are committed to supporting you to master all the essential life skills while having lots of fun with like-minded individuals in an intimate, safe setting. Come join us for inspiration, motivation and transformation! Venue: Concept Studio Veda, 2F, 4?17-3 Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo. Admission: ¥4,000. Web: www.findyourelement.jp. Contact: aya@findyourelement.jp

Christian History Tour of Tokyo: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. visiting the sites of the Great Edo Massacre of 1612, The “Kirishitan Yashiki,” the hidden “Kirishitan Toro,” the site of the “Keikyo Toro” from the first century early Christianity, the site of the first hospital in Edo and other Christian history sites in Tokyo. A local Christian resident who protects the historic Christian sites invites the tour in for coffee and shows us around as well. A offering is taken to cover the cost of the bus. To reserve a seat — first come, first served — contact hatanokawakatsu@yahoo.com.

Are you a missionary in Tokyo? The Missionary Prayer Meeting meets every Friday, 12-1 p.m. at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building by Tochomae Station. Pray together with fellow missionaries. Email kempobadge@gmail.com or call 090 7170 4769 for more

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Weekly Prayer: on Thursdays, 12-1 p.m., for all staff of the U.S. Embassy Tokyo, Grew, Hardy, Sanno and nearby housing areas. Please contact hatanokawakatsu@yahoo.com for more information.

Weekly prayer meeting at the Diet: Since 1991, there have been weekly prayer meetings alongside Christian members of the Japanese parliament at the Diet in Tokyo. The meetings take place every Wednesday from 12-1 p.m. over lunch and end promptly at 1 p.m. Attendees must join promptly every Wednesday at 11:45 in order to receive ID at the Diet. Venue: National Diet Building, Nagatacho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. For more information, please email team@jhelp.com.

Orthodox Christian services: St. Jude Ukrainian Orthodox Mission celebrates Divine Liturgy in downtown Tokyo every other Sunday. Ukrainian, English and Japanese spoken. All sincere people welcome! We are located at 3-6-25 Shiba Koen, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0011. For more information, please visit www.stjude.jp or call 0422-43-5424.

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, please 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 more information, please visit www.saintalbans.jp, email stalbans@saintalbans.jp or call 03-3431-8534.

Contemplative Prayer at St. Alban’s: 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 visit www.saintalbans.jp, email stalbans@saintalbans.jp or call 03-3431-8534.

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

Tokyo: Notices

Alcoholics Anonymous: Alcoholic Anonymous meetings are available in Tokyo for anyone with a desire to stop drinking. Meetings are free of charge. Dates and times vary so please visit www.aatokyo.org/, email jordan28jordan1@gmail.com or call 080-4355-2285 for details.

The Expat’s Guide to Japan 2018: Mais Co., Ltd. has published “The Expat’s Guide to Japan” 2018 edition. on Aimed at employees of multinationals and other mid- to long-term foreign residents, the guide provides all necessary information for living in Japan, from visas and residency registration to utilities and media service applications, business, international schools and English-speaking shops, restaurants and medical facilities. The guide is 104 pages long and information focuses on the Tokyo-Yokohama area, which has a large expat population. The book is in English and is also free. Mais Co., Ltd. is looking for new corporations and organizations with staff/members who can benefit from “The Expat’s Guide to Japan.” If your organization employs foreign staff, has foreign clients or is responsible for visiting students, please contact Mais about receiving free copies of the guide, providing your name, company name and address, and number of copies desired, via info@mais.co.jp. For more information, please visit www.expatsguide.jp.

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. For more information, please call Kimi Information Center at 03-3986-1604 or visit www.kimiwillbe.com/guide. Open Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Yokohama: Learning

New Acropolis’ “Discover Yourself”: Would you like to learn and share ideas about philosophy, culture, art, ecology, volunteering, science, literature, history, ancient civilizations? Would you like to discover your best potential, increase your self-knowledge, open your mind and harmonize your emotions? Would you like to talk more about our modern world and its problems, and what we can do to make it better? The Meetup “Discover Yourself!” is a group of New Acropolis Cultural Organization and we promote free admission lectures every week in Yokohama/Tokyo as well as many fun activities. For more information, please visit www.acropolis.jp.

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.

Yokohama: Shared interests

Knit & Crochet Coffee Club: A social get-together of like-minded knitters, crocheters and crafters who meet at cafes around Yokohama. Grab your coffee, get cosy and starting stitching! Find out about future meetups at www.meetup.com/Yokohamaknitcrochetcafe.

Yokohama: Spiritual

Faith & Victory International Church Yokohama: We hold church services in both English and Japanese. Activities: Sunday Worship (from 2 p.m.), Dreams and Interpretation (by appointment), 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). For more information, please call 045-479-5060, 090-9813-3545, email naokiatanda@yahoo.com or visit www.gospel.co.jp.

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.” For more information, please visit bit.ly/ThichNH.

Nationwide: Causes

I Am Jane: No other crime is handled so badly by the criminal justice system as rape and no other serious crime is more under-reported. I Am Jane is a group that provides solutions to the growing rape pandemic. Anyone who has questions, wishes to inform us of any incidents or wants to advise us on useful information is welcome to join. Details of incidents and confidential information will not be published. For more information, please visit www.iamjane.org.

Wanted — used books and DVDs: The resale value will be donated to Shine On! Kids, an organization that supports children with cancer and other serious illnesses. 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.

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, please contact team@jhelp.com.

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. For more information, please contact help@jhelp.com.

Peace Boat: Peace Boat is a 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, please contact www.peaceboat.org.

Nationwide: Shared interests

Kyoto Journal: KJ showcases poetry that is Asia-related and “out of the ordinary.” The poetry section is edited by Lois P. Jones. Submission guidelines are available here: www.kyotojournal.org/submit-to-kj. For more information, please visit www.kyotojournal.org/fiction-poetry.

Kamihikouki Magazine: An artist-run bilingual publication based in Kansai. Each issue of Kamihikouki has a uniting theme and features a variety of poetry, fiction and nonfiction. For more information, please visit www.meetup.com/kamihikoukimag.

Association of Foreign Wives of Japanese: We support foreign women with Japanese partners. Please visit www.afwj.org for more information.

Nationwide: Notices

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: It 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.