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Causes: Osaka (upcoming)

TELL joins Kansai Rainbow Festa: While awareness and acceptance within Japan’s society has been slowly increasing, a great lack in terms of legislation and administration continues to exist. Ten million people in Japan identify as LGBTI, yet basic rights are not protected and safety at workplaces, home, school and in life is not assured. Along with other local organisations and communities, businesses and artists, TELL joins the Rainbow Festa! Date: Sat., Oct. 7. Venue: Ogimachi Park, Osaka. Visit the TELL booth or march with us in the parade. For further details contact kansai@telljp.com. Web: www.rainbowfesta.org

Causes: Tokyo (upcoming)

TUJ partners UNHCR Refugee Film Festival: Temple University Japan joins UNHCR in supporting refugees and raising awareness by organizing a film screening of “Nice People.” The initiative represents UNHCR’s effort to promote understanding of refugees through movies. Date: Fri., Oct. 6. Time: 3-5 p.m. (Doors open at 2:30). Venue: Temple University, Japan Campus, Azabu Hall 1st floor student lounge, The Parliament, 2-8-12 Minami Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo. Free admission. Open to the public and to the entire TUJ community — students, faculty and staff. No RSVP required. The film will be in English with Japanese subtitles. Web: bit.ly/tujunhcr

Refugees International Japan upcoming events: “RIJ Great Wine Bluff” on Fri., Oct. 13, 7 p.m.; “Palace Loop Relay” on Sun., Nov. 5, 12 p.m. at Palace Outer Moat, Sakurada Gate; “Light up the Life of a Refugee Child” on Thu., Nov 9, 6:30 p.m. at St Mary’s International School (www.smis.ac.jp); “F1 Race Night” on Fri., Dec. 1, 7 p.m. at Oakwood Residence Lounge, Midtown Roppongi. For more information about these events visit www.refugeesinternationaljapan.org.

Causes: Nationwide (upcoming)

Seeking Lifeline support workers for Autumn 2017: Working on the Lifeline is a great way to give back to the community, to develop skills that could benefit you personally and professionally, and join an international community of like-minded individuals who are also passionate about making a difference. The next course will run in the autumn over 10 weeks from October to December. In Tokyo, you can choose to study either in person or online. Those outside the Kanto area would follow the online model. From September, we will be expanding the Lifeline service to also provide counselling overnight through livechat. We are initially aiming to offer this service on Saturday nights. If you are interested in being one of our chat pioneers, or training to work on the Lifeline, please find further information on our website or contact training@telljp.com.

Educational: Kanagawa (upcoming)

Japan’s Diplomacy under Abe: “Japan’s Diplomacy under Shinzo Abe: Time for Stocktaking” event is co-sponsored by Yokosuka Asia-Pacific Group and Temple University Japan’s Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies. The speaker at this event will be Prof. Tomohiko Taniguchi. Language: English. Date: Tue., Oct. 10. Time: 6:30-8:15 p.m. Venue: Sogo Fukushi Kaikan Hall, 2-1, Honcho, Yokosuka-shi, Kanagawa 238-0041. Admission: Free. RSVP if possible info@ycaps.org, but participants are still welcome without RSVP. Web: www.ycaps.org

Educational: Nagoya (upcoming)

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., Oct. 8 (English); Sun., Oct. 22 (2-3 p.m. Halloween Special). All sessions 2-2:30 p.m. Website: www.nic-nagoya.or.jp/en/e/archives/10998

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 (Oct. 11 and 25) 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.

Development Training for Supporters of Foreign Students and Children: A training program for supporters, carers and teachers of foreign students and children, and also people with prior practical experience who are looking to resume working with such children. Conducted in Japanese, the course aims to help participants understand the circumstances of foreign children and related issues, and to learn how to provide appropriate support. Places are limited to 40; preference will be given to first-time applicants and those able to attend all three sessions. Date: Sat., Oct. 28, Sat., Nov. 25 and Sat., Dec. 23. Time: 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Venue: Nagoya International Center 5F Conference Room 1. Fee: ¥2,000. This covers all three sessions. Applications: Contact the Nagoya international Center Exchange & Cooperation Division before Oct. 13. Please note that applications must be made in Japanese. Phone: 052-581-5689. E-mail: seminar-vol@nic-nagoya.or.jp.

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

Language volunteers sought: Volunteers will provide interpreting and translation in situations where resident foreign nationals require linguistic support. This includes interpreting at nursery schools and at service counters at local government offices; and translation of letters and brief documents (excluding official documents). Frequency of activities: Any time; subject to issuance of a request by Nagoya International Center. Requirements for registration: In English, must have at least Eiken Grade Pre-1, or a TOEIC score of 750 or equivalent or higher; must be free on weekdays; must also be able to register as a Disaster Language Volunteer. For languages other than English: Must have a high level of proficiency in Japanese and another language. Registration and information sessions: 1) Fri., Nov. 10; 2) Sun., Jan. 14, 2018 (each session 3-4 p.m.). Where: Nagoya International Center. Reservations: Contact the Exchange and Cooperation Division before 5 p.m. on the day before your preferred session. Inquiries: Exchange and Cooperation Division. Phone: 052-581-5689. E-mail: vol@nic-nagoya.or.jp

Educational: Osaka (upcoming)

You can learn Japanese for free on the Internet: Osaka University is offering a free online course for people living or working in Osaka. Learn Japanese necessary for looking for a part-time job or when applying for part-time jobs. There are also English, Chinese and German courses. There is a 30-person limit, if there are many people who apply, participants will be chosen by lots. Dates: Sat., Oct. 28- Sat., Nov. 11. Fees: Free. Phone: 06-6539-3345 (Osaka City Board of Education Life Learning Office). Please apply by Tue., Oct. 10. To apply please go to citizen.mle.cmc.osaka-u.ac.jp/citizen

International Picture Book Readings “AI-AI”: The I-house volunteers will read picture books in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean for children. The reading sessions are free, and all families with children can attend. Schedule: On the following Saturdays, 2-2:30 p.m. (doors open 2-3): Nov. 25, Jan. 27, 2018, and March 24. Reservations are not required. Volunteers also sing a birthday song for children who have their birthday on the same reading session date. We look forward to your participation! Admission: Free. Venue: Exchange Space in the Information Center, I-house, Osaka. Web: www.ih-osaka.or.jp/english/international/post_9.html

English Salon: Non-native speaker will speak wi

Educational: Tokyo (upcoming)

Dialogue with Former U.S. POWs: TUJ Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS) presents its “2017 Dialogue with Former US Prisoners of War in Japan and their Family Members.” Date: Thu,. Oct. 5, 6:30-8 p.m. (doors open at 6). Venue: Temple University Japan Campus, Azabu Hall 1F Parliament. Speakers: Two former U.S. prisoners of war in Japan and six family members (two widows and four children). Admission free. Open to the public. Language: English. RSVP: icas@tuj.temple.edu. RSVP not required, but encouraged.

The East West Discussion Group: We meet on Thursdays, 7-9 p.m., for an English presentation followed by a discussion. Upcoming schedule: “The Difference between Corporate Culture in the USA, the U.K. and Germany” by Fumio Takano on Oct. 5; “Korean Dramas” by Shintato Mitani omn Oct. 12; “The Risk Management” by Hiroaki Kikkawa on Oct. 19. Venue: Room 104, Waseda Hoshien Seminar House, 2-3-1 Nishiwaseda, Shinjuku 169-8616 (phone 03-3205-5411). See www.hoshien.or.jp. ¥700 Japanese, ¥500 non-Japanese/students. For details, mail Eijiro Hashiseko at ye-hashiseko@m3.dion.ne.jp

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 12-1:45 p.m. on every second and fourth Monday (Oct. 9 and 23) (moves to Tuesday if Monday is a public holiday; 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: ¥5,000. Web: www.fccj.or.jp and www.fccj.toastmastersclubs.org. Email: admin-1362687@toastmastersclubs.org

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 (Oct. 13 and 27) at Aoyama Lifelong Learning Center, Omotesando (A4 exit), Tokyo. Visit www.meetup.com/pioneertmc for further details.

“Raising a bilingual child” EPP Workshop: On Tues., Oct. 17, speech and language pathologist Marsha Rosenberg will be leading an Exceptional Parenting Program workshop on raising a bilingual child. The workshop will offer professional advice on how to plan for your child’s development and look at the challenges of raising children in a bilingual environment. Time: 7 p.m. Venue: Wesley Center, Seminar Room 205 (6-10-11 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0062). To RSVP, please email excep.parents@telljp.com. Donations of ¥1,000 yen are appreciated. Web: www./telljp.com/event/epp-workshop-raising-a-bilingual-child

Free English Lecture at Lakeland University Japan: “Politics, Memory and Public Opinion: Coming to Terms with Japan’s Wartime Past” presented by Sophia University professor Sven Saaler. Date: Wed., Oct. 18. Time: 7-8:30 p.m. Venue: Lakeland University Japan. Address: 5-7-12 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo. Admission Price: Free. Email: grabowski@japan.lakeland.edu. Tel: 03-3225-0425. Web: www.luj.lakeland.edu/Campus-Life/lakeland-lectures

Educational: Yokohama (upcoming)

Stress management presentation: TELL will be delivering a 90 minute presentation on “Stress Management: Finding Your Balance.” The talk will include information about what stress is and how we, from adolescents to adults, can deal with stress in a healthy way. Date: Sat., Oct. 14. Time: 4-6 p.m. Venue: Yokohama Country & Athletic Club, Bay View Room. Admission: Free. Email: outreach@telljp.com. RSVP at events.eventzilla.net/e/tell-presents-stress-management-findingyourbalance-2138928706

Shared interests: Gifu Pref. (upcoming)

Trip to Iwamura: Enjoy a special two-day tour of beautiful and historical Iwamura, part of Ena in Gifu. On the first day, experience a traditional rice harvest with the locals in an area rated as the most beautiful country view of rice paddies in Japan. The next day, Iwamura holds their big autumn festival, so enjoy sightseeing in the centre of the historic castle town filled with an exciting festival. Guidance in English is available for two days. Date: Sat., Oct. 7, and Sun., Oct. 8. Price: Adults ¥14,000, Child (6+) ¥8,000. This includes two meals, accommodation, rice harvesting event, sightseeing tour, transport from the station. Advance booking by website required. Organized by the Iwamura Tourist Association. Web: www.iwamura.strikingly.com.

Shared interests: Osaka (upcoming)

Wine Course: Learn about Japanese culture and how you can share it in English. Two world culture courses will be offered by Osaka International House. You will not only learn about the themes of each course, but also learn useful phrases that can be used to share it in English and improve your communication ability through exchange with international students. Wine Course: Generally on Thursdays, Oct. 5 to Oct. 22, with actual experience on a Sunday. Fees: Wine Course: ¥13,000. Chocolate Course: ¥10,000. Venue: Osaka International House and other places. Please apply through the homepage mail form specifying your name, age, telephone number, e-mail address and course of choice. Phone: 06-6773-8989. Fax:06-6773-8421. Web: www.ih-osaka.or.jp/news/20170614_4001

Tsurumi World Fiesta: The Tsurumi World Fiesta is an event where you can experience many international activities while you enjoy culture. Aside from the traditional dance stage and multicultural corner for cultures of different countries, you can take part in a quiz rally around the international garden and also a World Café. Venue: Flower Expo Memorial Park Tsurumi Ryokuchi International Garden and Government Garden Site (near the central gate, east of the big lake). Nearest sation: Tsurumi Ryokuchi Station on the Nagahori Tsurumi Ryokuchi subway line. Free. Date: Mon., Oct. 9 (holiday), 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Web: www.city.osaka.lg.jp/tsurumi/page/0000410687.html

Shared interests: Saitama Pref. (upcoming)

Alishan Organic Market Day: Meet and purchase from organic farmers, craftsmen and artisans in a relaxed green mountain stream-side setting. Live music. Mountain hiking and clean stream wading. 15 percent-off off sale at Tengu Natural Foods. Date: Sat., Oct. 7. Time: 10:30 a.m-4 p.m. Venue: Alishan, Komahongo 185-2, Hidaka-shi, Saitama-ken 350-1251. Admission free. Email: info@alishan.jp. Tel: 042-982-481. Web: www.tinyurl.com/alishanmarketday

Shared interests: Tokyo (upcoming)

Japan Writers Conference: Annual gathering of English-language writers, translators, editors and the rest. Dates: Sun., Oct. 8, and Mon., Oct. 9. Venue: Ekoda Campus of Nihon University College of Art near Ikebukuro. Admission: Free, but if you’d like to attend the Sunday night buffet, you need to sign up and pay ¥3,500. RSVP for buffet at gribblej@gol.com. Web: www.japanwritersconference.org

ToPoJo-JWC event: Hear readings from writers in town for JWC — James Shea, Shivaji Das, Sue Sullivan, Loren Goodman and Barbara Summerhawk. Hosted by Taylor Mignon; discussion hosted by Jordan Smith. Date: Sat., Oct. 7, 7-9 p.m. Venue: Café Lavandería. Admission is purchase of a copy of of Tokyo Poetry Journal or ¥1,500 donation. Web: www.facebook.com/events/1683220118363313

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 (Oct. 12 and 26) 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

Shinjuku One Asia Culture Festival 2017: Welcome to the miracle stage woven by beautiful traditional music instruments from across Asia. We are proud to present a one-day special culture festival at a park rich in water and nature in the center of Tokyo, where people from all over the world gather. Music, food and art; the festival condenses many different faces of Asian culture in one place. Date: Sat., Oct. 14. Time: 10:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Venue: Shinjuku Central Park. Admission free. Web: www.oneasia-jc.net/2017/culture-festival.html

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: Wed., Oct. 18, at Richard Roberts Violin Serenade champagne concert at Oji Hall, Ginza; Tue., Oct. 31, at Tokyo Metropolitan Theater Concert Hall, Ikebukuro. For tickets and information, email tickets@tokyosinfonia.com. Web: www.tokyosinfonia.com

English Yoga, Autumn 2017: People who want to do something more than yoga or those who want to learn something through English, please join. An instructor from Canada will teach in both English and Japanese. 1) Thursday Class runs Sept. 7 to Nov. 9, 7:15-8:30 p.m. (10 sessions). 2) Saturday Class runs Sept. 9 to Nov. 25, 10:30-11:45 a.m. (10 sessions) (no classes on Sept. 23 and Oct. 28). Fee: ¥20,000 (for 10 lessons). I-House members and international students can avail themselves of a 10 percent discount. Please bring your own yoga mat and block. Venue: International House, Osaka 1F Information Center. Limit of 15 for each class (applicants will be registered in order of application; participants who can participate all sessions will be prioritized). Inquiries: Information Center, Osaka International House Foundation. Phone: 06-6773-8989. You can apply via here: www.ih-osaka.or.jp/english/news/20161214_3878.

Shared interests: Nationwide (new)

Shuta Hasunuma Philharmonic Orchestra wants you: In preparation for a musician audition, Shuta Hasunuma Philharmonic Orchestra is recruiting new instrumentalists to add to the current 16 members to create the “Shuta Hasunuma ‘Full’ Philharmonic Orchestra.” Any instruments are accepted regardless of where they are from. Your age, gender or nationality does not matter either. What matters is who you are and who you work with. In summer 2018, we are planning to perform the “Shunta Hasunuma Full Philharmonic Orchestra Premiere” in Tokyo. Application requirements: Please send the URL of your solo video on video-sharing sites like YouTube or Vimeo to audition@hasunumaphil.com. Please remember to add your phone number and your name in the email. The video should be less than five minutes and have a self-introduction. The deadline for submission of solo audition recruitment videos is Tue., Oct. 31, 12 p.m. For more information about the auditions, visit www.hasunumaphil.com/en

Social: Nagoya (upcoming)

World Collaboration Festival 2017: The biggest international exchange event in the Chubu region. With international exchange, international cooperation and multicultural coexistence as its theme, the event draws around 100 organizations and groups to Sakae, Nagoya city, and features information and activity booths, and stage performances. This year’s event looks at the Sustainable Development Goals, and will feature booth activities where each visitor can reflect on how they can contribute to the realization of a sustainable society. Date: Sat., Oct. 14, and Sun., Oct 15. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Venue: Oasis 21 in Sakae. Admission free. Web: www.world-collabo.jp

Social: Osaka (upcoming)

Harvest Moon Festival in Osaka 2017: This is an outdoor event sponsored by Chinese organizations in the Kansai area and Japan-China Friendship organizations. Highlights include Chinese dance performances, music, food, Chinese-dress fashion show. Date: Sat., Oct. 7 (10 a.m.-7 p.m.) and Sun., Oct. 8 (10 a.m.-6 p.m.). Venue: Naniwanomiya-Ato Park. Admission: Free. Web: www.moon-osaka.org

Social: Tokyo (upcoming)

Tokyou Friends Monthly Meetup Party: Language exchange, chat and make friends on the first Friday (Oct. 6) of every month, 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-party

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 (Oct. 27) 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

Spiritual: Tokyo (upcoming/new)

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

Sacred harp singing: Meets every third Thursday (Oct. 19) 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

US Embassy Prayer Group: Every Thursday, 12-1 p.m., since 2003, for U.S. Embassy staff and related employees. For location information, mail amakusahiro7@gmail.com

Notices: Miyagi Pref. (upcoming)

Sendai Bar Association and MIA Legal Consultation: Sendai Bar Association and MIA will hold a legal consultation for foreign nationals living in Miyagi Prefecture. Target group for this event are foreign nationals and their families living in Miyagi. Consultations are free. Application will be accepted around Mon., Oct. 16 to Tue., Oct. 31. Time, date and place for consultation are arranged after the submitted application is accepted. Where to apply: Sendai Bar Association, Legal Consultation Center — phone 022-223-2383 (in Japanese); Miyagi Support Center for Foreign Nationals (Miyagi International Association) (in foreign languages). Applications accepted 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on weekdays. Interpretation Service: Phone 022-275-9990. For those who have difficulties consulting in Japanese and cannot find an interpreter, MIA can arrange one as needed.

Notices: Osaka (upcoming)

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 (Oct.11 and 25). 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

Osaka Gyosei-Shoshi Lawyers Association Free Consultation: You can consult about visas, naturalization, business permits for restaurants, as well as other subjects, for free. You can consult in English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese or German. Date: Sat., Oct. 14. Time: 12-6 p.m. Venue: Namba Walk Kujira Park. Fee: Free. No need to make an appointment. Phone: 06-6943-7501

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 (Oct. 18). 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

Causes: Nagoya area

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. Web: www.santaandfriendsnagoya.com

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. Web: www.nic-nagoya.or.jp/en/e/archives/3634

Labor consultations from General Union Tokai: Interested in improving your working conditions? Have questions about labor rights? Our Tokai office in Nagoya (mail nagoyaoffice@generalunion.org) is open for consultations. Web: www.generalunion.org

Causes: Osaka area

CARE — People Helping People: Standing for Children, Activity, Relationships and Enjoy, CARE is an international volunteer group here to help people becoming happier and healthier. From building self-esteem and confidence to participating in charity events and overcoming troubles as a community, the group provides a positive environment full of great opportunities. We hold regular meetups and events in Nishinomiya. Meetup: www.meetup.com/CARE-People-Helping-People. Web: www.care-volunteer.com

Causes: Tohoku

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. Email: info@aidforjapan.co.uk. Web: www.aidforjapan.co.uk

Living Dreams, a Japan-based NPO: We are a nonprofit organization striving to rebuild, enrich and empower orphans both in Tokyo and Tohoku. Web: www.livingdreams.jp

Fukushima Future, a young NPO based in France: We also have 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 6-4980-5731. Email: fukushimafuture@hotmail.com. Twitter: twitter.com/FukushimaFuture. Web: www.fukushimafuture.com

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.

Causes: Tokyo

Jambo — Having Fun Doing Good: Jambo is the only group whose purpose is to provide fun activities for people while, through these activities, providing support for the less fortunate. Upcoming events in the Kanto area: www.jambointernational.org/en

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. Web: www.tec.ac/en

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. Web: www.guesthouse.or.jp/english

Living Dreams, a Japan-based NPO: We are a nonprofit organization striving to rebuild, enrich and empower orphans both in Tokyo and Tohoku. Web: www.livingdreams.jp

Causes: Nationwide

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.

Support John Einarsen’s “Small Buildings of Kyoto”: I have made a little book of photographs of small buildings of Kyoto . I photographed them mostly on my way to teach at university with my iPhone. But they proved so popular on our Instagram account that we decided to publish a book — “Small Buildings of Kyoto.” It has been a lot of fun to share these quirky yet beautiful structures. Yet another fascinating side to this city we all love. So we at Kyoto Journal began an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds this book. Funds from sales will go towards returning Kyoto Journal to print this coming autumn. Please have a look at our campaign page: www.indiegogo.com/projects/small-buildings-of-kyoto-japan-architecture

I Am Jane tackles rape pandemic: 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 new group that officially opened Jan. 1, providing 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. Web: www.iamjane.org

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.

Adopt a rescued pet from Japan Cat Network: 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. Web: www.japancatnet.org

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

Used stamps wanted: Used postage stamps (full postmarks where possible) needed 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 email.)

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.

Peace Boat is a Japan-based international NGO/NPO: Peace Boat 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. Web: www.peaceboat.org

Educational: Hiroshima area

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. See www.meetup.com/Hiroshima-Language-exchange for meetup details.

Japanese and English Language Exchange: 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

Educational: Kanagawa

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. 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. Web: ishonan.com/event.php?function=showEvent&event_id=4984.

Educational: Kansai

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

Let’s Learn Japanese — Fureai Salon: Enjoy learning Japanese with experienced volunteer teachers at the Osaka International House Foundation every Saturday, 2-3:30 p.m.! Initial class is free. No booking needed. Registration fee: ¥500. Participation fee: ¥2,000 (12 sessions, valid for a year). Venue: Osaka International House Foundation, Meeting Room. Web: www.ih-osaka.or.jp/english/international/post_6.html

Kodomo Hiroba: We are holding classes on Japanese and other subjects for children aged between 6 and 18 years old who have foreign roots. In this class, students can learn reading and writing in Japanese, review their school lessons or do their school homework and read books. 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: Free. Venue: Osaka International House, 1F Conference Room. Contact: Information Center Osaka International House Foundation. Phone: 06-6773-8989. Fax: 06-6773-8421. Website: www.ih-osaka.or.jp/english

Language teachers, please join 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.

Community House & Information Centre: 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.

Educational: Nagoya area

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 information, call 052-710- 9808.

Free educational counselling 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.

Educational: Shikoku

Kenji Miyazawa Lovers: Anyone who loves Kenji Miyazawa’s books, poetry — even a single word or sentence — is eligible for this group! Join other fans in this book club dedicated to the great writer’s works. The group meets in Takamatsu. See www.meetup.com/Kenji-Miyazawa-Lovers for information about meetups.

Exchange English and Japanese Culture in Tokushima: This is a good opportunity to talk in English and Japanese with new people, and also to exchange the culture of your country. All nationalities are welcome. We usually have free conversation or discuss some topics. This group is open to everyone who is interested in English and Japanese conversation or cultural exchange. We look forward to seeing you! Web: www.meetup.com/Tokushima-English-Japanese-speak-exchange-culture-Meetup

Educational: Tokyo area

University Teachers Union: 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.

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. Website: www.meetup.com/Tokyo-Writers-Workshop

Children with an autism spectrum disorder: Such children 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, Lego play group or a swimming date for your child? They can connect here! 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.

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

Tokyo Comedy Store’s Standup Comedy Workshop: 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! Web: 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

Educational: Yokohama

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. Website: 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.

Shared interests: Fukuoka

Fukuoka English 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. Facebook: www.facebook.com/fukuokayoga

Shared interests: Kanagawa

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: 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.

Shared interests: Nagoya area

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

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. 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.

Shared interests: Osaka area

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.facebook.com/OsakaDingoes, www.osakadingoes.com or mail osakadingoes@hotmail.com.

Shared interests: Okinawa

Creators’ Meetup: A recently formed group in central Okinawa that seeks to link together artistically inclined individuals. See www.meetup.com/Creators-Meetup for information about meetups.

Shared interests: Shizuoka

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! Web: www.meetup.com/Meetup-Crew-of-The-Zu

Shared interests: Tokyo

Jambo — Having Fun Doing Good: Jambo is the only group whose purpose is to provide fun activities for people while, through these activities, providing support for the less fortunate. Upcoming events in the Kanto area: www.jambointernational.org/en

Tokyo Book Group: A casual discussion of fiction, held in Shibuya once a month. For further information, please mail jeffdjp@yahoo.com.

Tokyo Vegan MeetUp Book Club: Held once a month (time and place varies). Please check the Tokyo Vegan MeetUp calendar for more details. Cost: Free. Everyone is welcome — vegan or not. So, if a book takes your fancy, please come along! Web: 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 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’ 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: 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. Web: 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, 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: 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! Web: 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

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

Tokyo Comedy Store’s Standup Comedy Workshop: 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 on Thursday in Tachikawa: 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.

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.

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: We can be contacted on 03-5605-9425, by emailing oatokyo@yahoo.com or visiting www.oaintokyo.org.

Shared interests: Yokohama

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

Shared interests: Nationwide

Kyoto Journal has a fiction and poetry section: 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. Web: 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. Web: www.meetup.com/kamihikoukimag

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

Social: Hiroshima area

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

Japanese and English Language Exchange in Hiroshima: This group is for those who want to learn Japanese and English. All ages and levels welcome. 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. Web: www.meetup.com/HAJELE

Social: Kobe area

Community House & Information Centre: 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 are 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: 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. Email kobeclub@office.email.ne.jp or check out www.kobeclub.org.

Social: Nagoya area

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

Social: Osaka area

FEW Kansai is a networking organization: For Empowering Women 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. Email few@fewkansai.com or visit www.fewkansai.com.

Social: Tokyo area

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.

Social: Nationwide

The Canadian Alumni Association in Japan (CAAJ): We hold 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: Kanagawa/Yokohama

Buddhism in a Nutshell: Curious about the basics of Buddhism? Join our meditation, teaching and discussion group in Yokohama. It’s based on the online course “Buddhism in a Nutshell.” Dates and times vary, but usually the second Sunday of the month (12:30-2:30 p.m.). Where: Yokohama Nishi Chiku Centre, Yokohama. Organized by Do Ngak Sung Juk (Tibetan Buddhism group in Japan). Admission: Donations accepted. Contact: office@fpmt-japan.org or phone 080-3218-9184. Web: www.fpmt-japan.org

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.

Spiritual: Kobe area

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.

Spiritual: Nagoya area

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: anees1978@gmail.com. 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.

Spiritual: Nara area

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

Spiritual: Osaka area

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

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

Spiritual: Tokyo area

Christian History Bus Tour of Tokyo: Visit the sites of the Great Edo Massacre of 1623, 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, the Christian History Museum 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 bus picks up all participants and goes to each site with a video description and personal guide on the bus. An offering is taken to cover the cost of the bus that takes the tour around to all sites and all participants are required to sign a legal document to never reveal the sites and or visit them individually to protect the integrity of the sites. The tour is from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and lunch is at the historic Christian area of Tokyo, Asakusa. To reserve a seat, 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

Find Your Element Workshop: FYE is a community-based workshop series featuring hand-picked expert leaders from a variety of fields and backgrounds. Our mission is to facilitate connection to Self and World through inner discovery. Our workshop classes help you embrace challenges, honor your core beliefs, identify your Element and, most importantly, have lots of fun! When: Every Wednesday, 7:30-9:00 p.m. (date/time variations: until Wed., May 10, 7:30-9:00 p.m.) Where: Concept Studio Veda (2F), 4-17-3 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo. Admission: ¥4,000 (except March 8: ¥8,000). Veda: www.findyourelement.jp/veda. FYE: www.findyourelement.jp. Contact: info@findyourelement.jp or 090-3962-9646

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.

Enhance Your Element through Meditation: Mindfulness Meditation 12-week program every Wednesday, 10:30-11:45 a.m. Venue: Concept Studio veda. Admission price: ¥4,000. Location: Omotesando .Web: Find Your Element Workshop at www.findyourelement.jp. Email: info@findyourelement.jp. Phone: 090-3962-9646

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. Send information to team@jhelp.com for details.

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! Location: 3-6-25 Shiba Koen, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0011. Web: www.stjude.jp. Phone: 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, 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: 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 7:30-9:30 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, visit www.spilchurchtokyo.org. All are invited!

Notices: Osaka area

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 yearend and new year holidays). Phone: 06-6242-1177. Web: 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. Web: www.ih-osaka.or.jp/english/information/counter.html, www.osaka-livinginfo.jp/en (FAQ page)

Notices: Tokyo area

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.

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

Notices: 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: 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.