Global Indian International School Opens New Campus

The Global Indian International School (GIIS) plans to open a second campus in Tokyo for August 2017. GIIS’ new facility will offer a variety of laboratories and activity rooms dedicated to information technology, math, science, language, fine arts, performing arts, music, radio, aerobics, dance, innovation and entrepreneurship. The Higashi Kasai campus will serve as the secondary school campus for all GIIS Tokyo students in grades 4–12, and will be open for Japanese, Indian and expatriate students. In addition to the Indian Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) curriculum, the school will also offer courses in the Cambridge IGCSE and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) curricula, beginning in August 2017 and 2019, respectively. GIIS Tokyo was originally founded in 2006 to cater to expatriate Indian communities in Tokyo; the student body now includes 17 nationalities studying in English.

ABC International School Builds a New Preschool

ABC International is building a custom-designed preschool in Motoazabu, Tokyo. The result of ABC’s close collaboration with Kowa Real Estate and the architectural firm Q Torque, the new design incorporates natural light from windows set at children’s height, a riding track and a tunnel for tricycles and play-cars, underfloor heating and open concept learning environments. Natural Pod furniture and lofts from Canada are environmentally sustainable, and food-grade materials will be used throughout for a natural look and feel. Enrollment will be on a first-come-first-served basis for a limited number of spaces. Established 20 years ago, ABC International is a private international preschool for children aged 12 months to 6 years old.

College Women’s Association of Japan

The College Women’s Association of Japan (CWAJ) is a not-for-profit volunteer organization made up of Japanese and non-Japanese women with common interests and goals. The membership consists of more than 450 women from 30 countries; Japanese and non-Japanese women co-chair each of the various working committees. Started in 1949, CWAJ promotes education and multicultural friendships through meaningful volunteer activities in aim of positive impact on local communities. This year, the organization received the Governor’s Award of Appreciation from Fukushima in recognition of CWAJ’s ongoing Fukushima Relief Projects begun after the 2011 triple disaster. The group also provides a variety of scholarships for women and men wishing to pursue higher education, running an array of events throughout the year.

Social Innovation Japan

Social Innovation Japan (SIJ) is a community of problem-solvers, thinkers and doers. The brainchild of Robin Lewis, Project Coordinator for Peace Boat’s Ecoship Project, SIJ aims to bring people together who are working on, or are interested in, social entrepreneurship projects for learning and networking. Their first event in May 2017 at Impact HUB Tokyo, a coworking and entrepreneurial community space, featured three speakers: Angela Ortiz, CSR manager at H&M Japan; Steve Sakanashi, founder/director of Sekai Creator; and Sayaka Watanabe, co-founder of Welgee. SIJ stresses learning and networking, with plenty of time allotted for both. The 100 seats for the English-only event were nearly sold out more than a week before, so Lewis believes this is a niche that needed to be filled. (No tickets were sold at the door.) The group plans to offer similar events every two to three months.

DSCN9341Kamakura Farmers Market

Those seeking a farmers market that is well-stocked with traditional vegetables, and full of passionate growers who are ready to share recipes and chat about their wares, should make their way to the Kamakura Market. Started more than ninety years ago, the Kamakura Market, a.k.a. Kamakurasui Nyogyou Rensokubaijo, is held seven days a week. Located in what, at first glance, looks like a run-down warehouse owned by an eccentric sign collector, it is the perfect place to find seasonal fruits and vegetables, excellent bread and some nifty prepared foods that will reenergize the most footsore of visitors. The market is an outlet for Kamakura Brand, a trademark of heirloom vegetables and goods that are separate from Japan Agriculture (JA), and highly regarded for their quality. Four different groups of farmers come to the market on a rotating schedule. So visitors who discover a farmer that they particularly like should ask when they will be returning to the market.

Kanagawa Administrative Lawyers Association International Affairs Division

The Kanagawa Administrative Lawyers (Gyoseishoshi) Association offers free counseling by administrative lawyers on residence status, including permanent residency, naturalization, forming a corporation, wills and more. Counselling may be in Japanese, English, Chinese, Spanish and Portuguese. Located in Yokohama, the association consists of attorneys who specialize in preparing and submitting the necessary documents to various branches of the Japanese government. They also counsel clients on the various procedures. Each of Japan’s 47 prefectures has such an office. The Kanagawa branch offers language-specific aid at regularly scheduled times during the week.