Since February is both the coldest month and the month we celebrate love (or share chocolates), it is a good time to start getting involved by keeping warm and sharing a bit of love with those who might need a bit of extra care. Before this month’s event listings, I’d like to share information about two ways you can get involved, make a difference and spread a little love around.

I know everyone is busy and by February many of us feel we have already failed in following through on our New Year’s resolutions, but let’s keep in mind that small acts of kindness can mean a lot to those in need. That’s my challenge for you all this month. Let me know how it goes!

Become a TELL Lifeline Support Worker

Everyday for 45 years, TELL Lifeline has provided important connections and support to people across Japan. It’s not just for people who are suicidal — whatever is troubling people in our community, TELL Lifeline Support Workers are available to listen to you. TELL saves lives. Why not be trained as a TELL Lifeline Support Worker and be part of a team that is all about helping others? Training will teach you how to actively listen, be non-judgmental and empathetic to callers without being overwhelmed yourself. You’ll be surrounded by people with the same motivation as you. What’s in it for you?

  • Personal and professional growth
  • Giving back to your community
  • Learning new skills and experiencing new things
  • Meeting new people and making new friends
  • Belonging to the TELL community
  • Knowing that by volunteering you really are making a difference.

Spring 2019 Training Dates: February 23 – May 18
If you have any queries about becoming a TELL Lifeline volunteer, please call 03-4550-1191 or email:
For more information:

Al-Anon in Tokyo – English Speaking –

A fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics who share their experience, strength and hope in order to solve their common problems.

Meetings: Franciscan Chapel Center, Roppongi, Minato-ku Tuesdays, 7 pm

Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Center’s Continued Relief Efforts in Western Japan

Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Center (PBV) is still working with the local communities affected by the heavy rain and flooding last July. More than 300 volunteers have participated in the relief efforts over the last six months and PBV is offering volunteering opportunities in February and March. Volunteers have contributed to community rebuilding, cleaning of damaged houses and improving the living environments in temporary housing.
PBV seeks volunteers who can work in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, for three consecutive days (or longer). Volunteers who are comfortable with working in a Japanese-speaking environment may join us in Kurashiki on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday of any weekend. Staff will be at the station to pick you up. PBV also offers some volunteering opportunities to those who need English-language support so please contact Ikuno Suzuki to find the specific dates available. Or, if you can organize a group of people in your company or school, PBV can organize a group trip. Take a weekend to see Western Japan and help others.

Information on volunteering opportunities in Kurashiki, Okayama is available on their website:

February 2

Wine and Chocolate Pairing Pre-Valentine Party
Come and experience special tastes and sensations with our marriage of chocolate and wines.
With the entrance fee, visitors will be able to select from seven different kinds of wine and 6 kinds of chocolate. There will also be a lecture on how to pair wine with chocolate, ensuring you’ll take home much more than a warm heart and satisfied stomach. Art by two artists will also be on exhibit throughout the venue.

*There are only 25 spots — be sure to reserve your spot early!
5pm – 8pm. Perry House Gallery. Jingumae, 4-23-6, Shibuya-ku

February 3

Workshop: Adventures in Arm Balance and Standing Balance Poses with Carla Herzenberg
This workshop is for every level, perfect if you are new to yoga and want to understand the fundamentals of balances and binds or if you are a seasoned yogi and want to go to the next level in your balance practice.
Step by step, we will break down Arm Balances and Standing Balances from their foundation, moving on to more advanced variations (Binds, Crow, Compass, Pincha Mayurasana, Half Moon, Bound Moonrise Twist), for those who are ready. Carla will give safe, appropriate hands-on adjustments for additional alignment modifications support. This is an all-workshop session, no class/flow. You will have the opportunity and time to ask questions that you never get to ask in a typical class.

2:30pm – 5pm. ¥5,000. Sun and Moon Yoga, Gotanda Yamakatsu Building 201, 3-16-44 Higashigotanda, Shinagawa-ku

February 5

Conversation with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton Japan K.K. President Norbert Leuret
Speaker: Norbert Leuret, President, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton Japan K.K.
Hosting Committees: Independent Business, Retail, Sales Development
12pm – 2pm. Member Fee: ¥4,500 Guest Fee: ¥7,900 includes lunch. Tokyo American Club Ballroom Azabudai, 2-1-2 Minato-ku
For more information:

Alan Booth

February 26

Book Break: Timothy Harris, editor of “This Great Stage of Fools: An anthology of uncollected writings by Alan Booth”
Alan Booth (1946-1993) was the author of two acclaimed travel books about Japan; “The Roads to Sata” about walking the length of Japan; and “Looking for the Lost” an account of walking journeys in the tracks of Dazai Osamu, Heike fugitives in the Genpei War and Saigo Takamori. He was also a prolific journalist, and wrote regular film reviews for the (now-defunct) Asahi Evening News, as well as essays on Japanese festivals and folk songs, and other essays and accounts of travel that were published in a variety of publications. “This Great Stage of Fools” collects the best of his journalism, including the harrowingly funny account of his struggle with cancer. Tim Harris will talk about working and performing with Alan Booth; about the difficulties involved in getting “This Great Stage of Fools” published; and about the value of Booth’s writing.

There will be a “meet the author” cocktail party from 6:15pm, followed by dinner at 6:45pm. Drinks can be ordered on a cash basis from the bar in the room.
6:15pm – 8:30pm. General: ¥3,500. Members: ¥2,100. Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, Marunouchi Nijubashi Bldg. 5F, 3-2-3 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku

February 1

First Friday: Mardi Gras, Let the good times roll
Brush up on your French expressions and your Cajun appetite for this annual First Friday celebration of New Orleans’ legendary Mardi Gras festivities. Feast on New Orleans favorites like Andouille sausage jambalaya and mini muffulettas, sip bayou-inspired cocktails and dance the last days of winter away to the Mississippi Delta blues of Rambling Steve Gardner and his band.

Reserve your spot now for early-bird pricing for this Bourbon Street blowout!
6pm – 8pm. ¥2,160 (TAC members)  ¥5,940 (Guests). Winter Garden and American Bar & Grill, 2-1-2 Azabudai, Minato-ku
For more information:

February 8

Shine On! Kids 2019 Gala – Mardi Gras Magic
An evening of soul-warming New Orleans-style blues and jazz filled with magical music surprises for everyone.Straight from New Orleans, Washboard Chaz will be joined by the Steve Gardner band to keep you dancing  while you enjoy a New Orleans-themed full course dinner. Our fabulous Facility Dogs and Program Participants will be on hand to share furry smiles and uplifting stories while you bid on our live and silent auctions and enjoy our games and raffle — all in support of our programs supporting very sick children and their families in hospitals throughout Japan.

*Dress: Mardi Gras colors – purple, green and gold. Masks are encouraged.
6pm – 10pm. Individuals: ¥30,000. Table price: ¥250,000. Tokyo American Club Ballroom, 2-1-2 Azabudai, Minato-ku
Purchase tickets here: 20

February 20

Amnesty International Pub Quiz

It’s a great way to unwind after work, to meet new people, and to, well, show off what you know. You can enjoy your evening meal and/or a few drinks at the same time.
The aim is to inform, as well as to entertain— but you’ll know that you are contributing towards a better, fairer world for everyone. It’s an informal, fun event. You co-operate with others in a team (of up to five people) to answer general knowledge questions; the highest-scoring teams win prizes. Organized by members of Amnesty international Tokyo English Network (AITEN)* who will prepare some questions relating to current affairs or human rights. Come as a team, or just turn up and we’ll help you to find or to make a team.

7:30pm – 10:00pm
¥1,000 per person to play. Prizes vary.
All proceeds go to Amnesty International Japan (AIJ).
* AITEN is just one (English-language) group of the many AIJ local groups throughout the country. Members are from all over the world, including Japan. For more about AITEN and how you can get involved; and/or for more about the pub quiz and directions to the venue:
The Hobgoblin pub, Shibuya, Ichian Building 3F. Dogenzaka, Shibuya. 1-3-11.

February 6

TELL’s monthly pub quiz
Come on down to the Hobgoblin Shibuya for our monthly pub quiz. Have a drink and fire up a few of your 15-33 billion neurons.
Drink, think, have fun, and win prizes, all for a good cause. All proceeds to suicide prevention and mental health promotion in Japan. Teams of up to 6; come with friends or on your own and we’ll find you a team.

8pm – 10:30 pm
Location: Shibuya Hobgoblin, 3F Ichiban Building, 1-3-11 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku
For more information:

February 8

Nerd Nite is talking trash
Take a swim in Tokyo Bay’s islands of garbage, ponder why humans have language and apes do not, and more! Nerd Nite Tokyo is a monthly evening of thinking and drinking featuring smart speakers and a curious crowd. The Tokyo event started in June 2016 and is part of the worldwide Nerd Nite family dubbed “the Discovery Channel with beer”. Speakers at Nerd Nite Tokyo are passionate experts in topics from sumo to supernovas and emoji to exoplanets and every month features diverse new presentations in science, art, tech, culture and more. Events are held in English.

7:30pm – 10:30pm. ¥1,000. Nagatacho GRID. 2-5-3, Hirakawacho, Chiyoda-ku
For more information:

February 1

Comedy with Ahmed Ahmed
Good Heavens is thrilled to be hosting the multi-talented Egyptian-American Ahmed Ahmed — one of the funniest comedians in the world. Additionally an actor, producer and director, Ahmed is one of the most diverse, multi-faceted talents in the entertainment industry today. Ahmed has featured in many blockbuster and cult movies including Executive Decision, Swingers, Iron Man and You Don’t Mess With The Zohan as well as many top TV series such as “Tracy Takes On”, “Weeds” and “Roseanne”. Ahmed made his directorial debut with his groundbreaking award-winning documentary Just Like Us. Ahmed is also the winner of the annual Richard Pryor Award for Ethnic Comedy at the Edinburgh Festival and is a regular performer at the world famous Comedy Store in Hollywood, The Laugh Factory, and the Comedy Cellar in New York City. Don’t miss his first show in Tokyo.

7pm – 11pm. ¥2,500. Good Heavens British Bar Tokyo, 2F, 5-32-5 Daizawa, Setagaya-ku
Tickets available at:

February 1

Press Conference: Rob Reiner, Director, Producer and Actor
From the sitcom “All in the Family” to his latest film, Shock and Awe, Rob Reiner’s career as an actor, director, writer and producer has crossed genres and borders for decades. Now he will visit Japan for the first time in 34 years as a director, to present his most recent movie, which depicts what’s often called the first casualty of war – the truth.
Shock and Awe tells the story of the Knight-Rider journalists who “got it right” in the days before the 2003 Iraq War, focusing on the stated justification for the conflict. The movie examines reporters’ roles in examining, rather than parroting, the words and deeds of their leaders. The acclaimed director will speak on the background of the story as well as the continued need for strong journalism.
The speech and Q&A will be in English with interpretation, includes 15 minutes of highlight footage screening of Shock and Awe.

2:45pm – 4pm. Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, Marunouchi Nijubashi Bldg. 5F, 3-2-3, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku
Call 03-321-3161 to reserve your space in advance or make your reservation on the website at:

February 19

Exceptional Parenting Program: Eating Disorders in Adolescents
How can we recognize eating disorders in our children, and how can we support them through them? Dr. Maho Isono, eating disorders specialist, takes us through it.

10am – 12pm. Wesley Center Room 205. Minami Aoyama, 6-10-11, Minato-ku
Register by emailing
For more information:


World Valentine Festival
The people who organize the events in Yoyogi Park have come up with an intriguing theme for Valentine’s Day. What exactly is a World  Valentine Festival? Why not pop along with your valentine and find out? Expect the availability of food, drink, music and some kind of flea market, as per usual; rain or shine.

Free. 10am – 6pm. Yoyogi Park
For more information: