Why Get Involved?Edit

  • Make friends
  • Give something back
  • Long, dark winter evenings
  • Learn / improve your Japanese

Ways to Get InvolvedEdit

School / Office CommunityEdit

  • JTEs Your JTEs may be a little hesitant to interact with you at first. Be patient. Look outside the English department as some of the other teachers’ English skills may surprise you.
  • Enkais Teachers’ parties are a great way to get to know your colleagues in an informal setting.
  • Omiyage Get into the omiyage culture. Everyone loves to share snacks.
  • English Club You can organise fun and interesting activities through your school English Club, or just enjoy relaxed conversations with your students.
  • School Clubs Get involved with students outside their regular classes. Join or visit their clubs, support their sports teams and go to their concerts.
  • School English Notice Board The School English Notice board is a good way to interact with your students and let them know more about you. If your school doesn’t have one already, ask if you can start one.

Local CommunityEdit

  • Eikaiwas Eikaiwas, or conversation classes can help you make friends and get to know people in your local community. You may have inherited one from your predecessor but if not, don’t be afraid to ask about. There are always people interested in learning English conversation. Your students may range in age from 3 to 78!
  • Cultural Classes Check out what cultural classes are available at your local community centre, and take up a new Japanese hobby. Regular, organised activites are one of the best ways to meet (busy) Japanese people.
  • Clubs and Groups Seek out groups with similar interests: hiking groups, yoga clubs, soccer teams. Join a sports club, try a martial art or take up a new traditional Japanese hobby.
  • Local Multicultural networks Your local Multicultural network can introduce you to Japanese people and non-JET foreigners. They may offer trips, cultural classes like soba-making, as well as international exchange events.
  • Language Classes Join a Japanese language class. Improve your language skills and make friends.
  • Language exchanges Learn and practice your Japanese with a native speaker in a language exchange. All you need is a place to meet and a willing partner.
  • Publications If your Japanese skills are up to it, try writing for a local newspaper or magazine.
  • Festivals / Matsuri Your local matsuri is likely to be a unique and unusual evening of elaborate floats, matsuri stalls of delicious food, and traditional singing and dancing. Matsuri are a great way to introduce yourself to your neighbours and local community. Find out if you can help carry the floats, try dressing in yukata for the evening, or just chat to the owners at the matsuri stalls while sampling the local specialties.
  • Bars / Karaoke Don’t underestimate informal ways of getting to know local Japanese people in a relaxed setting.


  • AJET Don’t forget about your JET Community. Come along to sports, social and charity events. If you want to get more involved and make a difference, stand for election in June next year.
  • Ishikawa Volunteers Ishikawa Volunteers is the name for Ishikawa AJET Charity volunteers. Contact Ishikawa AJET for more information about getting involved, come along to charity events such as fundraisers and Orphanage visits.
  • Festivals / Matsuri JETs in Ishikawa often travel to other towns for festivals, from Iburihashi’s fighting fish festival in the south, to the Fire and Violence festival in the Noto. Check for details of many Ishikawa festivals.
  • International Festivals Every year IFIE (see below) is involved in organising an International Festival. Foreigners living in Ishikawa, including many JETs, set up information booths about their home countries. It is a fun and interesting way to learn about other countries and to share information about your particular corner of the world with local Japanese people.
  • Ishikawa Foundation for International Exchange (IFIE) IFIE is situated in the Rifare Building in Kanazawa and organises and supports international exchange activities in Ishikawa. The CIRs who work there are always keen for JETs to give them proposals for new events in Ishikawa.

National / InternationalEdit

  • Go Make A Difference (GoM.A.D.) GoM.A.D. is an international web-based organization founded by JETS in order to link volunteering with JET participants’ travels. As well as organising fundraising activities, GoM.A.D. also organises annual volunteering trips to countries like Thailand, India and the Philippines.
  • National AJET The Association of Japan Exchange and Teaching is an independent volunteer organization that promotes and supports JETs in Japan. They offer information and assistance to JETs as well as sponsoring special projects and organise conferences. Become a member of AJET online at If you want to get more involved, every year JETs stand for election to the National AJET Council.
  • Penpal Schemes Start a penpal writing project with your students to students in another part of Japan or in another country.

Some Tips from Current / Previous Ishikawa JETsEdit

  • Broaden your horizons
  • Don't have fixed expectations
  • Attend AJET events
  • Make inquiries
  • Just say YES!

Useful ContactsEdit

Go Make A Difference (GoMad)

Interested in volunteering in Japan and overseas? Contact GoMad.

Hakusan International Salon, Matto

The Salon has a coffee house, classrooms, internet access and offers a variety of Japanese and cultural lessons. The staff speaks English. Getting there: 2/F Hakusan City Matto Bunka Kaikan, 2 Fushiro-machi, Hakusan

The Salon is located near Matto Station.

TEL: 076-274-3371


Hot Ishikawa This website is a great resource for information about festivals and events in the whole prefecture.

‘Ishikawa Express’ Multilingual Magazine

Run by IFIE (see below), this helpful publication provides information about culture and upcoming events in the Prefecture. Past copies are available for downloading.


Ishikawa Foundation for International Exchange (IFIE)

IFIE aims to promote international exchange in Ishikawa Prefecture. IFIE offers international information services, including an international library with a selection of English books, and organises and supports international exchange activities. Getting there: 3/F Rifare Bldg., 1-5-3 Hon-machi, Kanazawa

Walk out the main entrance of Kanazawa station, through the big red torii gate. The Rifare Building is on the right hand side, a few blocks away from the station. IFIE is on the third floor.

TEL: 076-262-5931


Ishikawa FC

Like playing soccer? Join your fellow JETs in some fun matches. No skills needed, just enthusiasm and a little practice time. Ishikawa participates in the bi-annual Nagano All-Japan Soccer Tournament (a huge party/sports weekend) in the Nagano mountains.

Contact the Ishikawa Ajet Sports Reps for more details.

Ishikawa International Salon, Kanazawa Offers cultural exchange programs, talk sessions and traditional hobby lessons.

Getting there: 1-8-14 Hirosaka, Kanazawa

The Salon is located near the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art.

TEL: 076-223-8696


Ishikawa JETs Blog Find out what other JETs are up to in Ishikawa, or write a guest post of your own.

Ishikawa JETs Forum

Visit the forum to discuss current and upcoming events.


Japan TENT welcomes foreign students from 100 different countries to Ishikawa and holds events throughout August.

Kaga Ijinkai An International Exchange group that organises a large Thanksgiving party every year, as well as other cultural exchange activities.

TEL: 090-8094-1663 (English)


Komatsu International Association (KIA) The KIA offers Japanese classes and various cultural events.

Getting there: Kodera-machi otsu 80-1, Komatsu

Take a right out of Komatsu station and walk for about 10 minutes. The KIA is on the left. (English)

TEL: 0761-212-226

National AJET

The Association of Japan Exchange and Teaching is an independent volunteer organization that promotes and supports JETs in Japan.

Tabunka Net, Kaga Tabunka Net is the multicultural network for Kaga, organising many international events in the area. (Japanese) Email:

'Volunteer Ishikawa '

Volunteer Ishikawa is the name for the Ishikawa AJET Charity Group, organising fundraising events, sponsored activities and visits to orphanages in Ishikawa. Contact Ishikawa Ajet for more details on how to get involved.

'Voulez-vous, Kanazawa '

A small-scale group open for all people that want to practice their French in a friendly atmosphere. Contact IFIE for more information: