Do you want to find like-minded people who appreciate both Japanese and British culture and speak the two languages? Try a conversation evening. This is London – so you’ll meet all sorts of different types of people – from Anime artists to Zen masters! Great if you’re new in town… or just want to meet some new people.
When? Meets the second Tuesday of every month at 7.30pm.
Where? Upstairs at the Slug and Lettuce pub (nearest tube Leicester Square)
Who? This is a young, energetic crowd with diverse interests: anime/manga fans, city workers, fashion students, students of Japanese, and the odd returned JET Programme English teacher! It’s a language exchange group, so you don’t have to speak Japanese all the time.
What will it cost me? It’s FREE, with a ‘voluntary contribution’ of £1.
What else? You’ll need to register at meetup.com for this free event. Often has 50 or more Japanese speakers and enthusiasts attend. There’s a really large area reserved for the group, so go straight upstairs when you enter the pub (although you might want to grab a drink at the less-busy bar downstairs!). The London Japanese Conversation Meetup Group also gets together for other activities, such as picnics and clubbing.
When? The Japanese Language Conversation Group is conducted entirely in Japanese and meets the first Tuesday of every month at 6.30pm.
Where? Lower ground floor of the Old Explorer pub, which is located one block northwest from Oxford Circus tube station.
Who? A mixed age group attends this evening, which can feel a little formal at the beginning. Don’t worry – you’ll soon be given an ice-breaking activity or pub quiz and everyone relaxes as the evening wears on
What will it cost me? The ‘standard admission’ is £5.50, with £1 discounted if you are a regular attendee, a Japan Society member, or for students/concessions.
What else? The Japanese Language Conversation Group has some special events at Christmas and in the summer. You can sign up on the website to receive a regular newsletter. The admission includes a pleasing finger buffet of sandwiches (and typical greasy fare such as potato wedges, breaded prawns, etc.). The buffet is a great hit with the hungry after work crowd. Get there early to make sure you can sample it!
When? A language exchange club that meets every Thursday from 7.30–11pm.
Where? The ‘party’ is held upstairs at The Old Coffee House pub, 49 Beak Street, W1F 9SB (within walking distance of Oxford Circus or Piccadilly tube).
Who? Oxford Club particularly attracts youthful members, although all over 18. As it is a ‘language exchange’ club you can speak in English or Japanese. There is a friendly atmosphere and plenty of opportunity to improve your speaking skills in English or Japanese.
What will it cost me? £5.
What else? You need to register your attendance by email before you go.
When? Hashi-no-kai meets every Wednesday 6pm – 11pm. ‘Nihongo Time’ is 7:30-8pm.
Where? Lower Ground Floor at The Duke of York, 8 Dering Street W1S 1AF (off New Bond Street).
Who? The group attracts a mature group of ex-pats and friends, offering activities such as quizzes and origami events.
What will it cost me? The first meeting is £10, after that, subsequent meetings are £3.50.
What else? Membership is open to all Japanese Nationals and family members. Others with a proven interest in Japan (such as a student of Japanese) can attend.