1. Conversation exchange evenings
By far the largest is ‘The London Japanese Language Meetup Group’ which regularly attracts a diverse crowd of up to 100 on the second Tuesday of each month. It’s a sprawling, free event held in a pub off Leicester Square.
You can find out more on the www.meetup.com website.
For a more structured approach, try the ‘JCG (Japanese Conversation Group)‘ which is a Japanese language group founded in 1997 and affiliated with the Japan Society of London. This event costs £5.50 (which includes a light buffet) and is held on the first Tuesday of every month, one minute from Oxford Circus tube. Check out their brand new website at www.jcg.org.uk.
2. Japan-related societies
The Japan Society offers a wide variety of cultural and business events, formal and informal. Take advantage of their special offer – only £10 for a years’ membership for returning JETs. Have a look at their website www.japansociety.org.uk to see what they do.
JETAA London is the largest and most active chapter in the UK. The website www.jetaa.org.uk has informative articles, an events calendar, forum and useful jobs listings. There’s also a handy ‘Friend Search’ feature to look up your old JET friends. Make sure you are signed up to receive the informative twice-monthly mailshot.
Japanese film is very popular in London – and best of all – it’s subtitled in English!
Third Window Films www.thirdwindowfilms.com lost stock in the Sony Warehouse fire – support them so they can continue to bring quirky, contemporary Asian film to the UK! Third Window also organise free ‘Secret Japanese Movie Meetups’ – register your interest on meetup.com website for more info.
The Embassy of Japan also offers free classic film screenings once a month (you must book in advance and take photo ID).