Yes, You Can Speak Japanese in London!

'Toriaezu, biru' - image courtesy of http://www.japanesepod101.com

‘Toriaezu, biru’ – image courtesy of http://www.japanesepod101.com

Are you learning Japanese?  Here’s a brief guide to the conversation clubs in the London.   Do you want to chat in English and Japanese?  A conversation evening can be brilliant to informally practice your conversation skills and make interesting, international friends.

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 new people on your wavelength.

The London Japanese Conversation Meetup Group

When?  Meet the second Tuesday of every month at 7.30pm.The London Japanese Language Meetup Group
Where?  Upstairs at the Slug and Lettuce pub (nearest tube Leicester Square)
Who will I meet there?  This is a young, energetic crowd with diverse interests: anime/manga fans, city workers, fashion students, students of Japanese, and ex-JET Programme English teachers!  This extremely popular meetup is run by the very friendly Paul Woodhead!
Cost?  It’s FREE, with a ‘voluntary contribution’ of £1.
What else?  You should register at meetup.com for this free event.  Often has 50 or more Japanese speakers or enthusiasts attend. There’s a really large area reserved for the group, so go straight upstairs when you enter the pub.  The London Japanese Conversation Meetup Group also gets together for other activities, such as hanami picnics and clubbing.  

The Japanese Language Conversation Group 

When?  The Japanese Language Conversation Group is conducted entirely in Japanese and meets the first Tuesday of every month at 6.30pm (except January, when it meets on the second Tuesday).
Where?  at The Brewmaster pub, right across from Leicester Square tube stop.
Who will I meet there?  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.
Cost?   Standard admission is £5.50 with £1 discount for Japan Society members/ Students/Concessions and Regular Attendees, payable at the door. This covers the light finger buffet. No reservation is necessary.
What else?  A light finger buffet is provided and drinks are purchased individually at the bar. Note:  The buffet is a great hit – get there on time!

Oxford Club

When?  A language exchange club, started back in 2003, that meets every Thursday from 7.30–11pm.
Where?  In Central London – W1. Contact them before your first visit to find out location details.
Who will I meet there?  Oxford Club particularly attracts young members (over 18 years old).  As it is a ‘language exchange’ club you can speak in English or Japanese.
Cost?  Ladies £1.50, Men £5, Couple £5.
What else?  You need to register your attendance before you go by emailing.

Hashi-no-kai

When?  meets every Monday 7:00 – 10:00 pm.  ‘Nihongo Time’ is 7:30-8pm every Monday.
Where?  at The Comedy pub (ground floor), 7 Oxendon St., SW1Y 4EE
The Comedy is in Oxendon Street, not far from Haymarket and Piccadilly station.
Who will I meet there?  The group attracts an established group of ex-pats and friends, offering activities such as quizzes and origami events.
Cost?  The first meeting is £10, after that, subsequent meetings are £3.50.  Concessions are available.
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. Make sure it’s on by emailing in advance.