All posts by M. Girod

Idobata Salon

Saturday, July 23, 2022 at Izumisano Cross-cultural Association


Thirty-one people, mostly foreign members of ica and students of the Japanese Language Instruction Volunteer Training Course, participated in the language and culture exchange. Divided into groups, participants spoke freely about their own cultures and impressions of Japan in Japanese, English, and Chinese.

What was your overall impression of the language and culture exchange event?

  • There were many people I had never met before. It was fun.
  • I gave my brain a workout talking with people from overseas for the first time in several years.
  • I was very happy to hear many people say, “I love Japan! I was very happy to hear many of them say, “I love Japan! I hope they will like Japan even more in the future.
  • I was impressed by the way they were actively trying to communicate with each other regardless of whether their Japanese was good or bad. I hope that they will become more proficient.
  • I was impressed by the fact that they have a clear purpose for living in Japan.
  • The atmosphere was warm and easy to talk with. I was surprised that there were several Japanese who spoke Chinese.
  • The topics of conversation were not only about my country and myself, but also about current issues and common interests.

ica Walk 2022

Sunday, May 29 at Izumisano Hillside Park (Kyuryo Ryokuchi Park) and Shintaki Lake


In the pleasant breeze of early summer, 50 people enjoyed a 4 kilometer walk through Izumisano Hillside Park. After the walk, participants partook in a lively ica quiz and enjoyed lunch under the shade of a tree. Surrounded by the outdoors, participants felt free to deepen their exchanges with each other.

From the participants:

  • The time and distance were just right for walking. (Chang Fan/China)
  • We were able to speak from different perspectives. We could talk about the state of life in China, our home countries, the language that Hong Kong students use in class, and Japan, as seen from abroad. It was a truly unique cross-cultural exchange. While outdoors, we had a rousing quiz match and a wonderful time, transcending borders and languages. (Tagako Kidoguchi)

Understanding the World: Displaying Traditional Japanese Dolls

Saturday, April 23rd at Izumisano Cross-cultural Association


While listening to the explanation of the traditional Japanese dolls, we displayed the dolls one by one. We also displayed traditional warrior headpieces. It was an opportunity to learn all about Japan’s traditional dolls. With the help of the Kimono Fitting Club, children had the chance to wear kimonos for the first time. There were others who made origami warrior headpieces for the first time. It was a meeting where we all had a chance to have hands on experience with different aspects of Japan culture.

In cooperation with Toshihiko Kamidoi and Chieko Ishi from the Izumisano Tourism Volunteer Association

Cross Cultural Hiking

The ica Walk, Autumn 2021, Inunaki Mountain


Blessed with fine autumn weather, a total of 45 people, including 11 foreigners and 34 Japanese, hiked through the mysterious forests of Inunaki Mountain.

Participants’ Impressions

  • It was refreshing. It’s been a long time away from ica. It was really fun.
  • Relaxing!
  • It was good. It was really fun, but it was difficult to talk on the way up; I was short of breath on the climb.
  • It was nice and cool.
  • It was fun passing through the waterfall for the first time.
  • I was quite a rare experience (the waterfall ritual).

English Café

Chitchat
Saturday, October 23, 2021
Izumisano Cross-cultural Association, Minaminakakashii Building


ica Japanese learners Ms. Yu (Thailand) and Ms. Lin (China) were invited as guests, and enjoyed chatting in Japanese.

“In Thailand, women do not touch monks. I was surprised to learn that monks in Japan can marry and are allowed to touch women,” said Ms. Yu.

Ms. Lin introduces tea utensils and a variety of teas, including Pu’er tea and Ma Li Hua tea. One of the most popular teas is Gong Yi tea, which is a dried flower wrapped in tea leaves that opens when hot water is poured over it.

The Introduction of the English Café Passport

Participants will be issued a English Café Passport! We invite you to create your own original passport. Jot down special moments and interactions you’ve had or simply add your own photos to it.