Kurashiki Goodwill Guide Association
The Kurashiki Goodwill Guide Association was founded in January of 1987. The association is made up of volunteers from Kurashiki and neighboring areas that are interested in promoting international friendship and goodwill. Currently, there are about 90 members in the association. The association helps sponsor or particpates in about 7 or 8 large international exchange events and activities throughout the year. In recognition of its volunteer activites and contributions to the internationalization of Japan, the association received the Miki Commemorative Award in 2000 from Okayama Prefecture. The association publishes its own newsletter "Amigo" that it puts out about 6 times a year.
Activities / Events:
The Kurashiki Goodwill Guide Association members offer guided tours in English of the Bikan Historical District for international visitors to Kurashiki. Guides for other languages may also be arranged if enough advance notice is given.
Japanese Language Salon
Members of the association also serve as volunteer Japanese teachers for international residents of Kurashiki and the surrounding areas. These Japanese lessons are designed for those studying fo the Japanese Proficiency exam or for those just interested in improving their overall Japanese ability. These classes also allow the members to learn more about foreign cultures and tradtions. For more information about these lesson please click on the following link.
Kurashiki Goodwill Guide Association Japanese Lessons
Cooking Parties/Exchange Events
The association holds a variety of cooking parties/exchange events with some of its Japanese language students and other international residents throughout the year. Not only are these good ways for everyone to get to know each other and make friends, they also give the members the opportunity to learn about and taste interesting dishes from overseas.
"Potluck" Countdown Party
Each year, the group holds a "Bonenkai" or "end of year party", where members get together with international guests and Japanese language students and their families to celebrate the end of the year, as well as, welcome in the New Year. These parties are a lot of fun and everyone brings at least one "potluck dish" for the enitre group to enjoy. Traditional songs and dances are often performed by many of the international guests.
Members of the association occassionally visit local elementary schools to take part in international exchange and general studies classes. Usually, they are accompanied by some of their Japanese langauge students. Japanese children get the opportunity to hear first hand about a variety of international cultures and traditions and interact with with their international guests through games, music and other activites. These visits are a fun time for everyone involved.
New Year's Tea Party
On the 2nd Satruday of January, the associations holds its New Year's Tea Party. The party begins at 13.30 after the days Japanese lessons have finishied and gives everyone a chance to have some fun and relax. Games and other activities are usually planned creating a friendly atmosphere for all.
Kurashiki Tenryo Festival
Each summer, the members of the association and some of their Japanese langauge students and other friends particpate in the Kurashiki Tenryo Festival. The group makes handmade costumes with an international flavor and participate in the folk dancing and parade down Kurashiki's main street. Although the group does not really have to much time to practice their dancing, everyone has an enjoyable time. In the past, the group has been awarded a trophy three times for their participation.
Kurashiki International Friendship Festival
Each October, at the Kurashiki Geibunkan, the Kurashiki International Association's Kurashiki International Friendship Festival is held. Members of the Kurashiki Goodwill Guide Association are involved in both the organizing and operating of the festival. The association offers displays and workshops on a variety of Japanese folk crafts and arts. Also, members of the association (and sometimes their Japanese langauge students) dressed in traditional Japanese kimonos perform a Japanese Tea Ceremony and provide tea and traditional sweets to visitors to the festival. At past festivals, over 400 people have enjoyed the Tea Ceremony and Japanese tea and sweets provided by the association.
For more information about this event, please click the following link.
Kurashiki International Friendship Festival 2005
Kurashiki Tenryo Festival New Year's Tea Party Countdown Party
For more information about the Kurashiki Goodwill Guide Association, please contact either Ms. Junko Mino at 086-424-7774, Ms. Keiko Yano at 086-425-8602 or Mr. Yukuo Murata at 086-525-5537. You can reach the association by mail at the following addresses.
Ms. Junko Mino
Kurashiki, Okayama 710-0836
Ms. Keiko Yano
Kurashiki, Okayama 710-0061
Mr. Yukuo Murata
Yashima 15-15, Tamashima
Kurashiki, Okayama 713-8113