Expat Clubs in Kumamoto

ByJustin Hanus
Sep 28, 2022

Expat Clubs in Kumamoto

If you’ve moved to Kumamoto prefecture from overseas, you will likely be interested in making links with international and expat groups in the area. Kumamoto doesn’t have an expat network as developed as some parts of Japan, but it’s building up again following the departures of many foreign residents following the 2016 earthquakes. The prefecture has around 13,000 foreign residents, making up less than 1% of the population. This includes Vietnamese, Chinese, American, and British expats.

Here are a few local groups, organizations, and resources expats can use in Kumamoto.

Kumamoto International

This isn’t so much of a group that meets in the flesh as an online community of English-speaking internationals in Kumamoto. Started by an expat university professor in 1999 as a mailing list to keep other foreign residents informed, it’s grown into various online resources and a Facebook page that aims to keep people informed about what’s happening in Kumamotos and provide local advice for newcomers. Resources include Kumamoto Links, which has information on English-speaking doctors in the area, good restaurants, bars, and grocery stores for expats, and details of other English-language resources. You can freely use the online resources or sign up for the mailing list to receive regular e-bulletins.

Website: http://www2.kumagaku.ac.jp/teacher/~masden/kumamoto-i/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Kumamotoi/

Kumamoto YWCA

This is part of a wider network of 24 Young Women’s Christian Associations (YWCA) across Japan. The Kumamoto YWCA was founded back in 1964 and today serves as a powerful resource for women, children, and older people in Kumamoto from both Japan and overseas. It’s based in the central Chuo ward, and community resources include the Pure Habu café, which runs various events aiming to bring locals and expats together, including international-themed and world cuisine days.

Website: https://kumamoto-ywca.jimdofree.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ywcakumamoto/

Kumamoto Expat Meetup

This group is formed on the Meetup platform for expats and expat families living in Kumamoto. The group has over 275 members and meets up a couple of times a month to chat and share experiences and advice on life in Kumamoto. It’s not associated with any particular nationality of expat, and anyone who can communicate in English can join.

Website: https://www.meetup.com/tr-TR/Kumamoto-Expat-Meetup-food-life-kids-and-more/

Friendship Force Kumamoto

Friendship Force Kumamoto is part of a global non-profit network of groups dedicated to bringing together people from diverse backgrounds to make new connections and build relationships. People of all nationalities are welcome. The Kumamoto group was founded as far back as 1984 and has nearly 50 members. The website features details (in Japanese) of local events and activities where members can get together and enjoy experiences.

Website: http://ffkumamoto.org/

Kumamoto International Foundation

Kumamoto International Foundation is another general international and multicultural resource for expats in Kumamoto, with links to the Kumamoto City International Center. The foundation was formed in 1991 to enhance cooperation between locals and foreigners – residents and visitors – as well as run events and promote volunteering. Resources include an international café that holds various cross-cultural events where expats from different communities can engage with each other.

Website: Kumamoto International Foundation

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Charles Oki, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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