Foreign community interaction, local community events, foreign residents support
Swing Bldg. 9F 2-14-1 Sakai Musashino, 180-0022
Closest station: Musashi-sakai
Open during different events and office hours (Tuesday – Saturday 9am – 5pm)
A good example of a Tokyo local government (Musashino-shi) supporting its foreign residents through Musashino International Association (MIA). Many wards do not have the same level of support. MIA is based in an office near Musashi-Sakai station in west Tokyo, where 5 days a week people work to help foreign residents in Musashino City with daily life. If you are a resident of Musashino-shi or nearby areas you can join MIA and take part in its activities, you’ll also receive the newsletter every 3 months.
MIA runs low-cost Japanese language classes for both adults and children. They also have a calendar of interesting events run by foreign residents; cooking classes, kid’s international play groups, talks about foreign resident’s experiences and more. Aside from this you can organise a consultation with MIA in English, or other languages, about problems occurring in your daily life. The consultations are free but you should call ahead to book one. You can also talk with someone over the phone in English during office open hours about questions you may have about life in Musashino-shi.
Musashino FM station also runs programming made by MIA, it’s a unique collaboration. MIA broadcasts useful information for foreign residents, and foreign residents also talk in Japanese during the broadcasts. Check the MIA calendar online or in print for listening times. Other events throughout the year include a speech contest for foreign residents, the annual foreign resident’s festival and a New Year party.
If you would like to volunteer with MIA there are several opportunities to help them out, including with the radio show and writing the news. Please call or email them to ask about opportunities to support them.
Their website is informative, in several languages, and you can check the regular newsletter for up-to-date information. This is one of the most comprehensive and personal organisations helping foreign residents with life in Tokyo.
Also in Musashi-Sakai
Open everyday except Wednesday, 9.30am – 10pm
Nearby is Musashi-Sakai library (“Musashino Place”), in my opinion this is one of the best public libraries in Tokyo. The large facilities are extensive and popular with all kinds of locals. I recommend you visit yourself to spend time in the impressive building. It’s a good place to study or spend a day freely. There are many English-language books to browse and spaces to choose from. It’s a shame the rest of Tokyo’s public libraries do not offer this same standard. Here you will also find English information about local activities for foreign residents and may come across open events for you to take part in. Last time I was here there was a free presentation about life for deaf foreign residents in Japan, given in English, Japanese and sign language. This was open to everybody to walk in and watch. These kind of events take place.