Japan-- A Mini Guide For Women
Is Japan safe...
Japan is extremely safe, with
one of the lowest crime rates in the world. You can walk on the
streets and not be afraid. The country is also hospitable, clean,
prompt, polite, efficient, friendly, and you can drink the tap
water (Japan National Tourist Organization).
As a woman traveller and someone
who lives in Japan, I believe that this country is probably the
safest country you could travel in. You will feel and be safe
at any hour of the day or night. If you do feel threatened, which
I assure is rare, ie unwanted advances from a drunk office worker
on the train, create a scene by yelliing a few words in the language
of your choice. It will stop and the man will probably be yanked
from the train (Jennifer S. in Nagoya).
I live about an hour's train
ride from Tokyo and have frequently been there for shopping, visa
renewal and sightseeing purposes. Although I do not have the insights
on Tokyo that someone who lives there would have, I would like
to say that I have always felt very safe in Tokyo. There are areas
that I wouldn't go into at night alone, such as Roppongi, but
overall, I feel quite safe. I have heard stories of women being
groped on the crowded trains, and stories of bags being stolen
off of the upper storage racks when one is not careful, so I am
always wary of those possibilities. Luckily, I have not experienced
them firsthand (Judy outside of Tokyo).
Basically, Japan is a very
safe country ! Business men go drinking many nights and ride the
trains home late, but this is no cause for concern. They are harmless,
even if they do try to practice their English with you. I've ridden
trains and subways, and walked on streets and in parks, both in
the day and at night, without any trouble. Perhaps it's one of
the reasons why I've stayed here so long. I know that once I return
home, I won't have such freedom to be outdoors, alone, after hours
(Semin P. Japan).
Ed. note: Just because Japan
is considered a safe place to travel doesn't mean that women should
take chances that will compromise their security. It's always
important to practice big city caution and then, have fun, ladies!
She Networks in Tokyo...
Society of the Tokyo Union Church
This is a nondenominational organisation that hosts coffee mornings,
runs classes on all sorts of topics and raises money for local
charities. Women Society Receptionist (03) 3400 0047 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Executive Women (FEW)
Members must be women and foreign. These women hold monthly evening
lectures on all sorts of topics and it is a great organisation
for networking. They also hold a yearly career strategies seminar
that is aimed at helping women who have been brought to Japan
through their partners career and who are looking at finding employment
themselves whilst in Japan. Contact Jean Vass at (03) 3481 6648
or Amy Noering, Tel&Fax (03) 5449 3865
Women's Association of Japan (CWAJ)
This association is open to English speaking women who have completed
at least two years at an academic institution of higher learning
or the equivalent. The organisation is dedicated to serving the
community as a non-profit organisation in education and cultural
fields and to encourage educational and cultural exchange between
Japanese people and English Speaking people of all other nationalities.
Office open weekdays 10am - 12 noon. Tel (03) 3444 2167; Fax (03)
3444 2204 CWAJ Centre, Lions Garden, Ikedayama No. 312. 5-22-5
Higashi Gotanda, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 141
This club is aimed at encouraging cultural exchanges between women
from abroad and women in Japan. Participants must have conversational
English. Contact Mrs Yoshida at (03) 3723 3637/ CWC office at
(03) 3411 0420
Society at Tokyo American Club
Women must be a member of the Tokyo American Club to join this
organisation. Tel: (03) 3224 3691
Foreign Nurses Association in Japan
Membership meetings are held once a month at the Tokyo Baptist
Church. Contact: Maureen Ward, Fax (03)3461 8463
Women Lawyers Associaton
Contact Jay Pnazecki (03) 3214 6522
Feminists of Japan
Meetings held Women's Information Centre in Akebonobashi (don't
have any contact numbers)
Ladies' Benevolent Society of Tokyo
Contact Meechi Hotta at (03) 3443 1407 Phone & Fax
Source: Networking in Tokyo
- A Guide to English-speaking Clubs and Societies ;1995, written
by P.H. Ferguson and Thomas Boatman, published by Charles E Tuttle
Company, Inc. of Rutland, Vermont & Tokyo, Japan. (Also from a
pamphlet written by the Tokyo American Club. This club
runs a three day newcomer orientation program, sponsored by the
Women's Society at TAC. Open to the community on a space available
basis, held twice a year in the spring and fall).
Yoga in Japan...
lovers Ken and his partner, Basia, teach ashtanga yoga at a studio
in Ogikubo, at the end of the Maranouchi line. The classes are
taught in English, and Ken and Basia are wonderful teachers. You
can pay for a single class or, if you're staying in Tokyo for
awhile, the one-month pass is a good deal. For detailed information
(location, prices and directions) checkout Ken and Basia's website:
Thank you, thank you...
As always we
thank all Journeywomen worldwide who have sent us their female-centered
tips about living, working and playing in Japan. Your input makes
our JW info so much more personal. Very special appreciation for
their extra special efforts go to:
Marian Goldberg, North American PR Manager for the Japan
National Tourist Organization (JNTO).
Claire Baram, a Journeywoman living in Tokyo.
Jennifer Scerbovic , a Journeywoman living in Nagoya.
If you have a Japan tip to
add to this article, please send it to email@example.com.
Every bit of advice is important to us.