Regular Events

Monthly Events


Meet up with fellow Japanese learners to chat, practice Japanese, and make new friends and networking connections. J-Kaiwa meets on the second Friday of every month at 7PM and speak Japanese while nibbling on some snacks and sipping a cold drink of choice. Snacks & non-alcoholic drinks are provided by the JETAA-PDX.

Gatherings start at 7pm, but attendees are welcome to drop by anytime between 7 – 10pm, and bring a friend. Come out and get those Japanese gears turning again!

What you need to know:

What: Japanese Conversation (J-Kaiwa) Group

Who: JETAA members, JET Program Alumni, JET friends, Japanese speakers of all levels

Where: Rogue Hall (1717 SW Park Ave, Portland, Oregon 97201)

When: Second Friday of the Month, 7-10 PM

Who to contact:

Phylicia Bishop



The Tabemashou! group gathers to explore, critique, and enjoy Japanese dining options in the Portland metro area. Attendees typically order family style in order to sample menus extensively and casually critique the food, atmosphere, and value of each restaurant. If you love food, come join!

How it works: JETAA PDX hosts the event up to a certain amount, after which attendees are kindly expected to cover the remaining costs. This usually costs $5-10/person.

What to bring: Tabemashou! is cash only! Be sure to bring enough cash to cover your meal.

RSVP: In order for the hosts to plan well, we ask that you please RSVP before attending. Just send a quick email to

Who to contact:

Lindsay Amor & Chikako Houser


Book Club

The JETAA Portland Book Club meets once each season to discuss works from Japanese authors and books related to Japan and Japanese culture. Recent reads have included The Lake by Banana Yoshimoto, In Praise of Shadows by Junichiro Tanizaki, The Oxford Book of Japanese Short Stories. Meetings take place at Oyatsupan. Join the group for a book and pastries hosted by JETAA PDX.

Who to contact:

Rianna Robertson-LeVay

Book club

Annual Events

Iron Chef Competition

In May, JETAA Portland collaborates with Pacific Northwest JETAA from Seattle to host a friendly Iron Chef–style cooking contest and potluck party. Switching between cities every year, we gather together to enjoy eating good food, meeting fun people, and watching the best cooks from each chapter put their spin on the year's secret ingredient.

Time of year: May

Pre-departure Orientation

Every year, JETAA is responsible for arranging a pre-departure orientation for newly selected JETs before they head to Japan. JET alumni, whether they returned one year ago or twenty years ago, all come together to pass on wisdom and advice to the next generation of JETs.

Time of year: July

Sayonara Send-Off

A few weeks before new JETs head out for Japan, we throw a get together to send them off and wish them well on their new adventure. It's a great chance for new JETs and their families to talk to alumni one-on-one, ask any last questions, and learn more about the program and what to expect, as well as for alumni to share about their experiences on the program.

Time of year: July

Teatime in the Park

Join some of your fellow Japan-lovers for in informal get-together in the park! We all meet at Tea Bar to buy drinks and then enjoy a moment outside together while chatting about Japan, reminiscing about past experiences, or just enjoying some good company.

Time of year: Variable

JLPT Benkyoukai

In the US, The JLPT (Japanese Language Placement Test) is offered once a year in December, so many people start to study for the test in the fall. To help out alumni who want to take the test, JETAA arranges a weekly study group with a native Japanese teacher that starts around August or September and lasts through December. While the group was created for JLPT study, it is open to anyone who wants to study Japanese with others, regardless of whether they sign up for the test or not.

Time of year: August/September through December

Resume Workshop

Getting a job in Portland now is difficult, especially if you don't know how to translate your JET experiences into your resume. But we've got you covered. In the resume workshop, you will learn how those experience translate, get feedback on your resume, see other people's resumes and learn more about job searching and interviewing.

Time of year: Variable


Just like in Japan, JETAA Portland holds a Bounenkai (End of the Year) party to close out the year. Alumni and JETAA friends all come together to celebrate the year, enjoy good food and company, and look forward to the next year and the adventures it may bring.

Time of year: December