4 Inspiring Women’s Network Groups & Resources In Japan

Women Are Stronger Together

By Lauren Shannon
February 20, 2017
Lifestyle, Networking

C’mon ladies, it’s time to unite!

It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind of living in a big city. We rush from train to train, from one assignment to another — and all of that in between the million other things we do on a daily basis. But studies show that having a vibrant support network of other like-minded women can benefit you in countless ways. Whether it’s a casual chat over Of coffee or a tap on the shoulder during rough times, we all need some girl-to-girl time for ourselves.

Finding female friends can be difficult in the fast-paced world of Japan, but it’s certainly not impossible. You can start by joining one (or more) of the following women’s groups and resources in the city and build up your support network.

For Empowering Women (FEW)

Top of the list for women’s groups in Japan is FEW. Founded in 1981 as an organization for “Foreign Executive Women” (when such were indeed few, as they say), FEW has long been a stable source of support and learning for international women in both the Tokyo and Kansai areas. Its diverse members, strategic and community service partners offer endless opportunities to learn, connect and be inspired.

FEW is an exceptionally active and ever-growing Tokyo-based nonprofit business and social networking organization whose mission is to “enable internationally-minded women in Japan to achieve their full professional and personal potential.”  

Every year, FEW offers an exciting line-up of personal and professional development workshops and opportunities, including various monthly speeches by women versed in various fields — as well as loads of fun social events that all work to support women’s empowerment.

The College Women’s Association of Japan (CWAJ)

The College Women’s Association of Japan is a nonprofit, volunteer organization for Japanese and non-Japanese women alike who are interested in education, cross-cultural exchange and friendship. The group’s focus has been to create and offer enriching events for members to share cross-cultural experiences with peers in Japan.

Whether it’s a casual chat over coffee or a tap on the shoulder during rough times, we all need some girl-to-girl time for ourselves.

CWAJ creates connections through a wide range of activities in and around Tokyo and at its informative and interesting monthly luncheon meetings held at the Tokyo American Club.

One of their most popular events each year is an annual print show and contest, which awards prizes to artists and promotes the ongoing trends and historical art of printmaking in Japan. The print show has a celebrated history that goes back over 60 years and was established with the support of publisher Charles Tuttle and the Yoseido Gallery.

Tokyo Mothers Group (TMG)

Tokyo Mothers Group© Photo by Tokyo Mothers Group

Moms need a network, too. The TMG group is where mothers in Tokyo can go for support, information, resources and friendship. Started as a niche group by a new mom who was navigating the trials of living in the city with a newborn, TMG has now grown to over 200 members. It’s an English-speaking group but the members come from every corner of the globe. They gather to share parenting resources and programs and attend regular meetings, events, practical advice and useful information.

TMG is a nonprofit association run by volunteers and is always looking for new members, volunteers and ideas. If you have inside information of your own that would be helpful to other moms in Tokyo, why not contact the group and join up. Everyone is welcome!  

Meetup Groups for Women

A great resource for women looking for new friends, business support or with an interest in learning new skills in a supportive environment is the growing list of groups and organizations focused on women’s issues and interests on the website Meetup.com.

Many new women’s groups have bypassed the traditional setup of membership clubs and operate using Meetup.com’s many resources and promotional tools. From learning tech skills, self-defense classes, language exchange to women’s small business support, wining & dining groups and even dating, you’re sure to find something right up your alley. A simple search will help you find the ideal group that fits your goals and schedule. Here are some Meetup groups focused on women in Japan.

So, as we head into March and celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, why not meet others and build new connections with one of these fabulous groups? Share your own knowledge and find support with a savvy sisterhood that includes other like-minded women here in Tokyo and across Japan.


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