Tomodachi-kai is an intercultural exchange group nurturing friendship between Japanese and our community of Oregonians and those in Southwest Washington. The club’s goal is to introduce and share Japanese culture in various forms to promote cross-cultural understanding. Tomodachi-kai is a committee under the JASO umbrella, but membership is separate and distinct from a JASO membership.


Tomodachi-kai activities start each September and run through June of the following year.

Monthly Events are held once a month, usually on the first Friday of the month, except for September, January, and June, when meeting days may vary. Meeting dates and any exceptions to the usual schedule are noted in the monthly Newsletter. Events are held in various locations each month.

Interest Groups gather throughout the year and are scheduled by the group leader. Current interest groups, open to all, are: Cooking, Weekend Escape, Arukou-kai (Walking/Hiking), and Taste of Japan. Members may start new groups. Please contact the Co-leaders.


  1. Tomodachi-kai provides a variety of programs.
  • Any member can suggest and organize an event. Committee members are available to help with event planning. Planning checklists are included in the Handbook.
  • Members may attend events with or without purchasing lunch. Participants may be charged a small fee (typically $5-10) to help cover large venue and honorarium costs if necessary.  
  • Guests are welcome and pay an additional $5 to attend an event. Frequent guests are encouraged to become members.
  • NO REFUND POLICY: If you pay for an event and cannot attend, there is no refund.  However, you may invite someone to take your place.
  • Children are welcome at Tomodachi-kai events when accompanied by an adult.


  1. Members receive a Newsletter every month from August to May with the next month’s event schedule and information.  Newsletters are sent by e-mail.
  2. Any member can submit article/item ideas to the Co-leaders.  Articles that do not meet our mission may not be accepted.


  1. The renewal period is from August 1 to September 30.  Dues are $30 per year.   Membership is valid for one year.  This membership is for Tomodachi-kai activities only. Tomodachi-kai members need to pay a separate JASO membership in order to take advantage of JASO membership benefits.
  • Tomodachi-kai is open to new members at any time of year. For those who join during the year, the membership dues will be prorated.
  • Membership dues are used for Membership Directories, other publication costs, subsidizing event costs, and operating expenses.
  • Tomodachi-kai may give honoraria and make donations to organizations or individuals related to our mission and activities within the budget and with the approval of the Committee.

For more information please contact one of the Co-Chairs:

Kei Jensen (503) 839-0869
Yoshino Okaniwa (503) 313-0945 

You can download the full 2021 Tomodachi-kai handbook below. Text is in English and in Japanese.