Aizu Wakamatsu International Festival September 30th- Now Recruiting!

100% Beef Burgers Brought to you by Japan, England, and Canada!

Help bring the world closer to Aizu on Sunday, September 30th!

Did you know Aizu Wakamatsu has 740 foreign residents from over 40 countries? Come celebrate the diverse cultures of our city’s residents with our international festival, held once every two years, and which attracts over 2,000 visitors.

Learn about the colorful cultures of the world without having to leave the city and make new friends and new experiences.

Every two years, the Aizu Wakamatsu International Association holds an event where you can travel around the entire globe without leaving the Aizu Castle gym! ‘How?’ you may ask. At the Aizu International Festival! Outside of the castle gym, over a dozen international food stands set up. In years past you could eat American-style pulled pork barbecue, Canadian hot dogs, Korean chijimi, Nepali momo and more before even setting foot inside of the castle gym.

Inside the gym, a variety of booths are set up. Some showcase different countries and cultures, others are to help promote and support local charities and some are selling international goods and crafts. During the last international festival just some of the things that you could do included hunting dragons with Saint George at the U.K. booth and trying some infamous Vegemite at the Australia booth.

Besides the standard booths, there is a play area for small children, a face painting corner (come see me there!), and various performaces on stage ranging from karaoke contests, dance groups, traditional instrumental performances, magic shows, and more.

Sound like your cup of tea? The Aizu Wakamatsu International Association is currently recruiting for the festival, which will be held on Sunday, September 30th. They are looking for people interested in running food stalls as well as country booths in the gym.

The country booths are what we FuJETs are best at helping out with! Why not take this opportunity to come and volunteer in the Samurai City of Aizu Wakamatsu and help share your country and culture? You can sign up to lead a table of your own or to help support the leader of another country. Not sure what you can do? Need someone to brainstorm ideas with? Aizu Wakamatsu’s lovely CIR, Tammy (, will be able to help answer any questions you may have! (And of course, as a multiple-time veteran of this event, you are always free to message me too!)

This may sound exhausting but I can guarantee that it is fun and a great experience. You’ll get to meet local children, other foreigners from around the globe, and give a little something back to community in the form of your awesome selves. Even if you don’t live in the Aizu area, we’d love for you to come and volunteer. If you need help with transportation, directions, or need help finding a place to crash the night before, again please don’t hesitate to contact any of us Aizu-area folks for help!

So– what are you waiting for? Sign up today using the google form here! After all, sharing and learning about cultures from all over the world is part of why we all came here to the Lucky Island of Fukushima!

Details and General Schedule from Festivals Past (These times are /not/ confirmed for this year but are here to help you get an idea of what volunteering this year will be like based on previous festivals!) Generally, volunteering for the entire day of the festival will be from 8AM~4PM but if you are only able to come for part of the day, we are happy to have you volunteer!

If you are running/helping support a booth at the festival:

  • Set up time is available the day before, from 6:00pm to 8:30pm, and on the day of the festival, from 8:00am to 10:00am.

If you are volunteering with the festival:

  • Festival Set-up: Saturday, September 29th, any time from 2:00pm to 8:00pm. A volunteer meeting will be held at 6:00pm.
  • Festival Day: Sunday, September 30th, any time from 7:30am to 4:30pm.
  • Tea and a bento will be supplied for volunteers.
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The Lucky Island July 2018 Event Roundup

Summer is officially here. Despite the heat and humidity, summer in Japan can be a magical time. From the star festival of Tanabata to delicious Fukushima peaches coming into season to festivals every weekend, this is Japan at its best. Don your jinbei and yukata, eat that Blue Hawaiian shaved ice and make the most of the festival atmosphere! After all, the best way to beat  the summer heat is to have so much fun you forget about it! 

Also– keep your eyes peeled for a second list of summer events dedicated solely to the many fireworks events around our beautiful lucky island, Fukushima!

This list, and all following event lists, will continuously be updated weekly throughout the month on Wednesdays until the month turns over to a new roundup. This list isn’t inclusive of all events, so please, feel free to contact the editors at if you have events you’d like to be included here.  

Without further ado, your July 2018 events!
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The Faces Behind Fuku-ing Fabulous Drag Ball: The Sequel (Part 2)

The Fuku-ing Fabulous Drag Ball: The Sequel MC, Mercedez

Now on to part 2 of the Faces Behind the Fuku-ing Fabulous Drag Ball: The Sequel! This time I spoke with our second-time master of ceremonies(MC), my very own crazy talented and lovely co-editor, Mercedez! As the final preparations for tomorrow’s event begin, I was lucky enough to hear Mercedez’s insightful and personal insights and experiences regarding drag, queer culture, and tomorrow night’s event.

Note from Mercedez: I will use queer to refer to myself throughout this interview, especially when it comes to my personal identity and the community I participate in at large.

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The Faces Behind Fuku-ing Fabulous Drag Ball: The Sequel (Part 1)

The Fuku-ing Fabulous Drag Ball: The Sequel Organiser, Felipe

Tomorrow evening the A•O•Z in Fukushima City will host the second ALT-led drag ball, The Fuku-in Fabulous Drag Ball: The Sequel, an event aimed at raising spirits, awareness, and money for charity. I was lucky enough to sit down and chat with the event organiser, Felipe, and the master of ceremonies, our very own Mercedez. They both shared with me some amazing insight on the event and what drag means to them personally. For the first part of this ‘Faces Behind’ the event, we will focus on the event organiser, Fukushima City’s very own Felipe, and his drag persona Shelita Booty.

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Lesson Four: Meet Your New Minister of Fun!

Stand, sit, bow: it’s time to take your seats, everyone because class is in session!

Our fourth lesson brings in the wonderful Kame Blair, taking up the renewed position of Minister of Fun! And what better a person to handle the role than Kame, who’s soon to become friend to all!

Kame, an American, is rolling into her 2nd Year with a smile down in Koriyama. When she’s not making school cool, she’s having a blast outdoors, keeping her cool with yoga, relieving stress with karaoke, or breaking bread with friends over some good food. Kame likes to keep the good times rolling no matter what she does: keep them rolling by checking out the Current Council page for more about her!

Kame got back to me the same day I asked her these questions, and gave me a bright smile. That was to be expected: it’s hard to feel bad when you’re around someone with “Fun” in their title. Let’s see how many points Kame can score when it comes to fun:

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