公益財団法人山形県国際交流協会 AIRY


Welcome to AIRY!


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For foreigners -Flower arrangement / Learning Japanese-

■Flower arrangement

Special class for foreigners who enjoy flower arrangement for the first time.

An Ikebana professor will explain it using plain Japanese.

It’s free of charge, join us!

Date and time: 11th September (Sunday) 16:00-17:30
Place: AIRY training room (Kajo Central 2F)

Professor: Ms. Sato Tansei (Sogetsu Ikebana)

Apply (Google form)

■Japanese class

Apply (Google form)

1 Intermediate class

■From 6th September to 13th December, 18:30-20:30 

Every Tuesday, 15 class

■Focusing on writing and speaking

■At AIRY training room (Kajo Central 2F)

■Fee: 5,000 yen (1,000 yen for AIRY members)

2 JLPT N3 class

■From 23rd August to 6th December, 18:30-20:30

Every Tuesday and Thursday, 30 class

■Prepare to take JLPT N3

■At AIRY training room (Kajo Central 2F)

■Fee: 9,000 yen (5,000 yen for AIRY members)

Apply (Google form)

DISCOVER YAMAGATA 2022 Now Taking Applications! ~International residents, why not join our free tour to experience all the joys Yamagata has to offer?

・DISCOVER YAMAGATA 2022 is a free tour for international residents of Yamagata to experience and share the charm of the region.
・There are four different day-trip tours.
・A maximum of 20 applicants will be selected on a first-come first-served basis.
・This is a free tour. (includes: bus fare, meals, hands-on experiences, travel accident insurance)

More details in English

Flier PDF

Face To Face No. 89 is out!

Hello everyone!! Here’s a new issue of Face To Face! 

In this issue’s “Yamagata In Focus“, we focus on the Bodaira Athelete Village over in Murayama Region’s Kaminoyama City! With efforts underway for a smooth Tokyo 2020 and host town relations, we paid the facilities a visit to better understand why it was ideal for both the general public and professional athletes!

For “International Insights“, our very own prefectural CIR, Michiko Yoshino wrote about her growth in Yamagata and what she learned about international exchange!

For the “Counselling Corner“, there is information from the Immigration Services Agency of Japan for foreign nationals who are outside of Japan and have had their period of stay expire. In addition, there is a quick guide to utilizing our Consultation Service for Businesses!

You can view the current issue or find past issues of our newsletter by clicking here or by clicking on the above picture!

We publish Face to Face three times a year. Each newsletter includes an exploration of a specific part of Yamagata, various voices and opinions from other foreigners living in Yamagata, as well as some tips and advice from our counselling corner.

We’re always looking for writers for our International Insights section so feel free to contact us if you’re interested!

JET Free Beginner Japanese Classes! Spring Session

Hello everyone! Hope your new year is starting off strong!

The two English-speaking prefectural Coordinators for International Relations (CIRs) will be starting our free Beginner Japanese Classes again in the spring!

It will be taught in English and classes will run every Thursday from May 13th until July 15th,18:00 until 20:00 in AIRY Classroom B. We are located in Kajo Central – adjacent to Yamagata Station.

If you are interested or have any questions, please contact Michiko at and include your name, contact information, and a description of your current Japanese level. These classes are open to everyone!

This is a continuation of our classes from last year, but we are always open to new people and will do our best to accomodate everyone!


English-Speaking Clinics and Hospitals

Here are a few resources if you are in need of English-speaking clinics and hospitals while in Yamagata Prefecture. If you would like assistance in confirming English-speaking hospitals/clinics, phone interpretation, or any other daily life issues, we at AIRY do provide the services free-of-charge so please feel free to contact us!

1. Any Large Hospitals

In the case of emergencies or if immediate assistance is required, most large hospitals will have English-speaking doctors. However, if you are a first-time visitor and/or you don’t have a referall, the wait time can be long and the upfront fees will be quite costly (estimated 5,000 yen fee on top of medical expenses).

2. Medical Interpretation through IVY

As there are limited specialized doctors who speak foreign languages in Yamagata, you can hire a medical interpreter to come with you on your visit through IVY, an NGO that supports various projects overseas as well as assist foreign residents living in the prefecture. You will need to reserve an interpreter a couple days in advance and there are some fees attached, so it can also be a pretty expensive option. Phone interpretation is also an option, but will also cost some money.

Basic Dispatch Fees: The first hour will cost 1,000 yen with an additional 500 yen/30 minutes.

*There will be extra fees for long-distance and/or late-night interpretation needs.

Any wait times will also be included in the cost. I.E. if the doctor’s visit only lasts 15 minutes, but waiting lasts 1.75 hours, you will need to pay for 2 hours’ worth.

Transportation Fees: You will pay for the transportation fees from the interpreter’s home to the dispatch location.

If the distance is within the city/town = 1,000 yen

If it is to a neighboring city/town = 1,500 yen

All other cases = 2,000 yen


3. Yamagata Prefecture Medical Institutions Information Network

(山形県異様機関情報ネットワーク やまがたけん いりょうきかん じょうほう ネットワーク)

This network is an online database of medical institutions within the prefecture. 

There is a purple button “English Search Hospital & Clinic” which is useful for looking up information in English for specialized doctors by location. However, it does not give you any information on English abilities for the doctor, and in most cases, the doctors listed can speak little to no English.

If you have some Japanese ability, the top blue button 「医療機関を絵検索(病院・診療所・助産所」 will allow you to filter the database through multiple factors, including foreign language levels. For example, you can filter doctors based on how comfortable the doctor is with English by clicking the button labeled 「外国語対応 女性医師診察」and selecting the appropriate English level: fluent, conversational, very little. After that, you can add differrent filters to narrow down the location and specialized medical fields.

However, although this list will narrow down the list of available doctors, it unfortunately does not always reflect the doctor’s actual English abilities. It will be best to call up the doctor’s beforehand and ask about their foreign language abilities.


 4. Japan National Tourism Organization Medical Institutions Search

This is a national database of medical institutions that can support foreign languages. However, you can only narrow down the list by prefecture and not down to towns/cities. Also, it is a smaller list than the above Prefectural Medical Institutions Information Network and most of the entries are for large hospitals. On the other hand, in terms of english abilities, this list is probably more reliable and accurate for finding english-speaking hospitals and clinics.


5. Other Information Provided by the Prefecture

The prefectural government website has compiled a short list of useful resources regarding medical institutions for foreign residents and visitors. It includes a link to the Japan National Tourism Organization medical institutions search above, as well as guidance sheets to assist you on doctor’s visits.


6. The Association for International Relations in Yamagata (Us!)

As stated in the first paragraph, we are also available to help or refer you to the appropriate people. Please feel free to contact us below!

Phone Number: 023-646-8861


English Support: Tuesdays to Saturdays, 10:00 ~ 17:00

Email Distribution Service of the Immigration Services Agency of Japan

The Immigration Services Agency of Japan has started a new emailing service to send immigration-related information to anyone who subscribes to them! You can get the latest information based on what region you are interested in, by job type, in various languages, etc.

Find more information and subscribe to the service here:

Japanese Food Guide From Takamatsu International Association (TIA)

Takamatsu International Association (TIA) in Kagawa Prefecture recently published

a “Japanese Food Guide” in 6 different languages: Easy Japanese/やさしい日本語,

English, Chinese/中文, Korean/한국어, Indonesian/Basaha Indonesia, and Tagalog.

The Food Guide is a visual resource you can use to communicate any dietary restrictions at supermarkets or restaurants.

You can find more information about it on their website here!


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