Club Services: Women's Group

Connections, formerly known as the Women's Group, has been enhancing the lives of Members and their families through social events, enrichment programs and charitable activities for more than 70 years.

This club within a club is a support network that enables its members to form enduring friendships, gain a deeper appreciation for Japan and utilize professional skills as volunteers.

The group is evolving to meet the needs of Members looking for an authentic, rewarding Japan experience and community involvement. 

With more evening programs to accommodate busy schedules, the group warmly welcomes men and women, professionals, nonworking individuals, expats and locals.

For annual dues of ¥7,000, Connections members enjoy exclusive benefits:
●    Monthly Connections get-togethers (Coffee, Culture and Cocktail).
●    Waived enrichment class registration fees.
●    Discounts for social programs and tours.

Not yet a Connections member? Join online today. For more information, drop by the Connections Office (B1) or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

There are a variety of regular events to engage and inspire members.

Social Programs
Connections hosts day, evening, seasonal and themed events from September through May.

Regular events include outdoor barbecue in September, a holiday luncheon in December and an annual general meeting in May, when the group's board of directors is elected.

Monthly Connections
Three forums for meeting and mingling:

  • Coffee Connections
    Held on the last Monday of the month, this relaxed gathering allows Tokyo newcomers and longtime residents to connect, share experiences and enjoy coffee with friends.
  • Culture Connections
    Held on the first Monday of each month, this international get-together allows for guided conversations on timely topics. Learn about other cultures and customs, practice your language skills and enjoy new companions in a welcoming environment.
  • Cocktail Connections
    Held on the second Tuesday of the month, this is a fun, informal happy hour with complimentary appetizers at CHOP Lounge. New Connections members and those celebrating their birthdays during the month receive a complimentary glass of happy hour wine or beer.

Tokyo: Here & Now
A comprehensive two-day orientation program held yearly, Tokyo: Here & Now features practical presentations on local healthcare, dealing with emergencies, cultural adjustment, Japanese culture and cuisine, travel, shopping and more.

This is an opportunity for expats to learn how to make the most of their time in Tokyo from local experts.

Find a new passion or expand your skills through the wide range of spring and fall enrichment classes led by experienced instructors and guides:

Art & Crafts
Culture & Excursions
Language & Lifestyle

The ¥3,500 class registration fee is waived for Connections members. Class and material fees vary.

Connections organizes an annual calendar of fun and educational tours, from day trips to overnight excursions.

Tours have included festivals, Tokyo neighborhoods, hikes, outlet shopping, cultural destinations and gardens.

Connections members enjoy advanced registration and discounted tour fees.

Through its various annual sales and fundraising efforts, Connections raises millions of yen for local charities each year and adjusts its contributions based on the immediate needs of those charities.

Sales Events
The International Bazaar and Decor! bring together dozens of vendors and specialists for multiday shopping extravaganzas. The Nearly New Sale allows members to repurpose their excess belongings to support the group's fundraising efforts. Net proceeds benefit charities.

Carpet Auction
Hosted by Eastern Carpets of Singapore, this evening of carpet appreciation, socializing and bidding is a fun way to support selected charities.

Charity Drives
During the Salvation Army and Sanyukai charity drives, Connections collects used clothing and other items for donation to these two local charities.

Connections supports a number of local charities that have insufficient fundraising resources or government support. Occasionally, funds are used for international disaster relief efforts.

Donations in 2021 totaled ¥7 million to the following recipients:

  • A Dream A Day in Tokyo (¥200,000)
    Provides support for children with incurable diseases and their families.
  • A Place for You (¥250,000)
    Online Japanese language support service.
  • Animal Refuge Kansai (¥300,000)
    Animal rescue organization and shelter.
  • Aoba Gakuen (¥1 million)
    Fukushima-based children's home.
  • Family House (¥500,000)
    Provides temporary housing for families of hospitalized children with cancer and other serious illnesses.
  • Musubie (¥750,000)
    Japan-wide children's cafeterias providing free or low-cost meals.
  • Resilience (¥500,000)
    Provides support to victims of domestic abuse.
  • Salvation Army Japan (¥2 million)
    International charitable organization.
  • Sanyukai (¥500,000)
    Provides homeless people in Tokyo with medical care, food, clothing, support and other services.
  • TELL (¥500,000)
    Multilingual counseling and support services.
  • The Big Issue Japan (¥500,000)
    Supports the homeless through a magazine enterprise.

The Connections board oversees the activities of the organization.

Olivia Smith

Vice President
Vanessa Thomas

Finance Director
Sawa Okano

Charities Director
Ryungson (Grace) Lee

Communications Director
Kristina Wright

Social Programs Director
Jennifer Warren

Tours Director
Kazuko Morio

Enrichment Programs Director
Donna Beeman

Fundraising Director
Gabriele Kirschner

Membership Director 
Tomomi Fujita

Administration Director
Laura Kozloski