Help the Ukraine with Koyamada International Foundation

Our friends, the Koyamada Foundation, has been responding to disaster relief crises around the world since 2011 and the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. We have collaborated with the Koyamada Foundation in the San Jose-Okayama Sister Cities relationship and the Young Professionals Forums across 6 sister city (USA/Japan) which were presented in a report through CULCON Japan and CULCON USA to the President’s Office of the USA and the Prime Minister’s Office in Japan.

In the last few days, the situation in the Ukraine merited attention. With friends and citizens to unite and donate to the effort, KIF is working with those on the ground to get immediate aid to refugees.

Summer Student Virtual Exchange

DEADLINE: June 5, 2022
If you are a middle school or high school student in San Jose or neighboring cities that would like to participate in an exciting virtual exchange with students in Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture, Japan, just fill out our online application before the deadline date (June 5, 2022)!

Do you have an interest in learning about other cultures, an interest in anime, life as a student in Japan, sister cities, the Japanese language, or just want to try a new experience?
This is for you!
Apply now!
Semi finalists and Finalists will be notified via email (see dates on flyer)

Nikkei Matsuri 4/24/2022

SJOSC will be participating in Nikkei Matsuri with a community craft booth this year!
We will have a raffle also For a donation of $1-one ticket, $5 for 6 tickets, you’ll have a chance to win!
~1st Prize: a new SJOSC Happi (coat)! Designed with SJOSC and Kilamek, Co. in Japan
~2nd Prize: a koi plushie + Koyokun (our mascot) keychain
~3rd Prize: a koi plushie

Student Virtual Exchange Summer 2021

Held on August 6, 2021 PDT our team of seven students and two volunteer SJOSC staff members were pleased to participate with Okayama City hosting our second virtual exchange of the year!

We shared the food we like and thanks to Alice on our student team – It was all student video and student edited!

We also shared a great ‘Intro to San Jose’ video which we will try to post next!

HANAMI season

Two ways to share ‘hanami’ (blossom viewing)
Tonight 4/3/21 at 6pm PDT with Tokuzenji in Shimane Prefecture, Japan, with Okinawan music and Shamisen performance by Kyle Abbott on sjbetsuin.videos on the Betsuin YouTube Channel (You can find a link here too:

And – Go in person to a local park! The Consulate of Japan in San Francisco created and published this video just this week! some snacks and your favorite drink and join in!

The Japanese Friendship Garden

at Kelley Park in San Jose, CA – The garden is a symbol of the friendship between Okayama and San Jose. Groundbreaking was in May 1960.

“Two years later- detailed plans for the garden, patterned after Okayama’s world famous Kōraku-en Park (後楽園) were approved by the city council of San Jose. Authenticity of design was a foremost consideration; and in the planning and construction special attention was paid to the traditional and symbolic meaning attached to the placement of rock, bridges and other features. Construction funds were budgeted by the city council, and these were generously supplemented by donations from various sources of money, materials and services.

The park was dedicated October-31, 1965, at a memorable program which marked also the eighth anniversary of the “sister city” affiliation. Among those present at the dedicatory ceremonies were Mayor and Mrs. Hirao Akazaki of Okayama.” (- these paragraphs are quoted here from city history of the sister city relationship)

Photos updated March 14, 2022

Walking Map Brochure – created by “Friends of the Japanese Friendship Garden” led by Aderyn Clark for her Girl Scout Gold Award Project 2020-2021