International Affairs Center

JOIN stands for Joetsu International Network. Its objective is to act as a bridge between local citizens and the rest of the world, foster mutual understanding with other cultures, and provide general assistance to non-Japanese residents of Joetsu.
You may make many friends through our services, such as Japanese lessons, or through the events we schedule. We also offer free consultation service for foreigners.

Operating Hours: Weekdays 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
CLOSED: Saturday, Sunday, Holidays, Every 3rd Wednesday, and New Years period (Dec. 29 - Jan. 3)

Let's learn Japanese

Japanese Classes

There are several group Japanese classes offered to JOIN members in addition to private lessons and advanced courses.

Free Group Lessons

JOIN offers free group Japanese classes to non-Japanese residents of Joetsu. You are required to sign up as a member of JOIN before you can attend these classes. Membership is 1000Yen per year (for foreign residents) and you can sign up at JOIN in the International Affairs Center at Shimin Plaza.

There are a few levels in this Japanese class. One is focused on "communication" and the other is focused on "Reading and Writing". The aim is to find common interests between different countries including Japan within the local communities and recognize each other's cultures through learning Japanese.

Click here for more information → 2023 Lesson schedule

Thursday Class Day/Time Thursday 18:00~19:30
Venue Shimin Plaza(Tsuchihashi,2554)【MAP
Saturday Class Day/Time Saturday 10:00~11:30
Venue Shimin Plaza(Tsuchihashi,2554)【MAP
Naoetsu Class Day/Time Wednesday 10:00~11:30
Venue Naoetsu Manabi no Koryukan(Chuo,1-3-18)【MAP
Kubiki Class Day/Time Sunday 13:30~15:00
Venue Kubikiku Minamigawa bunkan(Matsumoto,243-6)
*Nursery Service (application required one week in advance.) 【application form

*Japanese class is for residents and people who work in Joetsu.

Private Lessons

Enquire at JOIN for times and availability of private tutors.


  1. Fill the application form at JOIN office
  2. Choose the tutor (it may take about a week)
  3. Meet the tutor (please exchange phone numbers)
  4. Start the lesson
  5. Cost is 1,000 yen per hour


When you're in trouble

Foreigner Consultation

JOIN provides free consultation three days a week to foreigners residing in Joetsu. Feel free to talk to the friendly JOIN staff. All information will be kept confidential.

TOPIC International Marriage and Divorce Issues
Visa and Immigration Issues
Children's Japanese Education and School Enrollment
Child Adoption Issues
Family Issues
Others: Drivers License, Work and Employment Issues, etc.
WHERE International Affairs Center, Shimin Plaza 2F
WHEN Weekdays 10:00 - 12:00 13:00 - 17:00
Language Japanese (appointment necessary for other languages)


These are one of most popular events at JOIN. It is a good opportunity to meet people who are living in the Joetsu area. Why don't you join us?

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