Throughout the year there are special events, activities and opportunities to experience something enriching beyond the classroom. These academic and/or culturally felicitous activities include the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test), speech contests, as well as musical and artistic opportunities. This page has some of these listed with links for more information as a public service to the greater neighborhood or kanjo (きんじょ) of the Sacramento region. These activities are not sponsored or endorsed by Sakura Gakuen Japanese Language School – please see the caveat at the bottom of this page.
An list of current general cultural events can be found here.

Challenge your knowledge of Japanese

JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) – Sunday, December 6, 2015
2015 Test and registration information
The JLPT was developed to measure the proficiency level of non-native learners of Japanese. It is used by some companies and schools (especially schools in Japan) to determine an individual’s Japanese language ability. San Francisco testing site information courtesy of the JLPT West Coast sponsor, American Association of Teachers of Japanese. The next test will be offered in July 2016.


43rd Japanese Speech Contest - Elementary

The 43rd Japanese Speech Contest for elementary school students held by the Japanese American Association of Northern California (Hokka Nichi Bei Kai) and the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco:

DATE & TIME: Sunday, March 1, 2015 (1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.)

Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Northern California, 1840 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

In order to participate, students must meet the following eligibility criteria. Students should:
✿ Be currently attending a local elementary school.
✿ Have not lived in Japan for more than three consecutive months since the age of 3.
✿ Be studying Japanese as a foreign language at school for not more than 8 hours a
     week. (Elementary school students who study Japanese at home are also eligible to
✿ Former first place contest winners are not eligible to enter unless they are applying for a
     different grade group.

The contestants will be divided into the following four categories:
Group A: 1st ~ 3rd grade
Category 1: Contestants who come from homes where Japanese is not spoken.
     (No one in the contestant’s family understands Japanese)
     (10 contestants maximum*)

Category 2: Contestants who come from homes where Japanese is spoken.
     (Someone in the contestant’s family understands or is able to speak Japanese)
     (10 contestants maximum*)

Group B: 4th grade and above
Category 3: Contestants who come from homes where Japanese is not spoken.
     (No one in the contestant’s family understands Japanese)
     (10 contestants maximum*)

Category 4: Contestants who come from homes where Japanese is spoken.
     (Someone in the contestant’s family understands or is able to speak Japanese)
     (10 contestants maximum*)

SPEECH TOPICS & LENGTH OF SPEECH: Contestants are free to choose the title and subject of their speeches. Speeches should be no longer than 2 minutes in length.

CRITERIA FOR JUDGMENT: Content, pronunciation and presentation (Participants may use a prop (ex: an item or picture/photograph related to the speech topic) while presenting their speech. Use of electronic devices is not permitted.)

The Speech Contest Committee will only accept applications from schools, not from individual students. Students interested in applying for the speech contest must do so through the Japanese instructor of the school where they study Japanese. We will accept one student per category from each school on a first-come, first-served basis until we have 10 contestants. In addition, each school may submit two students for each category as alternates for the contest waiting list. If there are fewer than 10 applicants for each category, the Speech Contest Committee will fill the spaces with students from the waiting list. Selection of alternates from the waiting list will, in principle, be based upon the total number of Japanese language students per school.
* If some categories do not fill all ten contestant spaces, we will allow more than 10 contestants in the other categories until we reach a total of 40 contestants overall.

(a) For applications and inquiries, please contact:
          Mariko Baba
          Japan Information and Cultural Center
          Consulate General of Japan
          275 Battery Street, Suite 2100
          San Francisco, CA 94111
          Phone: (415) 780-6088
          E-mail: baba.mariko@sr.mofa.go.jp

(b) Documents to be submitted for application:
     1. School application form
     2. Student application form (one per student)
     3. Waiver form (one per student)

All applications must be submitted by Japanese language instructors on behalf of their students by email to: baba.mariko@sr.mofa.go.jp by Friday, February 13th, 2015 by 5:00 pm. Applications MUST be submitted by the Japanese instructor.

– Awardees (1st, 2nd, and 3rd place for each category):
     winner’s trophy and certificate
– All participants: certificate of participation and gift


Taiko at Stanford

Summer Taiko at Stanford 2015

FOR: Students aged 9 to 12 who are beginners or who can play with a “Beginner’s Mind”. Students must be 9 years old by January 1, 2015 and no older than 12 on the first day of camp.

WHEN: 9am to 2:30pm, SUNDAY, July 5 to THURSDAY, July 9, 2015. **Please note that STAS begins on SUNDAY this year.

WHERE: Braun Music Center, Stanford University

COST: $400; includes instruction by members of San Jose Taiko and Stanford Taiko, bachi (drumsticks), mid-morning snacks, and camp t-shirt.

REGISTRATION & INFORMATION: Email meg@taiko.org or download the registration form HERE. STAS fills up very quickly so we recommend returning the form and deposit as early as possible!

Limited tuition subsidies are available to qualified families and will be distributed on a first-come-first-served basis. For more information, contact us at summertaiko@taiko.org.


Some opportunities have deadlines with little turn around time, so check back here often to not miss out on something great.

Caveat: These links are provided to other sites for your convenience. These sites are independent from Sakura Gakuen Japanese Language School, and we do not endorse, control or make any representations, warranties or conditions concerning their content. It is your responsibility to verify any information contained within linked sites before relying on it. Also, the information contained in the links may be changed or updated at any time without notice. Linked sites may have their own terms and conditions which you should locate and review. Links open in new windows.