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Heart of America
Japan-America Society FAQs

Where can I learn the Japanese language in the Kansas City Area?

College-level classes:

Johnson County Community College - 4 semester of Japanese - Elementary I & II, Intermediate I & II

Kansas City Art Institute - Japanese language instruction part of the Asian Studies program

University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS - Japanese Language & Literature/Culture program 

High-School level:

Olathe Northwest High School - part of their World Languages

Local Private Lessons:

Our Society does not maintain a list of individuals who teach privately. Please look online by going to:

Online lessons - Japan-America Societies / Japan Foundation

Japan-America Society of Chicago - offers 8 levels of Japanese instruction 

Japan-America Society of Washington DC

Japan-America Society of Houston

Japan Foundation - Los Angeles 

Online sources

There are numerous online sources for learning Japanese that it would be impossible to list them all.  

One free resource we would point you to is the Japan Foundation's Marugoto .


Local informal discussion groups:

Nijikaiwa - meets Thursday at 7pm online or in person - contact them for more information


US-Japan employment opportunities (not local):

Ikigai Connections

This is not a complete list. Private and online sources, in particular, are changing constantly.  

What are the Japan-America Society (JAS) meetings like?

We almost always have some sort of a presenter, and that can range from informative lectures, hands-on activities or something simple like sharing an experience. We also have pot-luck meetings where we bring food, eat and socialize. Meetings are generally tied to our cultural mission, increasing the understanding between Japan and the United States. Meetings are hybrid - held in-person and  online.

If you would like to attend a meeting, we encourage anyone to come and participate. All age groups and backgrounds are in the JAS. Non-members are welcome to attend events, but if you become a regular, why not join up as a member? It's fun!

We have a range from 25-50 members at each meeting. The meetings begin casually with snacks and drinks provided. We then will make announcements for a couple minutes. Afterwards a speaker will make a presentation for about 45 minutes on their topic. The meetings usually end with everyone breaking off and chatting with new and old friends. It's a good time and you always learn something. We are a kind and social group.

Are there only Japanese people at your meetings / events?

There is always a mix of Americans and Japanese at every meeting. Sometimes there are more Americans and sometimes more Japanese. It's constantly evolving, and we like it that way. Meetings are held in English, but there is opportunity to speak some Japanese if you’d like at almost every event.

Is there a Japanese Consulate in Kansas City?

Kansas City is supported by the Consulate-General of Japan at Chicago. While there is no local Consulate (it closed in 2004), we do have representation through the Honorary Consul-General, Mr. James Kanki. Individuals may contact Mr. Kanki with questions. 

The Consulate General of Japan is funded by the Japanese government. Because Chicago, Illinois is hub for Japanese air travel and is also centrally located, it was decided that the Chicago Consulate would enlarge its Midwest responsibility. The Chicago consulate has been very supportive to Kansas City. Representatives travel to the Greater Kansas City numerous times a year to meet with organizations and also to provide "satellite" services to residents and students official documents e.g., passports and visa translation and other immigration documents.

My family is hosting a Japanese friend, relative, student coming up soon. Can you recommend things we can do to welcome them and make their stay as pleasant as possible?

Hosting a visitor from Japan is a rewarding and interesting experience. You can get some tips by reading our article on being a Host Family

What is the Japanese population in Kansas City?

We do have a Japanese population. Unlike some larger cities closer to the coast, Kansas City does not have a Japanese or Asian neighborhood, but we do have Japanese citizens and Americans with Japanese heritage living and working in the Greater Kansas City area. Here are some links of census data taken for the year 2000.

I'm trying to find some Asian grocery stores that I can buy some Japanese goods. Where can I find them?

Doing a quick Google Map search was the best thing we could think of to get the most current results. Check out Asian Markets Kansas City, via Google maps. Occasionally JAS members have been spotted at the Oriental Supermarket and 888 in Overland Park.

Does Kansas City have any Japanese restaurants?

Of course! Our members are occasionally spotted at the following restaurants:

Sama Zama

Kabuki Sushi

Sayachi Sushi

Brookside Sushi

Jun's Sushi

Gyu-kaku Japanese BBQ

Blue Sake Sushi Grill

Aoyama Ramen

Jinya Ramen

KC Craft Ramen

...and many, many others!

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