For many interested in Japan – culture, language, and all its eccentricities – the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test), may be one of the most significant Japan-related events that happen annually. Personally, I am not a JLPT passer and I have yet the courage and knowledge to take it; thus, the December test is not something I look forward to. Nevertheless, Japan-related events in the country are increasing making the upcoming months interesting for the Japanophile in each of us.

Here are three Japan-related non-cosplay events that will happen in the month of November:

1. Furoshiki Gift Wrapping Workshop


In general, form and outward appearance are important to the Japanese. Likewise, gifts are greatly special in Japan. When you tell a saleslady that your purchase is a gift to someone, she will really take the time to wrap it in a very special packaging. In the same way, Japanese lunch boxes are specially wrapped and tied. The cloth or wrapper used to envelop these things is called furoshiki (風呂敷). Get ready for the Christmas season by learning how to make your gift – or rather gift wrapper – stand out in the Furoshiki Gift Wrapping Workshop at the Yuchengco Museum.

Date: November 3-5

Time: 5pm

Venue: Yuchengco Museum ( RCBC Plaza, Corner Ayala & Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenues, 1200 Makati)

Fee: P600

Website: Facebook

2. Oshaeberi Salon: Kendo Workshop


The Japan Foundation Manila (JFM) has held several workshops under the Oshaeberi Salon program. The lectures and workshops were venues where people interested in Japan and the Japanese language can share and experience different aspects of Japanese culture and practice Nihongo. This November, JFM pairs up with IGA Kendo Club to conduct a Kendo (剣道) workshop. If you’ve seen Rurouni Kenshin, surely you’ve become eager to be a Yahiko. So get your sports attire ready and gear up for the Kendo Workshop!

Date: November 7

Time: 5pm registration  6pm start

Restrictions: Come early because only 25 participants will be admitted. Wear sports attire.

Venue: The Japan Foundation Manila Office (Pacific Star Bldg. ,Back Lobby)

Fee: Free

Website: Facebook

3. Hanabi Matsuri


Philippine Gaming Cosplayers brings the first every Hanabi Matsuri (花火祭り, Fireworks Festival) to the Philippines! If you bought geta sandals, yukata, and haori and have only kept them in a treasure chest, this is your chance to make them practical. Japanese matsuri invites yukata-loving and fan-bearing Japanophiles and also the entire public to a fireworks viewing event and other fun activities at Cainta, Rizal. This will be worth the trip!

Date: November 29

Time: 3pm

Venue: Liwasang Bayan Ng Cainta (Plaza) Cainta, Rizal

Fee: Free

Website: Facebook