Overview of the JCCCNC's U.S.-Japan Programs
For over two decades the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC) has been a leader in creating and organizing annual cultural and grassroots exchange programs to Japan as an opportunity to improve the relationship between the United States and Japan in particular as it relates to the Japanese American community.
The JCCCNC has introduced a diverse audience of all ethnic backgrounds to the people and culture of Japan in particular with our sister city Osaka as well as Kobe Japan. Some are first time travelers, while others have made numerous trips on a regular basis.
Although the JCCCNC’s activities and communication with Japan began in the late 1980’s through the encouragement and support of then Consul General Shunji Yanai and former Consul General Ryozo Kato to address the economic tension between the two countries, regular grassroots programs began to emphasize the importance of improved understanding that can only be gained by traveling to Japan. These programs began with the Kristi Yamaguchi Goodwill Tour in 1994 and include Shinzen Nikkei Youth Goodwill Program, annual cultural tours to different prefectures, San Francisco-Osaka Sister City programs, Nikkei Youth Cultural Heritage Program, Takahashi Youth Ambassador Leadership Program and programs related to support recent disasters In Kobe and Tohoku.
A year after Kristi’s visit, in 1995, the Great Hanshin Earthquake occurred in Kobe. Because of her visit to the area and the wonderful memories from her trip, Kristi did not let this tragic event go unnoticed. She immediately and generously donated to the relief efforts organized by the JCCCNC, which raised over $600,000 and shipped over one and a half tons of relief goods directly to citizen relief efforts to provide emergency supplies and monetary donations to the local YMCA branches in Kobe and Osaka, the City of Osaka as well as to two orphanages in Kobe City whose buildings were totally destroyed.
On March 11, 2011, the JCCCNC immediately established the Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund to aid the survivors of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent nuclear disaster. The Relief Fund plan is a three-fold plan for relief, recovery and rebuilding, which is believed to take more than five years. The campaign - a community and volunteer driven effort - grew to become the largest Japanese American community based relief fund in the United States with over 12,000 donors, 25,000+ members on Causes.com, and more than 300 events raising over $4 million.
Cultural Tours to Japan
The Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC) has been conducting annual cultural tours to Japan for 20 years. The goal of each tour is to provide travelers with an authentic and unique experience of the regions they visit by engaging with local residents, artisans and merchants. Tours include learning about regional foods, history, local traditions and handicrafts of the places visited. Each year, a different theme and region is selected to give participants an enjoyable journey to lesser known areas of the county and to explore different historical and cultural sites.
The initial tour in 1997 was created under the guidance and support of Tomoye Takahashi of Takahashi Imports. As a successful businesswoman who imported a great array of local Japanese crafts, ceramics and antiques, Mrs. Takahashi made several trips to Japan per year starting from the 1950’s visiting artisan towns and was introduced to many local traditions and regional specialties. She therefore wanted to find a way to share her knowledge with other Japanese Americans and fully supported the JCCCNC’s interest in a Cultural Tour.
The JCCCNC currently works with Kintetsu International in San Jose, California and Japan Airlines (JAL) to secure the best possible hotel, air and travel package to Japan. although the entire planning and coordination is done by JCCCNC volunteers.
Fall Tour to Japan: Celebrating JCCCNC's 20th Anniversary of Cultural Tours to Japan
October 31 - November 10, 2017
Join the JCCCNC on a 10-day cultural tour to celebrate 20 years of Cultural Tours to Japan by volunteer tour guide Diane Matsuda.
The JCCCNC anniversary tour travels to Osaka in celebration of San Francisco’s Sister City relationship with the City of Osaka.
To honor the occasion, the JCCCNC has created a special culinary tour to Osaka from October 31 - November 10 where participants will be treated to exceptionally created meals and demonstrations to appreciate the City’s passion, expertise and pride for its culinary dishes. For centuries Osaka has been known as the “Kitchen of Japan” because of its proximity to the ocean and waterways, access to high quality ingredients and many trading merchants.
The tour includes a discussion on the foundation of dashi-the essential staple to any Japanese meal as well as learning about and tasting dishes that were originally created in Osaka such as udonsuki and akashiyaki. Demonstrations and tours to local companies around Osaka featuring confectionary and local crafts are also part of this culturally and culinary filled 10-day itinerary.
The trip will not end there. The last two days will be dedicated to visiting the neighboring prefecture of Wakayama, the birthplace of shoyu and the prefecture that boasts the oldest onsens in all of Japan. The tour will visit and learn about the production of shoyu while visiting the town of Yuasa, make its way to the Kumano Kodo to witness Japan’s tallest waterfall, Nachi Falls and pay respect to the Nachi Shrine. A brief visit to the Yunomine Onsen will provide the opportunity for participants to learn, make and eat their own onsen tamago!
Tour arrangements for this special Taste of Osaka Tour have been made possible by working with the Osaka International House Foundation, the Osaka-SF 100th Committee and by local government, business and individuals supporting the Sister City relationship. Special thanks to the Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Charitable Foundation for their support of the JCCCNC’s Cultural Tours Program.
The tour will fly into and depart from Tokyo Haneda Airport on Japan Airlines, the JCCCNC’s preferred airline to Japan. Tour logistics and activities have been arranged through Kintetsu International.
Cost: $3,680.00* per person/dbl ($500 deposit and application are due by August 15)
Price includes: roundtrip airfare on Japan Airlines (JCCCNC’s preferred airline to Japan), hotel accommodations, all breakfasts, most lunches, some dinners and demonstrations/admissions.
*Price does not include fuel and tax charges, and is approximate based on minimum number requirements. Add’l fee for credit card use.
PLEASE BE ADVISED that public transportation will be used througout the tour which will require participants to be able to walk moderate distances between each city and activity as well as be responsible for your own luggage. It is recommended that you contact the JCCCNC if you feel that special requirements are needed for your travel.
Tour limited to 20 participants. Priority will be given to JCCCNC members and former tour participants.
For further information, please contact us (415) 567-5505.