A welcome party is held twice a year at the beginning of each semester (April and October). The purpose of this party is to give a chance for new residents to meet the current HdB members and staff and to become familiar with operational procedures of the house. After the party, the first house meeting (all-resident business meeting) of the semester takes place, and people sign up for their “toban” tasks for the semester.
Common Meals・House Meetings
A Common Meal is a dinner party on every other Friday (during the school semesters April-July, October-February). For each Common Meal, five residents decide recipes and cook with their designated helpers. Necessary assistance is provided from the house parents and the staff. All residents are expected to attend all six common meals per semester, cooking, eating and cleaning up together. HdB scholars and a limited number of guests are also welcome to eat and socialize with residents. After each common meal, a resident-only house meeting is held in order to discuss planning of future events and any issues to improve the life at HdB.
A seminar is held two or three times a year to learn something interesting and new about cultures, self improvement, etc. The theme of each seminar is decided by the seminar “tobans” in consultation with other residents. In the recent past, we have had a latte making class, a yoga class, and an origami class. The seminar “tobans” are responsible for inviting a speaker or an instructor and making arrangements.
Sports day is held twice a year for fun, sharing and health. Attending the Sports Day. The Sports Day tobans come up with creative outdoor activities. In 2014, we have had a water fight in the backyard and an outdoor hide-and-seek game followed by a pizza party.
An overnight field trip is held each semester with minimal out-of-pocket cost to the residents. A trip may give you a chance to visit Japan’s famous landmarks, beautiful natural areas, and tradtional countryside. Great opportunities for fun and friendship!
International Food Festival (IFF)
IFF is held once a year (usually in June or July) in order to enjoy cultural and culinary diversity around the world, International residents prepare dishes from their home countries. This ticketed annual event is open to the public, allowing neighbors, old members and supporters of HdB to enjoy good food and socialize.
Thanksgiving Day is held in November each year to express gratitude toward the HdB supporters and others who contribute to the HdB operation. The residents cook together and present a program for the guests.
Yes, the residents plan a non-religious Christmas Party each December. Many cultures hold a special celebration around the time of the winter solstice under the names such as Saturnalia, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hannukkah, or 冬至. For this event, the residents not only cook tasty dishes and desserts, but also plan a fun entertainment program. Invited friends of the current residents, old members (former residents), HdB staff, board and council members are treated to great merriment to kick-off the winter holiday season.
Residents plan and carry out many other fun events such as a dance party and an Octoberfest, as well as “task” parties on the big-clean-up day toward the end of each semester.