Activity Report

What We Did with pictures (Event from 2013 to 2014)

ICT Oktoberfest 2014 (Oct 2014)

See More Past Class Report; 

::::: Activity Report: Company Visit “Futaba-en” on October 10th, 2014 :::::

posted Apr 27, 2015, 1:49 AM by Tsubasa Kato   [ updated Apr 27, 2015, 1:50 AM ]

Company Visit “Futaba-en” on October 10th, 2014

On October 10, ICT members Tsubasa Kato (Jojo) and Haruna Yamamoto visited “Futaba-en (dyeing company)” with 10 students from Senshu University, the program “Company Visit” led by Prof. Satoshi Kambara, and we experienced a dyeing class and learned the history of Edo dyed clothing (Edo sarasa and Edo komon) in the workshop.

The artisan working at Futaba-en explained from how to dye Kimono belt (Obi), steam and wash..., watching dyed Obi with detailed patterns and a big steamer. Ochiai (in Shinjuku) is the place along the Myoshoji River, the amount of water is plentiful, so Edo dyers gathered here and made unique dyed Edo sarasa and Edo komon to create beautiful dyed colors. We all made a table mat, using 12 paper patterns “Katagami” to hand print Edo-sarasa. The students each moved a brush gently and soft, and enjoyed dying a mat with their own hands. To make a real Edo sarasa dye, 38 paper stencils must be prepared. The technique of the artisan in using the stencils and carefully dying with a brush is what gives the clothing its depth.

After dyeing experience, we moved to a comfortable tatami room, Mr. Kobayashi (the owner) told us Edo komon, which began with the dying of the kamishio (the traditional dress of those born into a Japanese samurai family), not creating showy and pompous patterns but with good quality colors in the midst of full-fledged Edo culture (not allowed wearing luxury kimono by strict laws). And also he said that Kimono was very practical for dying many times if you change colors and patterns, showing elegant and stylish Kimono belts (Obi).

We were so lucky to have a great chance to touch and feel a dyeing industry! And we hope that the traditional techniques that reflects the spirit and hearts of Edo dyers take over to future generations, and spread it to the world!

A big thank you for Mr. Kobayashi and artisans for all the preparation, and we also say thank-you to Prof. Satoshi san for making a special chance to join the workshop with your wonderful students!


Written by Tsubasa Kato (Jojo)

::::: Activity Report: ICT Oktoberfest on October 11th, 2014 :::::

posted Oct 14, 2014, 5:25 PM by INFO ICT   [ updated Oct 14, 2014, 5:26 PM ]

ICT Oktoberfest 2014

On 11th October 2014, ICT had a wonderful Oktoberfest at Studio PETU in Harajuku, Shibuya. The party started at 5 p.m. with various kinds of beer and German traditional food, ...such as “Eisbein (German culinary dish of pickled ham hock, usually boiled)”, “Sauerkraut (sour cabbage)”. In addition to this, we enjoyed Japanese traditional relishes like “cucumber stuffed chikuwa”, and “edamame”. We had a beer testing game which is making a guess which number of beer is which brand by four teams. There were lots of active discussions in the teams, and it seemed the participants enjoyed beer testing so much. Finally, team D won and got “ICT Special Beer”!

In the beginning of three-day weekend, participants seemed to enjoy our Oktoberfest. ICT will keep holding seasonal events, and the immediate one will be held on October 25th, which will be a workshop relating to Buddhism and the way of life along it in Kongo-in, Toshima-ku. We look forward to welcoming new comers and regular members! We will also hold a social game night on October 21st, the contents of games will be “Werewolf” and “CATAN”.

Special Thanks to…
Mie-san! Thank you very much for bringing German traditional food and Japanese traditional relishes! In addition, thank you also for your nice ideas about decorating the venue.
Monori-san! Thank you so much for the lovely decorations of “ICT OKTOBERFEST” characters. 

Written by Yoko Taniguchi

::::: BALKAN FLOOD CHARITY EVENT on September 5th, 2014 :::::

posted Sep 8, 2014, 2:53 AM by INFO ICT   [ updated Sep 8, 2014, 3:11 AM ]

BALKAN FLOOD CHARITY EVENT (Charity event for Serbia) on September 5th, 2014

On September 5th, we co-hosted BALKAN FLOOD CHARITY EVENT for SERBIA at the Embassy of Serbia with My Eyes Tokyo (MET). There were 111 participants attended this event and 130 raffle tickets were sold in total! We finally donated 224,760 JPY to Serbian government to help and support the people
in Serbia.


The purpose of this event was to enhance partnership and mutual understanding between Japan and Serbia through charity and donation. Japan received donation from Serbia in 2011 for the East Japan Great Earthquake. To tell special thanks to it, we coordinated this event to return something to Serbia. Getting hints from these backgrounds, we coordinated this event as a charity by raffles and donations.


Here we report the details of the event.

The event opened at 7 p.m., with the opening greeting from Mr. Nenad Glišić, Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia. He made a speech about the consequences of tragic floods and expressed thanks to everyone who attended the event.


Then, the founder of MET, Mr. Isao Tokuhashi played the MC, and had an interview session about the flood in Serbia with employees of the Embassy of Serbia. The main topics were what they felt/heard at the moment of 3.11 (the Great East Japan Earthquake) and the terrible flood in Serbia.


After that, ICT had a summer drink workshop of tea, Mrs. Haruna Yamamoto and Ms. Akiko Abe demonstrated how to make a refreshing drink with Japanese tea and Serbian fruit jams. They had an attractive speech and instruction about the corroboration tea, and the participants enjoyed tea testing. We also sold the ICT original tea blends, which were chosen as the best blends in ICT’s past three workshops. ICT sold 20 packs of tea set! Then, we had a short time for pleasant chat for participants. After that, we had a fantastic flower arrangement show, which was a collaboration or mixture style of Buddhism and Music. The mystical world with the sounds of scissors attracted all guests for 30 minutes.

After the amazing Ikebana show, we had lottery for the charity raffle. There were some lovely items which were donated by some artists, like accessories, clothes, and so on.

We closed the event by having excellent closing note by Mrs. Tsubasa Kato, the ICT founder.

Special Thanks to all sponsors and supporters, and thank you for all participants who supported this event and exactly joined!!



Written by Tsubasa Kato (Jojo) and Yoko Taniguchi

::::: Jamie’s Farewell Party ~ ICT 2nd Anniversary Party 2014 ~ :::::

posted Jul 14, 2014, 1:03 AM by INFO ICT   [ updated Feb 3, 2015, 1:50 AM ]

We organized a farewell party for one of our very precious and beloved ICT member, Jamie from U.S.A ! and Second Anniversary party of ICT!!


The party was held on 12th of July, 2014 in Studio PETU and 14 members attended the party. It was a Potluck Dinner Party and everyone contributed a dish of food, such as Marinated seafood salad, Avocado mousse, NY style hamburger, Miso cheese with cucumber, Meat-loaf with Mashed potatoes, Sweet cookies and so on.


There was no specific instructions, although it turned out to be an American style buffet!! Party space was decorated in USA color and patterns which was designed by Misato-san, ICT’s art director, and by the cooperation of all other ICT members who decorated the walls, tables and even the cups!! We enjoyed the foods and shared our good memories with Jamie for this past 1 year or so. Farewell parties are always an exciting affair and bring alive a lot of happy memories.


We also did a quiz related to Jamie and ICT. And the winner was … Minori-san and Jamie (No fixed game but Jamie had a good memory). At last, Jamie delivered a speech about the appreciation to the party and many heart-warming messages to ICT and each participants.


I would like to THANK Jamie who was always with a smile and very gentle “English teacher” for Japanese ICT members. She was definitely one of the largest contributor for ICT’s growth over the past 2 years.


The number of ICT class run up to 60, workshops 15 times, seasonal events 10 times and 30 nationalities from all over the world attended those events.


We would like to express our deepest gratitude to all the people who gave us warm support and best of all, who attended those events. ICT will continue our challenge to provide a platform for all the nationalities living in Japan, to feel and understand the profound culture of Japan, and to interchange other cultures, thoughts and the way of living all over the world.



ICT Organizer

Tsubasa Kato (Jojo)

:::::: Activity Report: June 15th, 2014 ::::::

posted Jun 17, 2014, 4:51 AM by INFO ICT   [ updated Jun 17, 2014, 4:52 AM ]

FREE Noh Performance "Sessho-seki"­ (The Killing Stone) !!

June 15th (Sun), as ICT Free Event, we watched Free Noh Performance of  “Sessho-seki (
殺生石/ The Killing Stone)" at Umewaka Nogaku Kaikan. 21 of us including 9 Non-Japanese members joined, and enjoyed the performance for about 1.5 hour.


The story is about a spirit of Nine-tailed Fox haunting a big stone.

It has been killing people for years, and a high priest who was passing there had dialogue with it.

Finally, the spirit vanished given memorial service from the priest with law of Buddha. This performance conveyed the story in old Japanese with Noh performance.


Noh Walk, dance, chants, words… even for native Japanese, it was new and some movements required time to understand correctly. For some scenes, I felt it would be more enjoyable knowing the story background, but it was definitely a good opportunity as introduction to the world of “Noh”, more than just reading or watching videos.


After the performance, Aza (A member from Kyrgyzstan) told me that he knew the story of Nine-tailed Fox. According to him, it was appearing in Japanese manga of “Naruto” (Do you know Nine-tailed Fox story in your country?).


Thank you very much for joining the event and hope you enjoyed in anyways ;)

We look forward to enjoying Japanese culture together at next event!

(Posted by Takafumi Shikado)

:::::: Activity Report : May 11th, 2014 ::::::

posted May 11, 2014, 5:27 PM by INFO ICT   [ updated May 11, 2014, 5:30 PM ]

Thank you so much to all who came to the ICT Potluck lunch yesterday Sunday, May 11th.

We had such an awesome time with friendly members! Perfect weather, amazing delicious food, lively conversations and the great ICT members absolutely made our Sunday more FUN!

Thanks to all the members who brought food aplenty. All attendees enjoyed well-prepared and super delicious dishes! And a big Thank You to those who brought snacks and drinks! Also special thanks to our regular members, Mie san and Misato san, helping us, making this event possible and a big success!

I'm so blessed to have you all - such amazing people as always! What a great community ICT!
And for those who missed the event, here are some pictures of our wonderful picnic!

We hope to see you all at next events!

ICT organizer,

::::: Activity Report: April 27th, 2014 :::::

posted Apr 27, 2014, 11:13 PM by INFO ICT   [ updated Apr 28, 2014, 12:35 AM ]

Tea Hand-Picking Experience Picked tea leaves will go to National Tea Competition


On April 27th, 7 ICT members went to Hiratsuka-en tea farm, where is in a quiet residential area in Iruma city, for tea hand-picking 茶摘み. Nowadays, tea leaves can be picked by machine, nevertheless, hand-picking is still preferred in many places. Here Hiratsuka-en also is.

Each of us took a basket, and we carefully chose and picked new tea leaves with the way of picking “一芯二葉” (1 core with 2 leaves), which is used for producing high quality teas (e.g. leaves go to National Tea Competition; Sencha, Gyokuro, Maccha and much more). After 2 hour picking under the beautiful green tea growing terraces, we took a break with tasty teas and Japanese rice crackers which Obachan kindly served us.


Tea is categorized as “一番茶” (first-grade tea) picked from April to May, “二番茶” (second-grade tea) from June to July and “三番茶” (third-grade tea) in autumn during the growing season. The time span in a year and how much leaves can be harvested vary depending on the climate. Mr. Hiratsuka has put his much efforts to keep growing tea leaves under the same condition every year, so it means that picking new leaves in spring is the result of his efforts!


Afterwards we visited his tea factory and learned how tea is processed (e.g. pressing, heating, rolling, drying, shaping etc). Most of us have never seen all traditional machines for tea processing and known the whole process, especially the part of drying which is automatically calculated how much tea leaves should be dried at each stage, and the amount of water in leaves gradually evaporated with rolling and heating.


Lastly, the most concern in the tea industry is that the products don’t sell because of reduced demand. It's a tough way for small tea farms to make a living. Mr. Tomono said that it was an undeniable fact that Japanese people no longer drink as much as they used to.


I hope that this kind of experience could be of some help to expand of the Japanese tea culture and contribute to increase the number of Japanese tea lovers in Asia, Europe and the world!


I would like to sincerely thank you to the Hiratsuka family and staff for fun and detailed lectures during tea picking, Mr. Tomono for introducing us the tea factory for his kindness, and Haruna san for organizing this wonderful learning experience!!


(Posted by Tsubasa Kato)


::::: Activity Report: March 9th, 2014 :::::

posted Mar 11, 2014, 8:26 PM by Tsubasa Kato   [ updated Feb 5, 2016, 2:38 AM by INFO ICT ]

Cooking Exchange ~ Uzbek Pilaf vs Japanese Tempura ~

On March 9th, we had the Cooking Exchange: Uzbek Pilaf vs Japanese Tempura as an ICT event.

Our teacher for Uzbek Pilaf was Ms. Tamara a stunning lady from Uzbekistan. Although she is not a professional in cooking, she provided us with the traditional Uzbek recipe and the fragrant spice (Cumin and secret spice) which was enough for all of us to taste and experience Uzbekistan!! We definitely in our favorite folder!


As for Japanese Tempura, all the Japanese attendance was the teacher, who brought each family’s tip for making tasty tempura. Everyone had the chance to fry the ingredients and enjoy the just fried tempura!! It was absolutely the best, and easy to make! Deep fried tempura was especially good with Tentsuyu (tempura sauce), salt and lemon.

A great thank you to Tamara chan for all the preparation!! We are most grateful to you for this simple, tasty recipe. Much appreciated. Lucky us!

(Posted by Tsubasa Kato)

::::: Activity Report: February 23rd, 2014 :::::

posted Mar 1, 2014, 8:27 AM by Tsubasa Kato   [ updated Mar 1, 2014, 9:02 AM ]

Yanaka One-Day Trip: Off to nostalgic Japanese streets for food, art, crafts, old-fashioned architectures, show, history and much more.


Our third day trip was taken in Yanaka, where we could enjoy its fine arts, street food and temples. Due to the changeable weather, it was cloudy at first, snowy later and finally became sunny in the end. It seemed that everyone had fun overall.


One of the happiest news was that the number of 21 participants of our day trip hit new record high. And also we found the number to be the allowable limit. Even though we focused more on our explanations of the spots this time than the last 2 events, it turned out some participants from other countries required us deeper and higher quality of explanations. Those requirements should have caused for their curiosity about Japanese tradition and history, thus we could take them positively.


Leaving at our first meeting point, we first enjoyed street food in Yanaka Ginza Street. The participants seemed to love croquettes best. After visiting Yanaka coffee, we watched the puppet show. It was pleasure that one of the participants enjoyed it, and he would plan to show his family the theater. So many fine arts including Alan West gallery made our trip more enjoyable. We broke up in the bus stop near the Keisei Ueno station, and some participants had a fun teatime at last.


We wish we could work explanations out much more next time!
Thank you for coming out on an early Sunday morning. A great thank-you to the all participants! Hope we have all of you at next events!

(Posted by Tomohiro Komuro)

::::: Activity Report: February 11th, 2014 :::::

posted Feb 12, 2014, 12:02 AM by Tsubasa Kato   [ updated Feb 12, 2014, 12:03 AM ]

Valentine’s Day Sweets ~ Making Blueberry Muffins and Cube Truffles!! ~

On February 11, we had the "Valentine’s Day Sweets" cooking class, organized as a ICT event. Our teacher Mrs. Ellie Homma is a home cooking teacher who worked in a deli/bakery for three years, and made bread, muffins, and cookies as well as soups, stews and casseroles. Most of her recipes were simple and child friendly, and she loves to enjoy cooking with her two sons, age 5 and 9, in her kitchen.


Divided into two groups, we made blueberry muffins and cube chocolate truffles following her recipes after
learned fundamental skills of sweets cooking. We really liked her way, which just measured ingredients, combined together and mixed them up. How easy it was! All muffins turned to beautiful colors brown and yellow after baked for 20 minutes! Crumb toppings were so delicious. Her homemade cube truffles were also incredible!

We almost took 3.5 hours and we were so involved in her cooking, and

thoroughly enjoyed talking together with the excellent sweets. Both the sweats and our ICT members were wonderful! We hope to do it again soon, and we really thank you to our teacher Ellie and her son Yuta-kun for making our holiday very special!

Thank you for coming out on an early holiday morning! A big thank-you from the deep side of our heart to Event Organizer, Tomo san, for giving us a great opportunity to make lovely Valentine’s sweets!

(Posted by Tsubasa Kato)

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