Spotlight: The Tokyo Spontaneous Hangout Meetup

There are close to 1,800 Meetup groups in Japan with Language, Ethnic Identity and Socializing as the most common categories.

On October 1st, we launched Japanese on all of our platforms.

よろしく!We’re looking forward to seeing what kinds of new Meetups start up. 

Today we’d love to share one very popular Meetup group called The Tokyo Spontaneous Hangout, which was started in 2011 by Aki and currently has over 8,600 members.

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Spontaneous…friendship combustion! Look at sparks fly at a recent BBQ Meetup in Yumenoshima Park at the bank of Tokyo Bay.

We reached out to the current organizer Allon. When asked about the focus of the Meetup, he said it’s to “offer a great variety of types of events and venues and in doing so offer a wide variety of activities and opportunities for members to join and hopefully enjoy.”

They are a very active Meetup group hosting approximately 30 Meetups per month. He also makes it a point to garner member interest and engagement by taking suggestions from members.

His personal favorites are outdoor picnics: “Every Meetup feels like I’m going out and having a good time through meeting regular and new members so generally they’re all fun but, being very fond of nature and the outdoors, my favorites are the picnics, night picnics and BBQ’s.”

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Gearing up for a day of Parkour

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Enjoying a sake brewery tour and tasting

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Picnicking and playing cards at Yoyogi Park

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Going on a wild mulberry hunt

Allon’s drive and passion for meeting up inspired him to organize the Tokyo Language & Culture Exchange and Tokyo Picnickers Meetups too. Impressive, right?

When asked how he juggles three large Meetup groups, he mentioned that he’s learned that getting in the habit of communicating Meetup descriptions effectively and placing himself in the members’ shoes cuts down on any computer work he may have to do post-scheduling.

“Important too is delivering on your promises and exceeding them where possible. It’s great for obvious reasons seeing some members almost every week…whether it be making friends, learning language or whatever else they’ve imagined.”

With Tokyo Spontaneous Hangout, he also sees that some members are more reluctant to socialize in large groups even though they really want to. When asked about this challenge, he stated, “I try to help them relax in a small group but if really awkward [I] take ‘one for the group’ so to speak by spending as much time with that member as possible.”

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A group photo before a day hike in Kozu and to the Odawara Castle

As you’ve probably gleaned, Allon and his members also like to document each Meetup. They do a very good job of posing for photos and posting them to their Meetup photo albums.

Allon said that while most of his members communicate in English, he’s looking forward to what will happen with the Japanese language platform. “It should bring many more Japanese who maybe aren’t very confident with their English ability into the world of Meetup…Tanoshimi! [Looking forward to it!]” he enthusiastically stated.

If you happen to visit Tokyo, be sure to check out the Tokyo Spontaneous Hangout.

A big thank you to Allon for his time and insight.

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Maki Yamamoto
Maki is thrilled to be part of the Community team, and enjoys guiding and supporting Meetup organizers and members. She likes pickles, paper crafts, polka dots, and alliteration.