This is a translated version of my Japanese blog post.
As I was adding some end-of-year events to the WordPress Japan Official Event Calendar a few weeks ago, I noticed there have been between 1 to 5 WordPress events every week these past two months across the country. I took a closer look at the calendar to see what else I could find about local WordPress communities in Japan.
WordBench is a network of Japanese WordPress local groups. 17 existing groups organized more than one meetup this year: Niigata, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba, Nagoya, Kobe, Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Toyama, Fukui, Ehime, Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, and Kagoshima. Also, three new groups got started this year: Hakodate, Akita, and Yamanashi.
Among those, seven groups held more than ten meetups in 2015 (WordBench Tokyo, Nagoya, Kobe, Osaka, Nara, Toyama, and Kagoshima)!
Events at Coworking Spaces
WordBench groups are not the only ones that are building local communities of WordPress users. There are also several regular meetups and self-study groups hosted at coworking spaces.
- Kayabacho, Tokyo (Co-Edo)
- Takasaki, Gunma (SOMETHIN’ ELSE)
- Omiya, Saitama (Coworking Space 7F)
- Shimokitazawa, Tokyo (Open Source Cafe)
- Matsudo, Chiba (Banana Cluster)
- Hachioji, Tokyo (8Beat)
Not on Meetup.com, Still Active
When I say “meetups,” I’m not always referring to events that are on the website Meetup.com. These local WordPress gatherings are usually called 勉強会 (“study meetings“) in Japanese, but their format is very similar to what’s called meetups in English-speaking countries.
WordCamp and Other Events
WordCamp Kansai took place in Osaka in July and WordCamp Tokyo in Oct./Nov. In August, 250 people gathered in Nagoya for “WordFes“. WordBench Fukui group recently organized another unique annual meetup called, “WordCrab,” where people got together to learn WordPress and eat fresh crab (!) from the area at the after-party.
Historically, major WordCamps in the Kansai and Tokyo areas draw hundreds of attendees. I think it would also be nice to see more local WordCamps in Japan with different flavors, on a smaller scale.
Future Meetups and Events in Japan
It’s great that so many local groups are getting together to talk about WordPress every week somewhere in Japan. I’m looking forward to new ideas and shared knowledge that come out of community events in 2016.