Bangkok Tomonkai

About the Bangkok Tomonkai

It is said that there are more than 6,000 Japanese companies and more than 100,000 Japanese residents (including temporary residents) in Thailand. It is believed that there are several hundred Waseda alumni among such Japanese residents.

Although the exact year of establishment of the Bangkok Tomonkai is unknown, it now has more than 50 years of history with about 300 registered members. At the regular social gatherings held every month, about 40 alumni in a wide range of age groups from their 20s to their 70s gather and deepen their friendships in a relaxed atmosphere. The participants come from various walks of life including company employees, company owners, students, and housewives. It is one of the attractive points of the Tomonkai that we can enjoy exchanges with those who we will not encounter in our daily lives. Recently, we have been creating more meaningful time by holding seminars given by members who are knowledgeable about business and situations in Thailand at the start of the regular social gatherings. Our other activities include not only golf competitions and barbecues but also exchange events with other organizations, such as Waseda-Keio golf competitions, Waseda-Keio joint Christmas parties, and ASEAN Tomonkai social gatherings.

In recent years, the number of young members, including current Waseda students studying in Thailand and people in their 20s, has increased, and there are now more fresh faces in the Bangkok Tomonkai. Those who happen to be traveling or on a business trip are also very welcome! Please feel free to contact us.
Natsumi Yabuki (Graduated in 2013, School of Humanities and Social Sciences)


A social gathering at an izakaya where a Tomonkai member works

The attractive points of Bangkok

Advancing urban development has made Bangkok a big city with many skyscrapers and large shopping malls. However, as we walk through the city, we find old-fashioned open-air food stalls and magnificent temples, which are busy just like the old times. Bangkok is an attractive city with an atmosphere which is a hybrid of innovation and tradition, ordinary life and out of the ordinary life. There are many golf courses around the city, and beach resorts are easily accessed. We can easily enjoy a variety of leisure activities.

The best part of Bangkok for residents here is obviously the food! Not only Thai dishes which are both delicious and reasonably priced but also high-quality food of countries around the world can be enjoyed. Japanese food is especially popular among Thai people, and it is offered at all levels from izakaya to expensive restaurants. I always give a wry smile to the question, “Don’t you miss Japanese food?” from friends in Japan.
Natsumi Yabuki (Graduated in 2013, School of Humanities and Social Sciences)


Many temples and Buddha statues in Thailand are gold or of bright colors.

Downtown Bangkok. Traffic congestion is a constant source of concern.

Message from the Chairman

I am writing this article as of June 14, 2020. A state of emergency is still in place since mid-March here in Bangkok, Thailand. The members of the Bangkok Tomonkai, about 300 in total, are leading uncomfortable lives as a result of being forced to work remotely and to avoid non-essential and non-urgent outings. However, organizers of the Tomonkai are remotely holding drinking parties to exchange opinions about our activities after the declaration of a state of emergency is lifted next month or sometime afterwards.

The Bangkok Tomonkai holds a regular social gathering every month at a restaurant run by a member of the Tomonkai, a social gathering combined with golf every other month, and a joint Christmas party with the Keio Mita-kai. The occupation of the members varies, ranging from company employees, self-employed workers, and civil servants, to people leading their lives in Bangkok after retirement. The Bangkok Tomonkai is a group of a variety of alumni of various ages and genders.

Last year, we held here in Bangkok the first gathering of the ASEAN Tomonkai whose objective is to promote exchanges among the Tomonkais in Asian countries. We hope to recruit Waseda alumni who are in Bangkok to our Tomonkai and actively promote exchanges with the alumni in Asian countries.
Masato Kagota (Graduated in 1986, School of Commerce)

Messages from the Members

I graduated in 2012 and have been working in Bangkok since last year. Although their ages and reasons for being in Bangkok vary, the members of the Tomonkai are friendly and I always enjoy conversing with them. I never thought that I could get to know such a broad range of alumni in Bangkok. I am again impressed that the ties among Waseda alumni are strong, and I am also grateful to the Tomonkai for the encounters.
Ayaka Mori (Graduated in 2012, School of International Liberal Studies)

I became a member of the Bangkok Tomonkai the day after I came to Bangkok for a new post here. When I was an expat in New York, I was an organizer of the New York Tomonkai. In Bangkok, I am working for a governmental organization of Thailand, and I do not have many connections with the Japanese society here. Therefore, I truly feel the benefit of being a member of the Tomonkai. The Bangkok Tomonkai has become a very precious group where I can get to know people playing active roles in various fields and have a drink and a conversation with them. I hope to continue to support the activities of the Tomonkai while not forgetting to be grateful to the secretaries.
Makoto Ihara (Graduated in 1995, School of Political Science and Economics)

I finished graduate school in 2002. After working for a consulting company, I participated in an IT start-up company as a founding member, and came to Thailand in 2018 in order to launch an ASEAN project. I had never been aware of the ties of Waseda alumni before coming to Thailand, however, when I joined the Bangkok Tomonkai, the fact that the members from their 70s to their 20s were enjoying it as equal participants in the Tomonkai made me feel very comfortable. I believe that the ties I have developed here are a treasure for the rest of my life.
Yuusuke Mameda (Graduated in 2000, School of Science and Engineering, Graduated with a master’s degree in 2002, Graduate School of Science and Engineering)

I came to Bangkok in 2017 as an expat in charge of sales for a manufacturing company which I joined after graduation. I became a member of the Tomonkai one month after I came here, hoping to make friends other than those from work or those who I knew and were already living in Thailand. Six months after I came here, my wife, also an alumna of Waseda, came to Thailand, and both of us are enjoying participating in the events of the Tomonkai. I have been an organizer of the joint Christmas party with the Bangkok Mita-kai for three years, and I am enjoying the exchanges with those outside Waseda as well.
Satoshi Yabuki (Graduated in 2010, School of Political Science and Economics)


A social gathering for female members of the Bangkok Tomonkai

List of Overseas Branches/
Overseas Tomonkai/
Overseas Tomonkai
Japanese Branches

Overseas Branches
Alumni Association in China / Alumni Association in Korea / Alumni Association in Taiwan
Overseas Tomonkai
Asia
Bangalore Tomonkai / Bangkok Tomonkai / Beijing Tomonkai / Cambodia Tomonkai /
Dalian Tomonkai / Hanoi Tomonkai / Hong Kong Tomonkai / India Tomonkai /
Jakarta Tomonkai / Kanan (South China) Tomonkai / Malaysia Tomonkai / Manila Tomonkai / Mumbai Tomonkai / Myanmar Tomonkai / Saigon Tomonkai / Seoul Tomonkai / Shanghai Tomonkai / Singapore Tomonkai / Suzhou Tomonkai / Taipei Tomonkai / Ulan Bator Tomonkai
Oceania
Brisbane Tomonkai / Melbourne Tomonkai / Perth Tomonkai / Sydney Tomonkai
North America
Boston Tomonkai / Chicago Tomonkai / Georgia Tomonkai / Hawaii Tomonkai / Los Angeles Tomonkai / Michigan Tomonkai / New York Tomonkai / San Francisco Tomonkai / Seattle Tomonkai / Toronto Tomonkai / Vancouver Tomonkai / Greater Washington Tomonkai
Central and South America
Brazil Tomonkai / Chile Tomonkai / Lima Tomonkai / Mexico Tomonkai
Europe
Belgium Tomonkai / Berlin Tomonkai / Denmark Tomonkai / Dusseldorf Tomonkai /
Frankfurt Tomonkai / Geneva Tomonkai / Moscow Tomonkai / Netherlands Tomonkai / Paris Tomonkai / Stockholm Tomonkai / UK Tomonkai
Middle East
Abu Dhabi Tomonkai / Qatar Tomonkai / Tehran Tomonkai
Africa
Egypt Tomonkai / Johannesburg Tomonkai / Kenya Tomonkai
Overseas Tomonkai Japanese Branches
Bangkok Tomonkai Japanese Branch / Beijing Tomonkai Tokyo Branch / Dusseldorf Tomonkai Tokyo Branch / Gaoxiong Tomonkai Alumni Association / Hanoi Tomonkai Japanese Branch / Jakarta Tomonkai Alumni Association / Los Angeles Tomonkai Japan / New York Tomonkai Tokyo Branch /
Paris Tomonkai Tokyo Branch / Saigon Tomonkai Japanese Branch / Shanghai Tomonkai Tokyo Branch / Singapore Tomonkai Japanese Branch / Tokyo Brazil Tomonkai / Tokyo Hong Kong Tomonkai / Tokyo Melbourne Tomonkai / UK Tomonkai Tokyo Branch