Jichikai or Chokai, a neighborhood association

Jichikai (自治会 ) or Chokai (町会) is a neighborhood association, consists of residents living within the same area, in town or housing complex, where community activities are organized to keep a cozy and comfortable living environment. Jichikai or Chokai are basically the same types of association and there is no different in their  activities.

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What activities Jichikai and Chokai provide are;

Passing around a clip board “Kairanban” to share local info

Cleaning the garbage disposal sites

Disaster prevention drills

Fire training
Holding festivals etc. 


Jichikai or Chokai particularly works in a time of disaster. The residents can quickly set up a support team so they can help each other to handle such difficult situation.

The city of Tokyo is sometimes described as a concrete jungle where Tokyo people are indifferent each other. However, Jichikai and Chokai certainly exist in Tokyo too. If you have come across a folklore festival in a district in Tokyo, the festival was obviously organized by the Chokai or Jichikai there.

Chokai or Jichikai is managed by the members and the cost of administration is covered by a subsidy from the local government and membership fees from the residents, that would probably be 300 to 600 yen per month, depending on the association. 

Although the enrollment is optional and every resident is not required to join, it would give you a chance to become more familiar with your neighborhood and to get to know neighbors. 

[ How to join ]
To ask for being a member, the leader of Jichikai or Chokai will visit residents who newly moved in. Or ask a member how to join. One of the residents living nearby must be a member.