As the worldwide coronavirus has forced many people to quarantine at home, long hours have been whiled away on social media as people constantly seek out latest updates about Tokyo, Japan or their home country. It can be easy to forget all the good things that are happening in the world, too. You’ve probably read about fashion retailers producing or donating masks, but there are actually many businesses that are offering their services to those in need.
Free Accommodation at Kaname Kanazawa Japan
With reduced air travel, many tourists were left stranded in Japan, some for an undetermined period of time. Kaname Kanazawa is opening its doors to those left without a place to stay and offering free accommodation in a program they’re calling “Room for Rescue.” They’ve extended their application period to April 11, so those who are in dire need of a room are encouraged to contact them as quickly as possible. As of the writing of this article, the last day to check-out is set to April 30.
If you live in Japan, but still want to help, you can donate to Kaname through this crowdfunding page. These donations will cover the wages of all staff, while still being able to provide free rooms to those in need.
Free Lifeline by TELL
While this isn’t a service especially provided during the coronavirus outbreak, it’s as good of a time as any to remind you that TELL Japan will keep offering its free lifeline service during these hard times. If you find yourself looking at the news constantly, are feeling scared and a little under the weather or abnormally anxious, consider talking with one of their support workers available by phone or chat.
TELL will also keep offering its counseling services in form of teletherapy (on-the-phone counseling). For more information on how to apply and their new schedule, visit telljp.com
While school is out in Japan, Audible is offering free audiobooks for parents who might want something to keep their kids busy while at home. Especially curated and made available for middle school and elementary school kids, the Amazon company is offering dozens of titles for free to help with both homeschooling and simple entertainment. Browse the selection here.
Free Language Lessons for Kids
If you’ve been trying to teach your children a second language, Rosetta Stone has made their lessons for the younger generations free for a limited time. This is great if language learning is part of your children’s curriculum but their lessons have been put to a halt during the outbreak.
PechaKucha – the simple 20×20 presentation format that ANYBODY can do – storytelling made easy! Visit https://t.co/QGN7WKR67h, upload 20 images, voice, publish, and share your PK! It's that simple! Founder, Mark Dytham makes a PK here ABOUT making a PK! https://t.co/gSPK14QGko
— PechaKucha (@PechaKucha) March 17, 2020
Free Birthday Messages from The Amazing Fraser
The Amazing Fraser is a children’s magician in Tokyo that provides entertainment for all ages in both English and Japanese. If your children’s birthday falls during the month of April, Fraser is happy to provide free magic birthday videos: “Just because we can’t have big gatherings doesn’t mean a kid should miss out on their chance for a bit of birthday magic.” For more information on how you can request your own, check out this Facebook post.
Live Meetups on PechaKucha
On the theme of self-improvement from home, PechaKucha has taken its usual presentation style meetups and put them online. Follow the stories of different speakers, learn about urban farming, the correct way to wash your hands and more. By using the platforms creative mode one can create their own videos and online presentations, a great way to flex those creative muscles while stuck indoors.
As the outbreak called for more and more venues to close down for the time being, artists have been performing their scheduled performances online for free. Catch up with your favorite artists or record labels online to learn how they’re giving back to their fans. Billboard put up a list of all the free live streams you can catch online here. Artists include Miley Cyrus, Charli XCX, Christine and the Queens (a TW favorite) and Charlie Puth. Also look out for festivals that are going digital, notably the SXSW event Fader.
For J-Pop fans, Avex has a special playlist on their YouTube channel where you can watch and listen to live concerts from your favorite artists. The performances date back all the way to the mid-2000s, so it’s a nice way to reminiscent about simpler times, too.
While we’re on the topic, here’s me sharing my favorite artist who does killer live stream concerts: secret link.
Live Comedy Shows from The Cosmic Shambles Network
While we’re on the topic of live performances, comedians are also streaming their shows. The Stay at Home Festival is posting free shows online with tons of comedians pitching in their time (and their jokes) to keep us all entertained at home. While watching is free, donations are encouraged. Check out their selection here.