Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Yamanashi-ken, Yamanashi-shi
It's been a few days since I got my placement, so I've had so time to calm down and not spaz out, but I got exactly what I wanted. Hopefully it will be everything I imaged it would be cause if I don't have a good time in Japan, I can't blame it on a bad or unwanted placement! I think I'll have a great time and the Yamanashi ALT community seems pretty tight, so I won't feel too isolated.

There is another CO person heading to Yamanshi as well...just in a different city. So I actually get to meet someone I'll be working in the vicinity of before every getting to Japan. There is also an awesome website for Yamanashi JETs called YETI. Everyone seems really friendly and it looks like they plan a bunch of events, so my worries of ending up spending all my time alone have now been dispelled. No idea on who my pred is yet though. There seems to be some confusion over who is leaving Yanamashi-shi and there are several of us moving in, so I'll probably have to wait a bit more before I can get any placement specifics.

Anyway, some info about my new home for those of you too lazy to Google it:

"Yamanashi is a popular destination for tourism. Mount Fuji, the Fuji Five Lakes region, the city of Kōfu, the nearby wineries, the fine temple Erin-ji, and the popular Kuonji Temple are a few of the most popular places to visit. The Fuji-Q Highland amusement park, with its newest roller coaster Eejanaika (roller coaster), is also popular. Eco-Tourism is another major attraction.

The natural topography of the region makes Yamanashi a hiker's paradise. The tallest mountain in Japan, Mt. Fuji, and the second tallest mountain in Japan, Kitadake, are both located within Yamanashi. Although not as tall, Mount Minobu offers stunning views if one joins the Buddhist pilgrims up to the summit of the mountain. Parts of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park, and Minami Alps National Park are located in Yamanashi.

Given the area's volcanic activity, natural hot springs, or onsens, are found in abundance. Some of the more famous are Isawa Onsen and Yamanami Onsen."

So, that's where I'll be living for the next year or two. Very exciting!
posted by am at 10:23 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
No news yet....
Well, I didn't get my placement yesterday. I can't tell what's worse....not having my placement yet or knowing there are other people out there who got my first placement preference without even having requested it. :(
posted by am at 7:02 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Let the Placements begin.....
Looks like people are starting to get emails from their consulates regarding placement. Haven't heard of anything coming from Denver yet, but people from Chicago and New Orleans, are starting to get 'official' word (rather that having their BOE aka. the Shiga JETs or pred. contact them). Pretty pointless post, I know......but I'm just so excited about finding out where I'll be spending the next year of my life! Hopefully my next post will be all about the awesome place I'll be living. *crosses fingers for a placement in Chubu*
posted by am at 2:33 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
ESID - The acronym everyone loves to hate!
It means 'every situation is different' and it is the cop-out, fail-safe, fall back of the JET program. Want to know what grade level you'll be teaching, or how many schools you'll teach at, or the size of your house and or apartment? ESID. Want to know if you'll be place in the middle of nowhere or if any of your JTEs will actually be able to speak English? ESID. Want to know if you'll have bugs in your apartment or even running hot water? ESID.

Yes, it is the answer to everything up until the point you can actually contact your pred. And it is OMG annoying! However, it's the truth, so I can't complain too much. It's one of those things you just have to accept (along with all the waiting) if you want to be a JET.
posted by am at 5:36 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
....seems to be what the JET program is all about. You wait forever during the application process, and once you get in, you wait forever to figure out where your placement will be. I'm somewhat anxious to find out my placement, as I'm tired of people asking me where I'll be living and having no decent response. Maybe I'll just start telling people that I requested somewhere in Gifu and that's where I think I'll end up and then they'll stop asking me over and over about it.

Also, along with placement comes access to your predecessor, which means (hopefully) some insightful advice about living and working conditions. And THAT means no more ESID nonsense and actual answers to questions (rant and explanation of ESID for those not in the know coming soon!). I mean, there are just so many questions running through my mind, it'd be nice to get some solid answers for them. The experience of people in the JET program is just so varied that until you know exactly who you're's just a bunch of guessing about things like key money, apartment size, school level, and basically everything else under the sun!

Well, here's hoping that I found about something sooner rather that later. I hear that some people won't hear anything till the end of June.....*dies*
posted by am at 5:21 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Friday, May 4, 2007
I'm in.....
Well, I'm officially a JET so I've decided to start a blog to chronicle my many wonderful and challenging experiences in Japan. I'll probably backdate a few entries discussing the application process as well, if I'm not feeling lazy. Anyway, you can expect a lot of pictures and posts in the future. I hope it will make for an interesting read.


posted by am at 12:37 PM | Permalink | 0 comments