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atrus
December 8th, 2004, 03:21
As in, what locations did you put on your application?

I picked:

1. Sapporo
2. Kanagawa
3. Nara

How much do these choices matter? Do they send you whereever they need you or what?

David

December 8th, 2004, 06:08
Asked for Kanto urban, with a bit of a waiver in the "why" written as to why I asked for that location. Told 'em anywhere in Kanto is fine. Too fond of traffic and constant busy-ness! :D

Chiara
December 8th, 2004, 07:18
Unless you can give a really really good reason for being placed where you've chosen (like family or maybe some prior ties like having been there for studu/homestay) then it really seems to lottery as to where you get placed.

I chose Kansai (Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe), Urban, Senior High School. In my interview I was sure that I had convinced them that I was right to go there...I had stated my reasons clearly and concisely, I had told them of my confirmed status as a City Girl after having grown up in small town hell and escaped age 17 vowing never to go back...

...and I ended up in inakaville, Toyama, population 21000.

I did at least get senior high school!

First of all it depends on how many people are leaving as to how many places there are to fill. Also as each year goes on they seem to be cutting out jobs or combining them as towns join together. Also, it depends on the popularity of where you've chosen. So if you choose rural and somewhere like northern Hokkaido, then you will probably get it.

They also seem to have requests from the specific towns/schools as to what they want. For example all the JETs at my school have been British, and predominantly female. I noticed that this year all the JETs going to the Osaka urban area seemed to be predominantly American and Male. I heard of one school in my prefecture that swore to never again have an american guy because the last one kept getting in trouble with the police for drunk driving...

There are rumours abound as to why you get placed where you do. One person told me at orientation that the people who go to cities are people who they think are more independent because a city can swallow you whole if you're not careful...but then someone else told me that they send the younger, less world-wise JETs to cities because they tend to have a better life-support structure there than they would do out in the countryside. Neither really makes sense to me...

It seems to me that the majority of people don't get what they picked, but it's those people who end up being happiest...

Whatever happens - good luck! :)

dobharrison
December 8th, 2004, 07:50
Chiara speaks wise words. It does seem awfully random, but here are some examples I know of that make a kinda sense:

A friend of mine who speaks excellent Japanese is in deepest inaka with lots of monkeys.

I'm a vegetarian and ended up getting placed in the Hiroshima suburbs, which has been really handy (it was my second choice placement.) Another vegetarian friend was also placed quite close-ish to the city.

Then again, Chiara, you're veggie, aren't you? And you're in inaka, so there goes my theory.

It's all random, then! Never mind!

reed
December 8th, 2004, 09:57
First of all it depends on how many people are leaving as to how many places there are to fill. Also as each year goes on they seem to be cutting out jobs or combining them as towns join together. Also, it depends on the popularity of where you've chosen. So if you choose rural and somewhere like northern Hokkaido, then you will probably get it.

They also seem to have requests from the specific towns/schools as to what they want. For example all the JETs at my school have been British, and predominantly female. I noticed that this year all the JETs going to the Osaka urban area seemed to be predominantly American and Male. I heard of one school in my prefecture that swore to never again have an american guy because the last one kept getting in trouble with the police for drunk driving...

This was what we were told in the States too, at a meeting with some paperwork slaves. In the application it's written that where you ask to be placed won't affect your chances of being hired because even the most guaranteed spaces can blink closed - separate system, separate process. Being ideal for a place can't hurt, but if a position there doesn't open you're at the bottom of a new list. Chances are highest you'll end up where you want if you pick somewhere where traffic moves fast - but that could mean anything depending on rural or urban, and turnover statistics don't mean much if you end up being 10th in a stack of similar requests. Could be that 121 Saitama requests get filled ahead of you, or all the Saitama JETs recontract at once and lock out the 500+ who requested it because they thought they'd have a better chance getting in (Saitama population source: thin air). And like Chiara said, better, and I should stop writing now for just saying the same thing, JET hires and sets up handshakes but Town X might reject your app for any personal reason.



One person told me at orientation that the people who go to cities are people who they think are more independent because a city can swallow you whole if you're not careful...but then someone else told me that they send the younger, less world-wise JETs to cities because they tend to have a better life-support structure there than they would do out in the countryside.

Agghhhhh the frustration! Want city so badly... :)

Aside: Oh my God! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/highglosshighs/1145063/in/set17360/) ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Only mention because I didn't know. :)

Shotokai
December 8th, 2004, 11:48
I know a guy who lived in Osaka, has a g/f in osaka and requested Osaka and then was told he was going to inaka in Oita.

there seems to be no system and it is completely random. I was lucky with my placement, but I know many who weren't so. BUT it is what you make it. Don't worry about not being in tokyo or some other major city because you will have a wonderful time wherever you end up!!

dobharrison
December 8th, 2004, 12:51
I also know a guy who went to Osaka, has a girlfriend in Osaka and got placed in Osaka. But yeah, you should expect to be placed in the middle of nowhere.

Good luck!

Pandilex
December 8th, 2004, 18:47
I also put Osaka for a ton of reasons... I really hope I get it, but it definately seems unlikely.

Chiara
December 9th, 2004, 09:04
Yeah Dob...I am veggie but got stuck out in the middle of nowhere. Not too difficult though as I have a good supermarket in my town. I have eaten fish a few times though, when it's been the only alternative to something with a sausage stuck inside it!

I did realise yesterday though that the Knor Tomato cupasoups I've been buying have got some kind of 肉エキス in them. Don't know how I missed it as I scoured the ingredients list before buying. Boo. Maybe that explains why they tasted so nice! ;)

And reed, thanks for the compliment, but look at (or rather dont!) the next one in the series taken after a few hours nomihoudai with the makeup all over the place and the unflattering pose, and I'm sure you'd change your mind :P

dobharrison
December 9th, 2004, 09:24
Yeah Dob...I am veggie but got stuck out in the middle of nowhere. Not too difficult though as I have a good supermarket in my town.

Yeah, it's weird that they'd send you there but you seem to be enjoying it, right?

If you're ever near Hiroshima I'll make you some beans on toast!

ENAY
December 9th, 2004, 21:32
> I'll make you some beans on toast!

Heh. Is that the limit of your cooking expertise or can't you get any other western ingredients? ;)

dobharrison
December 9th, 2004, 21:39
> I'll make you some beans on toast!

Heh. Is that the limit of your cooking expertise or can't you get any other western ingredients? ;)

You'll understand when you get here. :wink:

Logan5
December 10th, 2004, 14:26
I put down 3 southern Honshu choices and got none of them, but the cliche is true that you'll most likely end up loving wherever they put you as that place will become "Japan" for you.

I love Shimane and more specifically Taisha, my little slice of the Japanese pie, but I'd never heard of the place before I got my acceptance letter.

Basically I just made it clear in my interview that I wanted somewhere in the south as I really didn't want to live in too much snow. I grew up in California and Texas and have never lived in snow.

Have a reason for your choices and they'll pay attention, altho you still might not get the specific choice you asked for.

And like 70% of the placements are "rural" more or less, so be prepared for that. They tell you at orientation that many of you will not see Tokto again until you fly home and it's truer than you might expect.

Good Luck.

-Jason

Hannah
December 19th, 2004, 11:41
> I'll make you some beans on toast!

Heh. Is that the limit of your cooking expertise or can't you get any other western ingredients? ;)

You'll understand when you get here. :wink:

I want beans on toast, oh how I misss those juicy beans! AND real cheese (not plastic cheese)

Dob, I beg you, make me some beans on toast!!!

Hannah in a place with no beans! :cry:

dobharrison
December 19th, 2004, 21:39
It's in the post, Hannah.

Hannah
December 19th, 2004, 22:12
:D

bigredgoofball
December 20th, 2004, 02:43
> I'll make you some beans on toast!

Heh. Is that the limit of your cooking expertise or can't you get any other western ingredients? ;)

You'll understand when you get here. :wink:

I want beans on toast, oh how I misss those juicy beans! AND real cheese (not plastic cheese)

Dob, I beg you, make me some beans on toast!!!

Hannah in a place with no beans! :cry:

WTF? How can they NOT have BEANS!? I mean, c'mon... tofu is made from the stuff. :roll:

Pandilex
December 20th, 2004, 07:20
> I'll make you some beans on toast!

Heh. Is that the limit of your cooking expertise or can't you get any other western ingredients? ;)

You'll understand when you get here. :wink:

I want beans on toast, oh how I misss those juicy beans! AND real cheese (not plastic cheese)

Dob, I beg you, make me some beans on toast!!!

Hannah in a place with no beans! :cry:

WTF? How can they NOT have BEANS!? I mean, c'mon... tofu is made from the stuff. :roll:

Contrary to popular belief, Heinz is not a type of Bean, and is not in the same family as Green Beans or Kidney Beans.

Also Beans do not naturally grow in vats of Tomato Sauce.

Hannah
December 20th, 2004, 07:47
Oh they have beans alright, but red beans... in EVERYTHING!

You bite into a lovely cake, or bread that you think has chocolate in it, and OH! The disappointment!

Don't be fooled by anything with a cute round face either... That will be Anpanman. He is the god of all red bean products!

Beware the Anpanman...

Take care everybody

dobharrison
December 20th, 2004, 07:48
They do have baked beans in the big cities in some foreign food shops, but they're hard to find.

Ini
December 20th, 2004, 07:55
I'd kill a man for some beans on toast, or anything remotely normal. Damn rural ways feeding me turtle blood and a variety of uncooked sea creatures - Where can you get a proper christmas dinner in this country?

Pandilex
December 20th, 2004, 09:24
Oh they have beans alright, but red beans... in EVERYTHING!

You bite into a lovely cake, or bread that you think has chocolate in it, and OH! The disappointment!

Don't be fooled by anything with a cute round face either... That will be Anpanman. He is the god of all red bean products!

Beware the Anpanman...

Take care everybody

Red Beans? What are they....

In Cake too?! IS NOTHING SACRED?!?

I'm scared to eat in Japan now. Just tell me one thing... do they have Bread and Toasters there?

Chiara
December 20th, 2004, 09:46
Red Beans? What are they....

In Cake too?! IS NOTHING SACRED?!?

I'm scared to eat in Japan now. Just tell me one thing... do they have Bread and Toasters there?

red beans/paste is actually quite nice. just a bit of a shock when you think you're getting a jam donut and you're really, really not. like most things here, it's an aquired taste.

and a for bread: ahahahahahahahahhahahaa!

it's sweet! it's thick! you can only buy it in loaves of 4,6 or 8 slices! it's ridiculously expensive! Eat all the crusty/speciality bread you can now because you wont see it for 12 months! etc etc. Actually having said that i found worcester sauce in my supermarket the other day and have barely come up for air in my weekend-long orgy of cheese and toast.

don't worry though, they have toasters. or at least minascule grill thingers where you can fit about 2 slices in. you can actually get ickle toaster grills that will grill a hello kitty face on if you want!

Sinbad
December 20th, 2004, 13:12
I'd have to agree with most of what's been written so far regarding placements.

I didn't get any of my top three:
1. Anywhere in Hokkaido
2. Anywhere in Nagano
3. Anywhere in the whole of the Tokoku region!

I thought I was bound to at least get my 3rd choice, as it included anywhere in an area made of of about 4 prefectures.

However - I landed in little Fukui. Never heard of it. Neither have many Japanese people.

The strange thing is, I've met JETs who didn't request Hokkaido at all, yet got placed there - and then there's people like me, who put it no. 1 but were denied.

So - I can only conclude - there's not much thought put into the placement process.


Anyway I'm loving it where I am, and am staying for another year.

If you want an insight to life in the Japanese Inaka - check out my site below.

Ini
December 20th, 2004, 13:24
My first choice was semi rural (or was it semi urban I can never remember) in chiba and I got placed......semi rural in chiba. If you have good reasons for your requested prefecture you stand a good chance of getting placed their, just saying "the photos on the website look nice and I have an intrest in temples so can I got to kyoto" isnt really going to be good enough.

nicklad
December 21st, 2004, 08:45
I asked for the city and got the sub-city. It has 70,000 people but it certainly isnt the city. This are af Shizuoka is famous for its green tea, which is considered among the best in Japan, so the city is pretty much one big tea factory with supporting industries. Oh. and paper....

The city is on the main train and shinkansen line though. Kyoto 2 hours West, Tokyo 1 hour East. I love the Shink. Its not even that pricey on the Kodama when you compare it to British Rail price- and quality.
Also buying a sandwich and a can of pop on British Rail trains effectively doubles the price of the ticket where as Shink supplies are normal price.

Elmo_Chic
December 22nd, 2004, 21:55
Also buying a sandwich and a can of pop on British Rail trains effectively doubles the price of the ticket where as Shink supplies are normal price.

This is amazing. I expected it to double the price at the station and especially on the train but you get the same price as everywhere else. The shink rocks!

weens
January 11th, 2005, 19:26
asked for Saitama, Chiba and Gunma oh and urban, said I wanted to be close to Tokyo
and here I am 30 mins from Tokyo :wink:

Hannah
January 11th, 2005, 20:54
The cities ask for specific nationalities. That is why some people don't get thier placement choice. If you put Osaka-ken and you are a Brit, but none of the Osaka-ken cities want a Brit, then you will be put somewhere that does... The cities can even request male or female and age too! If you request a place and you fit the criteria then they'll place you there. It really isn't as random as it seems. Would they get away with this in Britain??? I don't think so!

Shinikenshi
January 31st, 2005, 07:50
asked for Saitama, Chiba and Gunma oh and urban, said I wanted to be close to Tokyo
and here I am 30 mins from Tokyo :wink:

Damn if I decided to choose Saitama or somewhere close to Tokyo I think I'd be complaining less about work as I'm more used to Tokyo via previous work than any place else in the country. 8O

I originally chose Kagawa, Nara, and Okayama though I think I got the last choice based on a last minute drop by a prospective JET that brought me up over the alternate stage. Consequently, Okayama is a sister city of San Jose which is...on the opposite end of my hometown in socal. :?:

But Yokohama is sister city with San Diego...doh. Should have wrote that down as a logical choice. Oh well!

-Chris, an angry Chinese man in Japan :?:

swimmergirl
February 3rd, 2005, 11:14
I chose:

1. Mie
2. Shiga
3. Wakayama

I have no idea what my chances are of getting these places if I make it in!

superyan
February 3rd, 2005, 20:57
hi everyone,

I asked for...

1. Shiga
2. Nagoya
3. Kumamoto

Indigo
February 4th, 2005, 02:56
I asked for:

1. Fukuoka
2. Okinawa
3. Kyoto

I didn't put a preference for urban/suburban/rural, but I'm really hoping for somewhere warm...

Allichan
February 21st, 2005, 14:27
i requested:
1. Sapporo, Hokkaido
2. Aomori
3. Sendai
I studied abroad in Sapporo last year, lived with a host family, and absolutely loved it there, so I hope that means I would have a good chance of being placed there. During my interview, I was asked why Aomori and Sendai ~ didn't have any good answers other than I had looked them up, been through them on a train, and that they are closest to Hokkaido so I could visit my host family and friends. I'm from SoCal so they questioned me about whether I could handle the cold (especially since I studied abroad from March to July in Sappro ~ just about the best weather you can get) and I said sure ... I'd much rather deal with the cold than the obscene humidity and heat in Southern Japan. It's so much easier to put layers on than to take 'em off. Also, heard Hokkaido is the only place in Japan that's actually heard of insulating the houses!

Ock
February 21st, 2005, 14:37
fuckin deleted

staples
February 21st, 2005, 16:22
Why did all you people apply to go to Osaka? No no no, that simply won't do. That's where *i* want to go!!!

Shotokai
February 21st, 2005, 16:34
yeah but seriously why did everyone seemingly chose Osaka? other cities are cool...

syojyou
February 22nd, 2005, 02:24
I asked for:
1. Nishinomiya
2. Osaka city
3. Mie

I mentioned that I was vegetarian as well, so hopefully I'll get placed somewhere close to a city for food-convenience reasons.

Pandilex
February 22nd, 2005, 05:00
I wrote Osaka, love Osaka, read all about it, learned all about it, was great friends with someone from Osaka, had loads of reasons, and 1 minute before I went into the interview I changed my mind after chatting to one of the embassy staff who was an ex-JET. lol.

Hanzo
February 22nd, 2005, 05:41
What did the ex jet say to make u change your mind about osaka?

...just a little interested to know.

Chiara
February 22nd, 2005, 14:37
I mentioned that I was vegetarian as well, so hopefully I'll get placed somewhere close to a city for food-convenience reasons.

Hah! Good luck with that :)
I'm veggie, they knew all about it, and now live in the middle of nowhere in a prefecture that's famed for it's oishii seafood.

http://www.alishan-organic-center.com/en/tengu/index.html

your new best friend if you get placed in inaka like me.

Manshonyagger
February 22nd, 2005, 16:43
I'd much rather deal with the cold than the obscene humidity and heat in Southern Japan. It's so much easier to put layers on than to take 'em off. Also, heard Hokkaido is the only place in Japan that's actually heard of insulating the houses!

Yeah, they've heard of it up here. They don't, however, choose to use it. I live in a pretty damn nice grey box/apartment building that's a mere 4 years old. Compare to every other JET house I've been in so far, mine is a palace. Does it have insulation? No.

Even in the snows of Hokkaido, people live, work and socialize in prefabricated structures. Even big, expensive houses are constructed from preassembled panels nailed onto a frame. A new petrol station just down the road from me got built in deep snow, in the dead of winter, in less that 3 weeks from foundations to opening day. A new pachinko parlour went up on the edge of town in two weeks during the summer.

But, on a positive note, we don't get cockroaches in summer. :D

Pandilex
February 22nd, 2005, 20:36
What did the ex jet say to make u change your mind about osaka?

...just a little interested to know.

My decision was balanced on the edge of a knife. The closer it got to my interview the more I thought about placements, and I first realised it wouldn't really matter at all where I was placed. So at that point I decided I didn't really mind where, even though I had been wanting to go near Osaka to begin with.

I also wanted to pick up as much Japanese as possible, and experience the best of the culture there. The person I was talking to said that if you were placed in the Inaka (which is where most of the JET placements are apparently), then you would be forced to interact more and would pick up Japanese better. There were a few other advantages too, such as perhaps the classic celebrity status thing, although that didn't have anything to do with my choice.

The conversation was enough to push my decision over the edge into a world of confusion, so I explained to my interviewers exactly that - my original intention to go to Osaka and how I loved kansai-ben (and they asked me if I knew any, hehehe they laughed after I said なんでやねん!) etc. but how I wasn't sure any more because I heard about living in the Inaka.

Plus the person I was talking to looked very official so their words carried more weight. Basically I was just plunged into a world of confusion, and since I didn't really put a strong argument forward for wanting to go to Osaka specifically, I doubt they would consider it (which isn't a bad thing).