PDA

View Full Version : Placement requests!



eeveewoo
October 23rd, 2014, 15:23
I was wondering if anyone would like to share their preferences? and why?

I'm currently in the middle of researching more about each area and seeing if there's any that fits my ideal.

I love hiking so somewhere that will have nice trails. The obvious one would be the area around Mt.Fuji but I'm sure there are other options as well..
suggestions would be great!

therealwindycity
October 23rd, 2014, 17:26
Mt. Fuji isn't necessarily the best place for hiking - it's only open a couple months out of the year, it's crowded, it's not very convenient to get to, and the number of trails is limited (they tend to assume people are climbing to the top, which isn't the sort of hike you can do in an afternoon). Lots of places in Japan will have good hiking, so I recommend checking out a lot of different prefectures. The biggest factor in your placement is whether you fit the qualifications a particular BOE is seeking, but you're also more likely to get a placement if it isn't a commonly requested place.

mothy
October 23rd, 2014, 19:13
Although Fuji itself isn't great for hiking Yamanashi and Shizuoka are both beautiful prefectures with great hikes.

Neycourt
October 24th, 2014, 01:36
I haven't submitted my application yet but here is what I'm thinking on requests so far:

1. Sapporo city
2. Yokohama city
3. Fukuoka city

I might look like a noob for requesting cities, but I just really would love to live in an urban environment. I've lived in the rural countryside of America my entire life and I guess I'm just thirsting for something different. I've heard requesting cities can make you look uniformed though, and hurt your chances of getting accepted. Is there any truth to this?

laserlight
October 24th, 2014, 01:59
I just really would love to live in an urban environment. I've lived in the rural countryside of America my entire life and I guess I'm just thirsting for something different.
Would you put that down as the reason for your choices, or do you have some other "official reason" that you will give?

Having lived in a city all my life, a change sounds nice (assuming I recover from the extra culture shock, heheh), but it sounds like a lame reason to list, so I am thinking of somehow connecting something that I find interesting about the places that I have in mind with my choice. On the other hand, I have the impression that most of the slots available will not be in the big/medium-sized cities anyway, so this might be much ado about nothing for me.

miamicoordinator
October 24th, 2014, 02:43
I've heard requesting cities can make you look uniformed though, and hurt your chances of getting accepted. Is there any truth to this?

No truth to this. However, you should have a good reason for requesting those cities. Requesting cities though does not hurt your chances in anyway.

Verbatim
October 24th, 2014, 03:17
My first two requests are in the Kansai (Kinki) block, and I went with just prefectures (Hyogo and Kyoto) since I'm honestly open to wherever I get placed. My last choice was Chubu (Aichi prefecture). I had trouble coming up with reasons because I don't have strong preferences either way, so the ones I wrote may sound rather noobish. I like the geographical location of Hyogo, and the fact that there are so many nature parks. Kyoto area's reason was the mix of modern and traditional culture, Aichi I just left blank. I'd be happy anywhere!

hello_kupo
October 24th, 2014, 04:45
Although I'm not sure I will list a preference on my application, I'd love to be placed in Okinawa or Hokkaido since I've never been to either of those regions. My favorite Japanese cities are Nara and Osaka, so being placed somewhere in Kinki would be awesome too (but I'd still rather be rural or suburban).

FYI: Fuji-san is no walk in the park. Hope I don't come off like a know-it-all, but I just thought I'd offer some insight since I was completely unprepared for its austerity (granted I'm not a climber/hiker, but I'm fit). I did an overnight climb in 2012 in the dead of summer (frigid at night, sweltering in the day) that took roughly 12 hours to complete and was the most physically taxing thing I have ever done in my life. Calling it steep would be an understatement and it's really easy to lose your footing on the gravel-like "trails." It was an experience somewhere between horrific exhaustion and wonderful vision quest.

Neycourt
October 24th, 2014, 05:32
No truth to this. However, you should have a good reason for requesting those cities. Requesting cities though does not hurt your chances in anyway.

What, to you, are some good reasons you've seen for requesting cities? For my choices, I would have to say I gained an interest in Sapporo after making friends with a language partner from Sapporo. The history and beauty are appealing to me as well. Plus, the weather is more comparable to my home area. Tokyo summer was just brutal for me, haha.

For Yokohama, I visited it a couple times during my stay in Japan and just really loved the feel of the city. Again, it also has so much history and culture.

For Fukuoka, I'd heard good things from students who had studied abroad there. I've never been there myself, but it looks beautiful and I would love to experience the south of Japan although it might be too hot for me.

miamicoordinator
October 24th, 2014, 05:45
What, to you, are some good reasons you've seen for requesting cities? For my choices, I would have to say I gained an interest in Sapporo after making friends with a language partner from Sapporo. The history and beauty are appealing to me as well. Plus, the weather is more comparable to my home area. Tokyo summer was just brutal for me, haha.

For Yokohama, I visited it a couple times during my stay in Japan and just really loved the feel of the city. Again, it also has so much history and culture.

For Fukuoka, I'd heard good things from students who had studied abroad there. I've never been there myself, but it looks beautiful and I would love to experience the south of Japan although it might be too hot for me.

For me, good reasons would be sister-city relationships, maybe you have some some sort of ancestry from that part of Japan, and you would like to connect with your roots, maybe you were an East Asian Religion major and want to be placed in a certain location that is famous for its Buddhist temples so you can study them some more. Other good reasons may be medical reasons. For example, you may have an eye condition which requires you to see a specialist on a yearly basis, and you have done your research on hospital/doctors in a certain area who are experts in such condition, or maybe you are requesting a city with less hills/mountains because your knees were injured as a child and walking uphill is painful. Those are what I would consider good placement requests.

Less than spectacular placement request reasons include having friends that live there, wanting to live in Kyoto since you studied at Kansai Gaidai, or I hate the heat/cold, so dont send me somewhere with extreme temperatures.

General information like loving the history and culture is far too generic and doesnt say anything. You will have a dig a little deeper than that. I know we always ask candidates about their placement requests in our interviews(I cannot say whether other consulates do though). There were definitely people with good reasons, and those who just wrote down a location without giving it much thought. Its important to note that that interview locations have absolutely zero say in where a candidate gets placed. That is up to CLAIR and the Contracting Organizations. We can recommend someone be placed somewhere, but it is only a recommendation.

Ark42
October 24th, 2014, 05:46
My placement request was basically that I wanted to select "Suburban". I really want to be somewhere "in the middle" where I can walk 15 minutes to catch a train if I have to. I don't want to be downtown Tokyo any more than I want to be in the middle of nowhere in Hokkaido. I'm hurting my application with this choice, but I'm not going to be willing to drive, so that's pretty much it. I need just suburban enough that biking or trains works.
I put down Kanto, Chubu, Kinki for the block and did not select anything more specific. Mostly because I figure the suburban areas will be there.

Zolrak 22
October 24th, 2014, 06:24
My I'm hurting my application with this choice, but I'm not going to be willing to drive

That's the only reason I'm willing to drive in Japan, otherwise I wouldn't bother.

I'd rather live in urban settings with the convenience of public transportation, (or as you mentioned, bike, walking, etc).

mrcharisma
October 24th, 2014, 07:03
From what I know Yokohama don't take JETs at all and Aichi take only a tiny handful so maybe worth scrapping them for somewhere else.

haitch40
October 24th, 2014, 07:07
For me, good reasons would be sister-city relationships, maybe you have some some sort of ancestry from that part of Japan, and you would like to connect with your roots, maybe you were an East Asian Religion major and want to be placed in a certain location that is famous for its Buddhist temples so you can study them some more. Other good reasons may be medical reasons. For example, you may have an eye condition which requires you to see a specialist on a yearly basis, and you have done your research on hospital/doctors in a certain area who are experts in such condition, or maybe you are requesting a city with less hills/mountains because your knees were injured as a child and walking uphill is painful. Those are what I would consider good placement requests.

Less than spectacular placement request reasons include having friends that live there, wanting to live in Kyoto since you studied at Kansai Gaidai, or I hate the heat/cold, so dont send me somewhere with extreme temperatures.

General information like loving the history and culture is far too generic and doesnt say anything. You will have a dig a little deeper than that. I know we always ask candidates about their placement requests in our interviews(I cannot say whether other consulates do though). There were definitely people with good reasons, and those who just wrote down a location without giving it much thought. Its important to note that that interview locations have absolutely zero say in where a candidate gets placed. That is up to CLAIR and the Contracting Organizations. We can recommend someone be placed somewhere, but it is only a recommendation.
Would a request of Kyushu because of places like Reigandō or the fact it is near Ganryū-jima be ok? Ok yes I am a huge Miyamoto Musashi fan. Also want to learn a bit more about the Satsuma rebellion and about Nagasaki not for the bomb but am I right in saying it was the only port open to foreign traders when the country was closed off?

Ini
October 24th, 2014, 07:28
My placement request was basically that I wanted to select "Suburban". I really want to be somewhere "in the middle" where I can walk 15 minutes to catch a train if I have to. I don't want to be downtown Tokyo any more than I want to be in the middle of nowhere in Hokkaido. I'm hurting my application with this choice, but I'm not going to be willing to drive, so that's pretty much it. I need just suburban enough that biking or trains works.
I put down Kanto, Chubu, Kinki for the block and did not select anything more specific. Mostly because I figure the suburban areas will be there.

Willing to drive has little to do with urban/suburban/rural placements. Jet doesn't care about your social life. If the BOE provided housing is within walking distance of the school and there is a shop in the area you can buy food from then that placement can be given to someone who can't drive, regardless of the fact you could be up in the mountains miles from the nearest train station.

Ark42
October 24th, 2014, 07:57
Well, I put "Suburban" because I want suburban, and I put unwilling to drive because I don't want to drive. Anywhere that I can be placed that meets those requirements is fine with me.

uthinkimlost?
October 24th, 2014, 08:03
What if you get rural?

Edit: odds are that will be brought up in the interview.

BeckyJones
October 24th, 2014, 08:12
Well, I put "Suburban" because I want suburban, and I put unwilling to drive because I don't want to drive. Anywhere that I can be placed that meets those requirements is fine with me.

as u said, what if you get rural? If you say "nope, don't want it" they will likely go with someone who doesn't mind.

The simplest and best advice us old timers can give you all is this. Be flexible.

BeckyJones
October 24th, 2014, 08:13
I was wondering if anyone would like to share their preferences? and why?

I'm currently in the middle of researching more about each area and seeing if there's any that fits my ideal.

I love hiking so somewhere that will have nice trails. The obvious one would be the area around Mt.Fuji but I'm sure there are other options as well..
suggestions would be great!

Fuji sucks. Seriously, if you like nature and hiking, Fuji is a tourist nightmare from hell. As for good hiking. Try just about any prefecture that isn't the city. Gifu, Toyama, Niigata, Nagano, Gunma, Tochigi, Nara, Wakayama, everywhere up north... Japan is a land of mountains, and as soon as you get out of the urban sprawl you are in the deep mountains. so really, anywhere rural and you will find good hiking.

Ark42
October 24th, 2014, 08:21
If I get rural, despite putting Suburban on the application and talking about my request at the interview, then I get rural. Yeah, I'll deal with a tiny town where I can walk to school and 1 grocery store, that's fine. I'm still much rather end up somewhere that I can walk to a train once in a while, but I'm not going to turn down acceptance from JET over just that.

uthinkimlost?
October 24th, 2014, 09:37
If I get rural, despite putting Suburban on the application and talking about my request at the interview, then I get rural. Yeah, I'll deal with a tiny town where I can walk to school and 1 grocery store, that's fine. I'm still much rather end up somewhere that I can walk to a train once in a while, but I'm not going to turn down acceptance from JET over just that.

For people from suburbia or rural America, it is hard to get across what rural can mean in Japan. Suburbanites can't really grasp what rural really means, and rural folk think that Japan can't be THAT rural, look at the size of it! They could walk across in a day or two!

In some inaka there are some towns with a single bus stop that get buses 2-3 times a day, and are 45 minutes away from the nearest bus station that can take you to a train station or city. That grocery? Maybe it is a mom and pop enterprise with ridiculous hours, questionable refrigeration, and an international foods section consisting of a Jar of Skippy with Beijing Olympic advertising on the label.

I'm not trying to dissuade or discourage, and if you don't want to drive, by all means mark it. Just remember that you might very well HAVE to break down and drive to be happy, and perhaps mention that if it comes up in the interview.

Also, remember you could be the next itsabird and be placed on a bumfuk island of 10 grannies and a goat. (The goat has played coy so far, but I think those two kids will get something going shortly.)

word
October 24th, 2014, 09:46
For people from suburbia or rural America, it is hard to get across what rural can mean in Japan. Suburbanites can't really grasp what rural really means, and rural folk think that Japan can't be THAT rural, look at the size of it! They could walk across in a day or two!

In some inaka there are some towns with a single bus stop that get buses 2-3 times a day, and are 45 minutes away from the nearest bus station that can take you to a train station or city. That grocery? Maybe it is a mom and pop enterprise with ridiculous hours, questionable refrigeration, and an international foods section consisting of a Jar of Skippy with Beijing Olympic advertising on the label.

I'm not trying to dissuade or discourage, and if you don't want to drive, by all means mark it. Just remember that you might very well HAVE to break down and drive to be happy, and perhaps mention that if it comes up in the interview.

Also, remember you could be the next itsabird and be placed on a bumfuk island of 10 grannies and a goat. (The goat has played coy so far, but I think those two kids will get something going shortly.)word

I spent my first four years in an inaka town much as uthink is describing. If I hadn't been able to drive, I wouldn't have been able to stay past my first year.

Ark42
October 24th, 2014, 09:47
I grew up in a pretty rural place, even though I live near a suburban area now. It's a 10 minute drive to get to anywhere from where I live right now, and that's not rural by any means. I'd gladly take a questionable mom & pop store that I can walk to. Not going to drive though, sorry, as much as I'd like to be flexible on *everything*, I'm so sick and tired of driving in the USA already. Not a JET / Japan thing at all, I've seriously been considering trying to find a place in the USA where I can NOT own a car anymore and still get by. It's so very difficult though unless you live in Chicago or New York, which frankly don't interest me.
For me personally, driving, not the expense of owning a car or buying gas, just the actual act of driving, sucks all of the joy out of life.

mrcharisma
October 24th, 2014, 09:48
Suburban isn't necessarily always going to be 15 minutes walk from a train station either. Outside of Tokyo and Osaka Japan is almost entirely car-dominated and whilst public transport is available it's neither as ubiquitous or convenient as some people think.

BeckyJones
October 24th, 2014, 09:50
I grew up in a pretty rural place, even though I live near a suburban area now. It's a 10 minute drive to get to anywhere from where I live right now, and that's not rural by any means. I'd gladly take a questionable mom & pop store that I can walk to. Not going to drive though, sorry, as much as I'd like to be flexible on *everything*, I'm so sick and tired of driving in the USA already. Not a JET / Japan thing at all, I've seriously been considering trying to find a place in the USA where I can NOT own a car anymore and still get by. It's so very difficult though unless you live in Chicago or New York, which frankly don't interest me.
For me personally, driving, not the expense of owning a car or buying gas, just the actual act of driving, sucks all of the joy out of life.
Good luck.

I live in a city of over 200 thousand and I still find it necessary to drive here. There is the train that runs to Tokyo, and it runs quite frequently (every 30mins or so) but outside of that, its all urban sprawl and getting anywhere is a real pain in the ass without the cars. I'm sure I could LIVE without it, but it wouldn't be fun. Just like you could probably live without a car where you live now, but it wont be enjoyable.

BeckyJones
October 24th, 2014, 09:52
Suburban isn't necessarily always going to be 15 minutes walk from a train station either. Outside of Tokyo and Osaka Japan is almost entirely car-dominated and whilst public transport is available it's neither as ubiquitous or convenient as some people think.

yup pretty much this. Shit my town of 200 thousand has one train station. and it doesn't connect to the town next to us (anther town of 200 thousand) unless by connect you mean a 2 hour train ride down towards tokyo, and then back up. and that town has only one train station.

by car, they are 15 minutes.

word
October 24th, 2014, 09:55
How about this, Ark42--tell them you don't want to drive, tell them you'd like to be placed somewhere that doesn't require you to drive, and maybe even tell them that you don't have a drivers' license. However, get your IDP and bring it with you. Make sure your license has a few years left on it or renew it a minimum of three and a half months before you leave. Be on the safe side. Maybe we're all wrong, or you'll receive a placement in the heart of Shinjuku, but wouldn't it be better to have the option? If nothing else, you might find that you'd like to rent a car for a weekend trip to someplace.

It's fine if you don't want to drive, but it's a lot smarter to keep your options open, imho.

Ark42
October 24th, 2014, 09:59
I don't honestly think I could live where I do right now, without a car. That closest grocery store that is only a 10-15 minute drive away is going to be a 1:45 to 2 hour walk away. I'm not sure any refrigerated goods would stay good in my backpack on the walk home. Granted, I am self-employed and work at home, so mostly I just have to exist on the Internet all day. I suppose I could pay somebody to bring me groceries, but that doesn't sound like a very cost-effective solution in the long run.
Not to mention the terrible winters we get in West Michigan. I'm located roughly analogous to Sapporo as far as North and proximity to a west-facing coast, but I don't know if they get "ocean effect" snow over there like we get "lake effect" snow from the warm Great Lakes water. That 2 hour walk for groceries may turn into a 4 or 6 hour walk in the winter, which lasts around 6 months here.

Ark42
October 24th, 2014, 10:00
How about this, Ark42--tell them you don't want to drive, tell them you'd like to be placed somewhere that doesn't require you to drive, and maybe even tell them that you don't have a drivers' license. However, get your IDP and bring it with you. Make sure your license has a few years left on it or renew it a minimum of three and a half months before you leave. Be on the safe side. Maybe we're all wrong, or you'll receive a placement in the heart of Shinjuku, but wouldn't it be better to have the option? If nothing else, you might find that you'd like to rent a car for a weekend trip to someplace.

It's fine if you don't want to drive, but it's a lot smarter to keep your options open, imho.

Certainly worth considering. My license expires in a few months anyway, so I will have to renew it at that time. I guess it certainly can't hurt to have an IDP. I just don't want to have to use it on a daily basis.

mrcharisma
October 24th, 2014, 10:02
At least there's no chance of you getting mugged on your 6-hour winter walk to the train station here, unless you're in Saitama.

Ini
October 24th, 2014, 10:03
10 minute drive is a 2 hour walk? do you drive like a lunatic or walk very slow?

BeckyJones
October 24th, 2014, 10:04
I don't honestly think I could live where I do right now, without a car. That closest grocery store that is only a 10-15 minute drive away is going to be a 1:45 to 2 hour walk away. I'm not sure any refrigerated goods would stay good in my backpack on the walk home. Granted, I am self-employed and work at home, so mostly I just have to exist on the Internet all day. I suppose I could pay somebody to bring me groceries, but that doesn't sound like a very cost-effective solution in the long run.
Not to mention the terrible winters we get in West Michigan. I'm located roughly analogous to Sapporo as far as North and proximity to a west-facing coast, but I don't know if they get "ocean effect" snow over there like we get "lake effect" snow from the warm Great Lakes water. That 2 hour walk for groceries may turn into a 4 or 6 hour walk in the winter, which lasts around 6 months here.
what you describe is a situation to a friend of mine. He lived up north in a small city in Aomori for a few years and then moved down to where I live now. He had his groceries delivered mail order. Btw, he was in a town that was considered ok to not drive in... because his school, and everything "he needed" was near by. BTW those small grocery stores we are talking about, they don't exist in the states. Imagine a store the size of a gas station, and that is your grocery store. It has Miso, cabbage, and pork. and thats about it.

All we are saying is... prepare for a driving spot, and hope for a non driving spot. You will find that a lot of places in Japan you can live without a car, I know many people that do. I know people that live in 300,000 plus cities that live without a car... but man do they wish they had a car at times. Especially in the winter.

I'd say that in my experience, and in most of our experiences that there are few places you can live without a car comfortably in Japan outside of the 3 or 4 biggest cities. but there are plenty of places you can get by without a car.

mrcharisma
October 24th, 2014, 10:09
Nagoya, Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Kyoto, all pains in the arse without a car.

Ark42
October 24th, 2014, 10:10
10 minute drive is a 2 hour walk? do you drive like a lunatic or walk very slow?

I hike and walk enough to know that I generally walk at 2 - 2.5mph on flat, paved surfaces.
Being just on the edge of town, the closest grocery store is *only* about 5 miles from me. Actually, the closest anything is 5 miles away. There is nothing but trees and a few houses right up until you get to that store.
I'm sure you're thinking 5 miles at 55mph is only like a 5-6 minute drive, but by the time you stop and turn at intersections, and the 2 stop lights I'd pass, it takes about 10 minutes to drive there.



It has Miso, cabbage, and pork. and thats about it.
I'll learn to love Miso, cabbage, and pork, if that's what it comes to :)

Jiggit
October 24th, 2014, 10:31
I hike and walk enough to know that I generally walk at 2 - 2.5mph


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hx_TexhfEns Are you sure?

Ark42
October 24th, 2014, 10:43
Are you sure?

lol...

2.5 is more accurate really, but yes, I'm sure. I've tracked both small walks down the road to 5-6 day back-country hikes in remote areas with Google My Tracks on my phone. It tells you the distance, average speed, etc.
Hiking up and down elevation with a heavy pack will slow you down to 1mph or less. And yes, my Galaxy S3 has one of those giant 7000mAh batteries you see on Amazon that lasts for 2 weeks with just GPS tracking.

I go for walks down the road fairly often that take pretty close to one hour, and I stop at a place that is 1.2 miles away according Google Maps. That's about a 2.5 mile walk in 1 hour.
I'm sure I can run faster, or even walk at a brisker pace if need be, but my normal, just-not-thinking-about-it walking speed is about 2.5mph.

mothy
October 24th, 2014, 11:00
Nagoya, Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Kyoto, all pains in the arse without a car.

I think this discussion all depends on how one feels about driving, about public transportation, about walking, about what one likes to do with their free time, as well as a thousand other factors. Except for Fukuoka I've spent time in and had friends without cars who lived in all those cities and I know I would have no problem living there without a car.
Now, there are certainly places in Japan where a car is a requirement. But at what point it reaches a requirement is preally a matter of taste.

Jiggit
October 24th, 2014, 12:27
lol...

2.5 is more accurate really, but yes, I'm sure. I've tracked both small walks down the road to 5-6 day back-country hikes in remote areas with Google My Tracks on my phone. It tells you the distance, average speed, etc.
Hiking up and down elevation with a heavy pack will slow you down to 1mph or less. And yes, my Galaxy S3 has one of those giant 7000mAh batteries you see on Amazon that lasts for 2 weeks with just GPS tracking.

I go for walks down the road fairly often that take pretty close to one hour, and I stop at a place that is 1.2 miles away according Google Maps. That's about a 2.5 mile walk in 1 hour.
I'm sure I can run faster, or even walk at a brisker pace if need be, but my normal, just-not-thinking-about-it walking speed is about 2.5mph.

I'm sure you're going to fit right in here, then.

tobio
October 24th, 2014, 12:40
I put Gifu but my reasoning probably isn't good enough. I had a friend who worked there and loved it and that's about all I have. I might just scrap my placement request altogether and just allow them to do whatever the hell they want since I'm pretty sure they'll just do that anyway if I keep Gifu on there LOL.

BeckyJones
October 24th, 2014, 12:56
I put Gifu but my reasoning probably isn't good enough. I had a friend who worked there and loved it and that's about all I have. I might just scrap my placement request altogether and just allow them to do whatever the hell they want since I'm pretty sure they'll just do that anyway if I keep Gifu on there LOL.

keep your request, but say you are open. They may put you in Gifu just because no one requests Gifu. LOL. I've found that almost no one gets their request, sure a few people do, but most don't. I've also noticed that those that were open and like "LOL put me wherever" usually got closer to their requests than those that didnt.

tobio
October 24th, 2014, 13:08
keep your request, but say you are open. They may put you in Gifu just because no one requests Gifu. LOL. I've found that almost no one gets their request, sure a few people do, but most don't. I've also noticed that those that were open and like "LOL put me wherever" usually got closer to their requests than those that didnt.

Okay, will do! Thanks for the advice!

Valkerion
October 24th, 2014, 13:24
My three:

Fukuoka prefecture, hear good things about it, parents used to live there for almost 10 years. Kinda got convinced to put it randomly.
Hiroshima prefecture/one of the inland sea areas. Super gorgeous area, love the look of the area, have heard no real complaints about it. Seems very overlooked by expats/tourists.
Okinawa/Kyushu, love love LOVE the music and subculture of Okinawa had many university assignments/presentations made about it, would kill for a year there. Have a friend on a small island with about 2000 people on it, looks like my kind of town.

overflow shoutouts to Yamagata, randomly came across this area a few months ago, looks super quaint. Hokkaido is my personal favorite region but the snow might be an issue since I admittedly never lived in it, just experienced it for about a week when I was like... 7, bunch of people talked me out of putting it down, really really want to but I guess its the right choice (though I would be pretty psyched if I got placed there). Aomori is my dream city placement though I don't want to be in a city. Also Aichi was mulled over quite a bit.

Honestly have a ton of places I would love to put down, pretty open to anywhere, though because I've looked them up over several years not out of knowing nothing.

Elysi
October 24th, 2014, 13:57
Well I've gone back and forth on my placement requests and I think I have them set as Shiga, Hyogo, and Gifu. I don't mind where I'm am placed, but I am requesting a suburban area without many mountains/steep hills and mostly mild winters due to a medical condition that limits how much I can walk. I've tried to research the topography, but I'm having trouble telling which areas are relatively* flat.

Anyone have any suggestions? I know the requests don't have much weight, but I'd like to at least know my requests fit my reasons.

*not expecting it to be completely flat, just not something that feels like I'm hiking up the side of a mountain.

greyjoy
October 24th, 2014, 14:22
There are basically no places without some pretty wild variances on elevation, but in almost every location there should be a few places where you can avoid it if necessary. I have four schools that are all fairly close with only a few mild hills. Most people in my prefecture are on fairly flat land. But a few are in very hilly areas and a couple are up the mountain.

Despite what people have been saying, for a legitimate medical condition, JET probably will try its best to put you in a good position, but nothing is guaranteed.

Ini
October 24th, 2014, 14:44
Saitama is flat......

and dirty

and dangerous

Elysi
October 24th, 2014, 14:51
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEchNTesu88
Heh, not really. I've had one hip replaced with the other scheduled for December due to degenerative joint disease. So I'm in a lot better shape than the last time I was in Japan (using a wheelchair) but still have arthritis in my knees. So i can walk a few miles, it just gets pretty painful after a while.

BeckyJones
October 24th, 2014, 14:55
Heh, not really. I've had one hip replaced with the other scheduled for December due to degenerative joint disease. So I'm in a lot better shape than the last time I was in Japan (using a wheelchair) but still have arthritis in my knees. So i can walk a few miles, it just gets pretty painful after a while.
so why do you want to come here again? this countries idea of disability access is forcing the wheelchair kid to ride in the dumbwaiter

Elysi
October 24th, 2014, 15:04
I was actually surprised with the accessibility (in Tokyo) when I was there last. In some aspects I thought it was better than the US (some not all). I've been dealing with my disability my whole life so I decided pretty early on not to let it get in the way of what I wanted to do. And Japan/JET happens to be one of them. Thankfully even while I needed a wheelchair I could still get up and walk some so the shops and restaurants that weren't accessible I could still go in. On a random note, I got really good at doing wheelies on and off of trains, so I avoided a lot of hassle there too.

BeckyJones
October 24th, 2014, 15:14
I was actually surprised with the accessibility (in Tokyo) when I was there last. In some aspects I thought it was better than the US (some not all). I've been dealing with my disability my whole life so I decided pretty early on not to let it get in the way of what I wanted to do. And Japan/JET happens to be one of them. Thankfully even while I needed a wheelchair I could still get up and walk some so the shops and restaurants that weren't accessible I could still go in. On a random note, I got really good at doing wheelies on and off of trains, so I avoided a lot of hassle there too.

well kudos. I was just being half serious with the last post. You have a good medical excuse, and I'm sure they will focus that into your placement , but be warned most schools don't have an elevator. Tokyo of course is a different beast than the rest of the country, but as long as you got a good excuse, and are open and flexible about it... you'll be fine.

as for flat places... ugh... saitama, tochigi and tokyo? theres flat places around but no prefecture is without mountains, except for maybe saitama.. but if you are to go to saitama, you might as well mug yourself and shoot your own seeing eye dog.

Elysi
October 24th, 2014, 15:29
No Saitama, got it. And stairs at school shouldn't be a problem, though I would prefer to live in an apartment on the first floor.

Worst case scenario I get someplace with a lot of hills, I'll just be using my crutches more. I'm keeping an open mind to where I might be placed and I'm not too worried about it, as I've gained a lot of mobility from the hip replacement(s). Now if I was still in a wheelchair I'd probably reconsider.

Gizmotech
October 24th, 2014, 15:29
Err. Not having a license didn't save my friend when we came over. He was required to get it as soon as he got here as two of his schools were impossible to get to without a car

Shincantsen
October 24th, 2014, 22:36
Well I've gone back and forth on my placement requests and I think I have them set as Shiga, Hyogo, and Gifu. I don't mind where I'm am placed, but I am requesting a suburban area without many mountains/steep hills and mostly mild winters due to a medical condition that limits how much I can walk. I've tried to research the topography, but I'm having trouble telling which areas are relatively* flat.

Anyone have any suggestions? I know the requests don't have much weight, but I'd like to at least know my requests fit my reasons.

*not expecting it to be completely flat, just not something that feels like I'm hiking up the side of a mountain.

Shiga's actually a pretty good placement as far as flatness goes. I'm sure some of the placements are hilly, but most of the places I saw there were fairly flat and easy to walk/bike around.

therealwindycity
October 24th, 2014, 23:10
Word's advice about the drivers' license thing is really good IMO- I didn't want to drive before I got here and had been pretty happy in the US without a car (and right now I'm living in a bigger city in Japan without a car again), but it definitely made my life a lot easier when I was living in the semi-countryside (about 20 min. outside a town of 200,000 that was easy to drive to, but would have been a hassle to take the train to every time I wanted to go). I was able to limit my driving to 3 or 4 days a week; the rest of the time I did fine in my town walking to the grocery store, drugstore, and family mart. Owning a car can really be a huge stress, but I would have been pretty lonely if I hadn't had one. No other JETs really had much reason to come to my area because we had lots of great beaches, hiking, and camping further away along the coast. I know it probably seems like all of us current and former JETs are really harping on this, but you'll have to trust us - you won't know whether or not having a car will make your life better until you get to your placement, and it's good to have the option. And renew early!! Be sure to renew more than three months before coming, because otherwise there will be bureaucratic hassle getting a license.

greyjoy
October 24th, 2014, 23:45
Yeah, if you have your license already, the IDP costs $15, and even if you have to renew your license, that might be another $50 max. There's absolutely no reason not to do this. I had no intention of driving here before I came, and still have no intention of driving now that I'm here, but I got my IDP anyway, because who knows what might come up. Now, even if I don't own a car, I could still drive one if a situation requires it, and if for some reason I decide to buy one later, I can do that no problem. Even if you don't have your license, it's still almost certainly worth the hassle of getting it in your home country now.

Whatever your reason for not wanting to drive (and like the OP, I was absolutely fed up with driving in America and was looking forward to getting rid of my car when I came here), it's not a good enough reason to not be prepared for extenuating circumstances, especially when it's so simple to prepare.

Ark42
October 25th, 2014, 01:22
How exactly is owning a car stressful???

For most people, I think insurance payments, and all the random repairs can really be quite stressful. A lot of people I know tend to buy old cars because they're cheap.

For myself though, I just hate *driving*. I own brand new cars that had 10 year warranties and have full coverage insurance, so I'm probably not as worried about the little things as most people, but just sitting in the driver's seat and having to pay attention to the road for an hour or two hours to get somewhere, SUCKS. Yeah, even with cruise control and power steering and whatnot, I look at having to drive as cruel and unusual punishment.

Verbatim
October 25th, 2014, 03:46
For most people, I think insurance payments, and all the random repairs can really be quite stressful. A lot of people I know tend to buy old cars because they're cheap.

For myself though, I just hate *driving*. I own brand new cars that had 10 year warranties and have full coverage insurance, so I'm probably not as worried about the little things as most people, but just sitting in the driver's seat and having to pay attention to the road for an hour or two hours to get somewhere, SUCKS. Yeah, even with cruise control and power steering and whatnot, I look at having to drive as cruel and unusual punishment.

I hate driving too, I feel ya man. However, I did put that I would be willing to drive on my app. I love walking everywhere, but I'd hate to not be shortlisted because I preferred not to drive.

laserlight
October 25th, 2014, 04:48
I love driving. What I hate is finding parking space, but I guess that that will not be a problem outside of the big cities. Or am I woefully wrong?

Antonath
October 25th, 2014, 04:59
I love driving. What I hate is finding parking space, but I guess that that will not be a problem outside of the big cities. Or am I woefully wrong?
You're not allowed to buy a car unless you can prove you have somewhere to park it, via a certificate from the police. Of course, that doesn't stop people parking in the wrong place, having friends over, etc.

Elysi
October 25th, 2014, 06:00
I wouldn't mind driving in Japan, my only worry would be obtaining a car. How much would getting a used car (preferably from the predecessor) cost? Is it something I should plan on bringing another $3-5k for? Or will it cost more than that? (Generally speaking)

miamicoordinator
October 25th, 2014, 06:10
I wouldn't mind driving in Japan, my only worry would be obtaining a car. How much would getting a used car (preferably from the predecessor) cost? Is it something I should plan on bringing another $3-5k for? Or will it cost more than that? (Generally speaking)

It really depends on how old the car is. Getting rid of a car is so expensive and annoying in Japan that most preds will just sell it to you for fairly cheap. Of all my JETs that went in 2014, a few of them bought cars from their preds and none of them were over 1 thousand dollars. Most of them were 10-15 years old. If your pred does not have a car, someone from your CO will assist you. There are JETs who rent cars insted of flat out buying them as well. Depending on the location, and how often you need a car for your school, this sometimes works out best.

What you really have to be careful with is the Shaken(car registration). You could buy your preds old car for 300 bucks then find out you need to drop another $1000 on your registration. Shaken tends to vary greatly. Sometimes its a few hundred only, sometimes its much more. At any rate, when you are talking to your pred, it is always important to ask when the shaken will expire, and how much it was previously.

I have never heard of a JET buying a car from their pred for 5k. Then again, most JETs have problems as it is scrapping up the 2-3k for the first months expenses. I cant imagine anyone buying a 5k car at the same time.

Elysi
October 25th, 2014, 06:20
It really depends on how old the car is. Getting rid of a car is so expensive and annoying in Japan that most preds will just sell it to you for fairly cheap. Of all my JETs that went in 2014, a few of them bought cars from their preds and none of them were over 1 thousand dollars. Most of them were 10-15 years old. If your pred does not have a car, someone from your CO will assist you. There are JETs who rent cars insted of flat out buying them as well. Depending on the location, and how often you need a car for your school, this sometimes works out best.

What you really have to be careful with is the Shaken(car registration). You could buy your preds old car for 300 bucks then find out you need to drop another $1000 on your registration. Shaken tends to vary greatly. Sometimes its a few hundred only, sometimes its much more. At any rate, when you are talking to your pred, it is always important to ask when the shaken will expire, and how much it was previously.

I have never heard of a JET buying a car from their pred for 5k. Then again, most JETs have problems as it is scrapping up the 2-3k for the first months expenses. I cant imagine anyone buying a 5k car at the same time.


That's good to hear. 5k was mostly a maximum estimate for me, including things like the Shaken, parking space, maintenance or any other expenses. I was just curious as I'm working on saving the money now, so if I needed to add any to the initial expenses I thought better to plan for it now and not need it/have extra money. And if I don't get accepted, at least I'll have enough for a vacation!

miamicoordinator
October 25th, 2014, 06:28
That's good to hear. 5k was mostly a maximum estimate for me, including things like the Shaken, parking space, maintenance or any other expenses. I was just curious as I'm working on saving the money now, so if I needed to add any to the initial expenses I thought better to plan for it now and not need it/have extra money. And if I don't get accepted, at least I'll have enough for a vacation!

Save as much as you can. If you can save 5k, 6k, 8k, whatever. Save it! That way at least you will have an emergency account for whatever may happen(flying home for a family emergency etc..) I can't tell you how many JETs struggle their first month because they do not take enough money to live on.

Ark42
October 25th, 2014, 06:36
Save as much as you can. If you can save 5k, 6k, 8k, whatever. Save it! That way at least you will have an emergency account for whatever may happen(flying home for a family emergency etc..) I can't tell you how many JETs struggle their first month because they do not take enough money to live on.

"take" or "have" enough money to live on?

I can't imagine flying with $5k in cash (USD or in Yen).

I'm going to have to change my bank to something other than a smalltown local bank before I leave. I wonder which banks have the best rates on ATM cash exchange withdrawals overseas?

miamicoordinator
October 25th, 2014, 06:45
"take" or "have" enough money to live on?

I can't imagine flying with $5k in cash (USD or in Yen).

I'm going to have to change my bank to something other than a smalltown local bank before I leave. I wonder which banks have the best rates on ATM cash exchange withdrawals overseas?

Have available would be the better word. I wouldnt recommend taking all your money in your pocket, but i do recommend taking at least 1.5k cash with you in order to cover expenses until you open up a bank account in japan. You will waste unnecessary money on fees if you go to the intl atm a couple times a week. You usually open a bank account fairly quickly, so its nice to be able to deposit a nice sum of money from the getgo.

therealwindycity
October 25th, 2014, 09:41
How exactly is owning a car stressful???

It's a hassle to make sure all the paperwork and licensing is maintained (especially when you're not very comfortable with Japanese), can't drink, having to apologize to the BOE in case of an accident (that was the part that really stressed me out), all of the elderly drivers lunging out from blind corners, etc.

On the other hand, it's really nice to not have to worry about the last train, getting to shopping and transporting stuff home, etc.

AyaReiko
October 25th, 2014, 10:18
How easy is it to obtain a license in Japan? Is it really better to get it from home?

miamicoordinator
October 25th, 2014, 10:36
How easy is it to obtain a license in Japan? Is it really better to get it from home?

Its much easier to get your IDP before you get to Japan. Its good for a year. No hassle, you just fill out some papers and pay a small fee. The driving test in japan though.... well, lets just say it doesnt have the reputation for being the easiest thing in the world.

greyjoy
October 25th, 2014, 14:24
I actually love driving, both the convenience and the feel of it. I just hate other drivers being on the road with me. Nobody in the city I lived in knew how to drive. Given what I've observed in Japan, nobody knows here either, although at least they tend toward the side of crazy assholes on the road, rather than idling nitwits that I had to deal with back home. I would actually be more comfortable driving here, but fuck the expense. I live next to a train station. My monthly transportation bill is less than 5000 en.

word
October 25th, 2014, 22:59
Quick reminder--this is Aspiring and Applying. It would be very beneficial for ITIL if we could work together to make this sub-forum a very welcoming and polite sort of place. We should be able to keep the honesty and sincerity that makes the advice offered on ITIL a unique and meaningful thing, but I'm sure we can do so in a respectful manner. Please keep your posts on-topic and empathetic in spirit.

TweedPawn
October 26th, 2014, 09:38
I'm interested in Gunma, Shimane, Aomori and Gifu. Now I'm interested in Yamanashi. I have friends in Yamanashi and Aomori. Shimane has a prefecture that is a sister city to New Orleans. Gunma seems a really cool place. and Gifu seems nice too. I really want to leave near mountains. I'm so sick of swamps and flatlands that it would pretty lame if I got stuck in the one bog in all of Japan.

I've been trying to find information on Gifu, but it's kinda hard to really find anything that sticks out about it.

Ini
October 26th, 2014, 09:50
Lots of cheap cars in Gifu.

TweedPawn
October 26th, 2014, 11:24
I ain't gonna lie. That already has my attention. What are the taxes and fees like, though? And the rent? Is Gifu pretty cheap in general?

Gizmotech
October 26th, 2014, 12:30
My friend moved there recently and things seem to be going swimmingly.

dstin
October 26th, 2014, 20:11
I'm interested in Gunma, Shimane, Aomori and Gifu. Now I'm interested in Yamanashi. I have friends in Yamanashi and Aomori. Shimane has a prefecture that is a sister city to New Orleans. Gunma seems a really cool place. and Gifu seems nice too. I really want to leave near mountains. I'm so sick of swamps and flatlands that it would pretty lame if I got stuck in the one bog in all of Japan.

I've been trying to find information on Gifu, but it's kinda hard to really find anything that sticks out about it.

Tweed, I'm going to assume we're fellow Louisianans. I know of at least one person in Shimane-ken that used the sister-city excuse even though I think she was actually from BR. I'm going to go up to Gunma next weekend(get out of Dasaitama for a bit for my sanity). I know of another Louisianan up in Maebashi, Gunma from LSU. She seems to really enjoy it there.

therealwindycity
October 26th, 2014, 21:37
If you request Shimane, I have a pretty strong feeling you'll get it whether you have a sister city relationship or not ...

uthinkimlost?
October 26th, 2014, 21:51
If you request Shimane, I have a pretty strong feeling you'll get it whether you have a sister city relationship or not ...

Myargonauts' native land?! That's weeaboo heaven!

mothy
October 27th, 2014, 08:17
C'mon guys.

AyaReiko
October 27th, 2014, 08:50
Its much easier to get your IDP before you get to Japan. Its good for a year. No hassle, you just fill out some papers and pay a small fee. The driving test in japan though.... well, lets just say it doesnt have the reputation for being the easiest thing in the world.

What if I don't even have a learner's permit yet? I have to admit that I'm not sure if the test is much easier here...

uthinkimlost?
October 27th, 2014, 08:52
What if I don't even have a learner's permit yet? I have to admit that I'm not sure if the test is much easier here...

It is. Pretty much guaranteed.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
October 27th, 2014, 09:10
What if I don't even have a learner's permit yet? I have to admit that I'm not sure if the test is much easier here...

Yeah, seriously... whatever test you do, do it in your home country. A friend in the same town as me is currently trying to pass the Japanese driving test for the third time, and I've had a running commentary of how hard the thing is for a few months now - expensive to test, awkward scheduling, certain driving schools not willing to accept foreigners, certain instructors very eager to get 'creative' with 'mistakes' to keep the dangerous speed-demon gaijin off the road.

I mean yeah, said friend could just secretly be a terrible driver, but I've heard a lot of stories about taking the driving test as a foreigner in Japan - including from other Japanese teachers that have worked with past ALTs - about how obscenely hard it is, and how easy they'll fail you.

TweedPawn
October 27th, 2014, 09:39
Tweed, I'm going to assume we're fellow Louisianans. I know of at least one person in Shimane-ken that used the sister-city excuse even though I think she was actually from BR. I'm going to go up to Gunma next weekend(get out of Dasaitama for a bit for my sanity). I know of another Louisianan up in Maebashi, Gunma from LSU. She seems to really enjoy it there.

Yup! Lived in Metairie, NO East, and the Northshore through my entire college career and up until this past April. Is Shimane that boring? Now I'm starting to lean more towards Gunma and Gifu now.

BeckyJones
October 27th, 2014, 09:56
What if I don't even have a learner's permit yet? I have to admit that I'm not sure if the test is much easier here...

whereever you are, it is easier than Japan. Especially since you speak the native language. The IDP is good for one year for Americans, but commonwealth people can get their licensed translated into Japanese with a few documents and skip the test. If you are one of those, GET YOUR LICENSE NOW!

There are two ways to get a license in Japan,
get your license translated (easy as shit, for non americans... a pain for americans)
or take a Japanese driving school, that costs upwards of 10k, but min 2 or 3k. Its hella expensive, and time consuming.

BeckyJones
October 27th, 2014, 09:58
Yup! Lived in Metairie, NO East, and the Northshore through my entire college career and up until this past April. Is Shimane that boring? Now I'm starting to lean more towards Gunma and Gifu now.

Shimane, Gunma, and Gifu are all boring. Great nature and exciting don't go hand in hand here.
I live next to Gunma, and have some friends there. I enjoy my visits, and the hiking. But it isn't "exciting" and suffers from the same Tokyo drain as the rest of Kanto, maybe more...

TweedPawn
October 27th, 2014, 10:03
Haha, yeah that makes sense. I don't mind rural too much as long as the scenery and nature is great. I lived in Amish-town, Pa for almost a year and it was made bearable thanks to the breathtaking countryside, and a local train station that zipped you to Philly in about 30-45 minutes. The bright side about country areas is that there are (usually) more opportunities for wildlife spotting and growing plants. I am a novice bug hunter, wild flower forager, and vegetable grower. So I could adapt pretty great to the countryside.

Knowing my luck, I'll be stuck in "tree-less smog-town" EL OH EL.

BeckyJones
October 27th, 2014, 10:12
Haha, yeah that makes sense. I don't mind rural too much as long as the scenery and nature is great. I lived in Amish-town, Pa for almost a year and it was made bearable thanks to the breathtaking countryside, and a local train station that zipped you to Philly in about 30-45 minutes. The bright side about country areas is that there are (usually) more opportunities for wildlife spotting and growing plants. I am a novice bug hunter, wild flower forager, and vegetable grower. So I could adapt pretty great to the countryside.

Knowing my luck, I'll be stuck in "tree-less smog-town" EL OH EL.
all of those prefectures have those sadly, Gunma has Ota/Maebashi and it is a dive, nasty place. Gifu has Gifu city, which is a dive sub of Nagoya. etc. Hope you get the countryside if that is your thing, but i must reiterate what others have said in the fact that there are mountains and rural places pretty much everywhere in Japan. I don't think it is a stretch to say that you are never farther than 2 hours from the middle of nowhere.

TweedPawn
October 27th, 2014, 10:14
Well, on the bright side, a city will have more stores and places to go shopping. I try to be optimistic about most things I go through. I'm sure no matter where I am placed, I'll find something to enjoy about it.

BeckyJones
October 27th, 2014, 10:34
Well, on the bright side, a city will have more stores and places to go shopping. I try to be optimistic about most things I go through. I'm sure no matter where I am placed, I'll find something to enjoy about it.

thats the attitude to have.

areeachan
October 27th, 2014, 14:39
Oh geez, now I'm worried. Is Saitama really that bad? That was my first choice of placement. I have friends that live in Saitama-shi, but I don't want to be in Saitama-shi itself. I'd be fine with living in a more rural (ish?) area of Saitama. Anyone want to clue me in about it?

My second choice was Yamanashi (got several friends there) and my third was going to be Chiba but I may just randomly go with somewhere in Kansai. I really don't have strong reasons for my placements. I just liked Saitama when I visited, I have friends there and near there, and from what I've researched it seems like a cool place. No mountains, but I'm fine with that.

Gizmotech
October 27th, 2014, 14:41
Remember if you're placed in saitama you'll probably stuck in the ass ends of the prefecture. Better off asking for Tokyo.

BeckyJones
October 27th, 2014, 14:52
Oh geez, now I'm worried. Is Saitama really that bad? That was my first choice of placement. I have friends that live in Saitama-shi, but I don't want to be in Saitama-shi itself. I'd be fine with living in a more rural (ish?) area of Saitama. Anyone want to clue me in about it?

My second choice was Yamanashi (got several friends there) and my third was going to be Chiba but I may just randomly go with somewhere in Kansai. I really don't have strong reasons for my placements. I just liked Saitama when I visited, I have friends there and near there, and from what I've researched it seems like a cool place. No mountains, but I'm fine with that.
how to put this nicely. Saitama is Tokyos toilet.
it is where the pathetic go to die, and where the unwashed masses live when they realize they can't afford Tokyo. Thus, they are bitter, and dirty.

If you have a dog, it will be stabbed. If you look at the wrong person, you will be stabbed.

Positives of Saitama.
Do you have yellow hair? and want to hang out with like minded people at Donki. Boy is Saitama the right place for you
Do you like to rev your engine to 5000rpms at 4am and cruise down the street doing nothing? Boy is Saitama the right place for you
Do you speak want to live in a foreign country, inside a foreign country, divided by poverty lines and and animosity. Boy is Saitama the right place for you.


Don't fret, Most people who request Kanto, don't get it.

areeachan
October 27th, 2014, 15:37
So, yeah, I don't care. I think I still want to go to Saitama or Yamanashi. And if I don't get either one, oh well, at least it won't be here.

BeckyJones
October 27th, 2014, 15:46
So, yeah, I don't care. I think I still want to go to Saitama or Yamanashi. And if I don't get either one, oh well, at least it won't be here.
meh, good luck? you have about a 1 and 5000 chance to get your "request". btw, so I hope that it doesn't upset you when you don't.
hell I think you only have a 1 in 100 chance to get in the program

mothy
October 27th, 2014, 15:48
Oh geez, now I'm worried. Is Saitama really that bad? That was my first choice of placement. I have friends that live in Saitama-shi, but I don't want to be in Saitama-shi itself. I'd be fine with living in a more rural (ish?) area of Saitama. Anyone want to clue me in about it?

My second choice was Yamanashi (got several friends there) and my third was going to be Chiba but I may just randomly go with somewhere in Kansai. I really don't have strong reasons for my placements. I just liked Saitama when I visited, I have friends there and near there, and from what I've researched it seems like a cool place. No mountains, but I'm fine with that.

I've lived in saitama for the past seven years. It is the second worst place in Japan, second only to Osaka. One might think that since I've lived here that long it can't be that bad. Those people would be wrong, having forgotten that the same depression induced crippling apathy that keeps me from throwing myself to the mercy of the Keihin Tohoku also keeps me from leaving.
Saitama is filled with dust and cretins. But at least the latter you can keep out of your home. If you have a fondness for bad smells and murder it's the place for you.


Remember if you're placed in saitama you'll probably stuck in the ass ends of the prefecture. Better off asking for Tokyo.

There are actually quite a few nice placements in terms of access to good things. Saitama City has a decent amount of them being obnoxious everywhere.

johnny
October 27th, 2014, 15:55
Saitama City has the train museum though!

mothy
October 27th, 2014, 16:25
I mentioned cretins.

Jiggit
October 27th, 2014, 17:21
Is Saitama really that bad? That was my first choice of placement.

This will always be the funniest thing anyone ever says on these boards.

Remember that guy who wanted to go to that coffee shop?

uthinkimlost?
October 27th, 2014, 17:30
This will always be the funniest thing anyone ever says on these boards.

Remember that guy who wanted to go to that coffee shop?

That was the same guy that lied about being accepted the year prior, then swore he'd upgraded his nonexistent ticket to business class. There probably never was a coffee shop.

Jiggit
October 27th, 2014, 17:41
Aww.

Wait does that mean areolachan is the first non-troll to put saitama as their first choice?

uthinkimlost?
October 27th, 2014, 18:31
Aww.

Wait does that mean areolachan is the first non-troll to put saitama as their first choice?

They're a pioneer!

Antonath
October 27th, 2014, 20:20
I just liked Saitama when I visited, I have friends there and near there, and from what I've researched it seems like a cool place. No mountains, but I'm fine with that.
Poor, forgotten, western Saitama...

therealwindycity
October 27th, 2014, 21:25
To be fair, most people applying don't really have much to go on when it comes to choosing a particular area of the country to live in. I'd studied abroad before, but I didn't know much about the country outside of kanto (and even then I only really knew places that made for nice day trips from Tokyo), and looking online generally just produces results like "x part of the tohoku region is famous for their peculiar local dialect and unique recipe assembling soy products and starch in a slightly different fashion from the rest of the country!" And even within the same region, quality of placements can vary wildly. The placement request I made that could very well have decided where I ended up on JET was suggested at random by a friend.

Ini
October 27th, 2014, 21:30
if you haven't got strong reasons then theres no real point making any requests. every year people request places because they saw it in a cartoon then when they get placed at the other end of the country they bitch and moan about the placements being "random"

mothy
October 27th, 2014, 22:14
Aww.

Wait does that mean areolachan is the first non-troll to put saitama as their first choice?

I had a friend who asked for Saitama and got placed in Shizuoka. I asked for Shizuoka and got placed in Saitama. JET is run by a bunch of sick sons of bitches.


Poor, forgotten, western Saitama...

It's forgotten for a reason.

BeckyJones
October 28th, 2014, 08:49
if you haven't got strong reasons then theres no real point making any requests. every year people request places because they saw it in a cartoon then when they get placed at the other end of the country they bitch and moan about the placements being "random"

yup

jet for the most part just throws darts at a board and calls it a day. I requested rural and hokkaido so i could get my ski on. I was placed in a city in southern honshu.

Jiggit
October 28th, 2014, 08:56
Where did your wife want to go?

haitch40
October 28th, 2014, 09:02
Was there a large amount of southern openings this year? 2 of my friends go accepted and put no preference and one got southern Honshu and the other northern Kyushu.

Verbatim
October 28th, 2014, 09:13
To be fair, most people applying don't really have much to go on when it comes to choosing a particular area of the country to live in. I'd studied abroad before, but I didn't know much about the country outside of kanto (and even then I only really knew places that made for nice day trips from Tokyo), and looking online generally just produces results like "x part of the tohoku region is famous for their peculiar local dialect and unique recipe assembling soy products and starch in a slightly different fashion from the rest of the country!" And even within the same region, quality of placements can vary wildly. The placement request I made that could very well have decided where I ended up on JET was suggested at random by a friend.

Yeah, that's exactly how I feel. I honestly have no idea what kind of place I would like or where I would even start when trying to research cities (not to mention a Google search doesn't tell me much about how enjoyable a place is). I've just decided to go with the flow wherever I'm placed.

Jiggit
October 28th, 2014, 09:15
Think of it like the sorting hat. Rather than asking for your placement, just fill out all of your list with "not Saitama, not Saitama, not Saitama" and hope.

Verbatim
October 28th, 2014, 09:31
Think of it like the sorting hat. Rather than asking for your placement, just fill out all of your list with "not Saitama, not Saitama, not Saitama" and hope.

From what I've read, Saitama sounds a lot like my hometown, one of the top five most violent small towns in America. Yeah, I'd really rather not go there.

Edit: That brings up another point. Does a bad place in the US really compare to a bad place in Japan?

webstaa
October 28th, 2014, 09:50
From what I've read, Saitama sounds a lot like my hometown, one of the top five most violent small towns in America. Yeah, I'd really rather not go there.

Edit: That brings up another point. Does a bad place in the US really compare to a bad place in Japan?

LOLNO. There is nowhere in Japan that compares to Southside Chicago... much less St. Louis...

word
October 28th, 2014, 09:53
Does a bad place in the US really compare to a bad place in Japan?


LOLNO. There is nowhere in Japan that compares to Southside Chicago... much less St. Louis...word

Seriously, you'll regularly hear about awful crimes in Saitama and sometimes even other places in Japan, but you're a hell of a lot less likely to deal with any sort of crime here than pretty much anywhere in the US.

Verbatim
October 28th, 2014, 10:04
word

Seriously, you'll regularly hear about awful crimes in Saitama and sometimes even other places in Japan, but you're a hell of a lot less likely to deal with any sort of crime here than pretty much anywhere in the US.

Nice! Lol well I've gone this long in my life without getting shot, maybe Saitama wouldn't be a death sentence then.

TweedPawn
October 28th, 2014, 10:08
word

Seriously, you'll regularly hear about awful crimes in Saitama and sometimes even other places in Japan, but you're a hell of a lot less likely to deal with any sort of crime here than pretty much anywhere in the US.

Yeah, I doubt any place in Japan would be worse than New Orleans East. It's always fun to come home to police tape around your yard because five of your nextdoor neighbors were shot (three of them died) by a teenage punk who was trying to get into drug dealing.

not mentioning that lovely story if I score the interview.

mothy
October 28th, 2014, 10:10
word

Seriously, you'll regularly hear about awful crimes in Saitama and sometimes even other places in Japan, but you're a hell of a lot less likely to deal with any sort of crime here than pretty much anywhere in the US.

While Saitama doesn't compare to Chicago in terms of murder, I had more murders happen within a 10k radius of my home in my first two years in Saitama than I had in my entire life in america, so I wouldn't go as far as saying pretty much anywhere. And that's not even mentioning the sexual assault, which if you live in a big city in Japan and haven't witnessed first hand you've had your eyes closed.
But in general I do feel quite safe in Japan. That and the public drinking is all the country has going for it.

Jiggit
October 28th, 2014, 10:18
Hardly a fair comparison though, is it? You're comparing the US to a first world country.

word
October 28th, 2014, 10:47
While Saitama doesn't compare to Chicago in terms of murder, I had more murders happen within a 10k radius of my home in my first two years in Saitama than I had in my entire life in america, so I wouldn't go as far as saying pretty much anywhere. And that's not even mentioning the sexual assault, which if you live in a big city in Japan and haven't witnessed first hand you've had your eyes closed.
But in general I do feel quite safe in Japan. That and the public drinking is all the country has going for it.Well, it's a statistical thing, too; the population density is a lot higher here, so odds are a lot more people live within that 10k radius than did back home. That would certainly be the case for me, especially (Texas is roughly twice as large as Japan, yet has around 1/10th the population). The sexual assault thing is worth considering, especially for women. I'm lucky to live in a very small city full of old people.


Hardly a fair comparison though, is it? You're comparing the US to a first world country.word

I mean, c'mon; things are bad in the US. Law enforcement officials are dangerous, corrupt thugs, people are walking around Chipotle carrying assault rifles, and lots of folks are getting their information about the world from Fox News. Though I get homesick from time to time, it's good to remember how scary things are back there.

BeckyJones
October 28th, 2014, 12:53
Where did your wife want to go?

wasnt married then

areeachan
October 28th, 2014, 13:49
Aww.

Wait does that mean areolachan is the first non-troll to put saitama as their first choice?

Do you guys just sit around on this forum actively trying to discourage people from even applying to JET?

Yes, I did put Saitama as my first choice. I don't give two shits what you guys say about it. It's my choice, and if I get in and somehow get it, I'll live with it. If not, I'll live with that. I thought this thread was a place to really discuss placements instead of just dumping all over someone's choice. Guess I was wrong. This thread is useless.

Jiggit
October 28th, 2014, 13:57
Do you guys just sit around on this forum actively trying to discourage people from even applying to JET?

Yes, I did put Saitama as my first choice. I don't give two shits what you guys say about it. It's my choice, and if I get in and somehow get it, I'll live with it. If not, I'll live with that. I thought this thread was a place to really discuss placements instead of just dumping all over someone's choice. Guess I was wrong. This thread is useless.

Actually the only poster here who actively tries to discourage people from coming to Japan lives in Saitama.

I think you have delusions of grandeur here. Talking about how terrible Saitama is has nothing to do with you personally, it's been our running gag for decades. http://www.ithinkimlost.com/search.php?searchid=99172&pp=&page=2 if you don't believe me.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
October 28th, 2014, 14:06
Do you guys just sit around on this forum actively trying to discourage people from even applying to JET?

In certain cases, probably yes. Wait, no. Definitely yes. Didn't think you were one of them, though.


Yes, I did put Saitama as my first choice. I don't give two shits what you guys say about it. It's my choice, and if I get in and somehow get it, I'll live with it. If not, I'll live with that.

That's a good attitude to have (for the most part)! A big part of moving to any foreign country is a willingness to try and make the best of what you end up with, because even with the best sources of information in the world nothing can compare to first hand experience, and the only way to get that is to take the plunge.

However, in this thread you have someone commenting who actually lives in the place you've chosen to live in, who has given you his thoughts on it. And, having just asked my boss 'what do you know about Saitama' and gotten the most tortured 'I must think of a nice thing to say' face in response, maybe he's right on the money. Then again, maybe he's wrong - you won't really know until/unless you get there...


This thread is useless.

... but that last bit is the worst possible attitude to have. Just because people tell you bad things doesn't make them bad people. When I chose Hokkaido everybody (including friends who had lived in Japan) told me that it was a terrible choice and I'd freeze to death in the rural backwater of the North. Turns out that I love the temperature, the local dialect, the scenery, the people... I'm having an amazing time in a place that some people generally considered hell. Do I agree with them in their opinion? Hell no. But was it useful to know that I should pack an extra jumper? Hell yes.

Jiggit
October 28th, 2014, 14:13
Also:


I thought this thread was a place to really discuss placements


I don't give two shits what you guys say about it.

So you want to discuss it but you don't care about what other people think?

Should we lie and jack you off about how nice Saitama is? Would you tell a Japanese person "yeah Detroit is great no well done you really chose a nice city there" if they were going to work in the US?


This thread is useless.

Well if you've already made your mind up then yes, yes it is.

areeachan
October 28th, 2014, 14:23
I appreciate your honest reply. I've read the other threads and the running gag on Saitama and know how some people in Japan think it stinks. I know most of it is just venting, but I'm honestly curious as to what it's like. So far I've just gotten negative stuff. Maybe that's how people feel. Okay, fine. But isn't there anything positive about it? At all? I'm sure there has to be something good someone can say about it that's not sarcastic or actually a negative disguised as a positive.

So yeah, unless someone can really talk to me about the placements I'm interested in, to me, this thread is useless.

Jiggit
October 28th, 2014, 14:27
Well this was mothy way back when: http://www.ithinkimlost.com/japan-jet-school-related/5242-saitama.html

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
October 28th, 2014, 14:33
...It's good if you like trains?

No, but seriously - talking to the boss, he came up with these points...

+ It is close to Tokyo
+ There are lots of green spaces
+ It has a bear valley (not quite sure what he was angling for with that one, but I'm assuming it's a good thing)
+ Lovely hot summers
+ Landlocked, so no tsunamis (one of only eight prefectures)
+ High population (7 million plus)
+ Good if you like Popeye cartoons
+ Lots of mountains to climb in the west
+ Lots of farmland in the north if you need to detox from the city



There you go, five things. Scratch that, nine.

Edit: Baby Mothy versus Ini? That was wonderful.

areeachan
October 28th, 2014, 14:36
Okay, then. Thanks for your honest opinions, be they positive or negative. Sorry to bother you guys.

Ini
October 28th, 2014, 14:37
It's not that close to Tokyo. Saitama city might be but if you are up north or to the west it's a fairly major commute

Green spaces? Flat boring stretches of rice fields surrounded by factories. It's hardly a site of epic natural beauty

Bear valley? I think he was having a fever dream

Hot summers? Too bloody hot. 40C with no wind and 99% humidity isn't fun

Landlocked so no beach

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
October 28th, 2014, 14:43
I was trying my best, goddamnit!

word
October 28th, 2014, 14:49
I have a sortof friend who moved to Saitama from my inaka region. She was moving in with a friend and was really looking forward to it; inaka life did not agree with her, apparently. Before the move, she would visit her friend occasionally and come back positively gushing about Saitama; how it was so convenient, how the people were all so much nicer than the people in [my Japan]. To be perfectly honest, though I enjoy participating in the running Saitama gag, and though I have noticed that an awful lot of the crime stories on Japan Today and the like do seem to be going down in Saitama, my actual knowledge of the place is quite limited. My friend posted on Facebook for a while after the move; mostly gleeful, excited posts following her arrival, but I haven't seen her posting all that much in recent weeks.

Come to think of it, I haven't seen her post anything in some time. I do hope she's all right.

uthinkimlost?
October 28th, 2014, 15:05
I appreciate your honest reply. I've read the other threads and the running gag on Saitama and know how some people in Japan think it stinks. I know most of it is just venting, but I'm honestly curious as to what it's like. So far I've just gotten negative stuff. Maybe that's how people feel. Okay, fine. But isn't there anything positive about it? At all? I'm sure there has to be something good someone can say about it that's not sarcastic or actually a negative disguised as a positive.

So yeah, unless someone can really talk to me about the placements I'm interested in, to me, this thread is useless.

Okay, anecdote: One of my best Japanese friends lived in Saitama for years. He always has something positive to say about places he's lived, but never Saitama.

mothy
October 28th, 2014, 15:27
Do you guys just sit around on this forum actively trying to discourage people from even applying to JET?

Yes, I did put Saitama as my first choice. I don't give two shits what you guys say about it. It's my choice, and if I get in and somehow get it, I'll live with it. If not, I'll live with that. I thought this thread was a place to really discuss placements instead of just dumping all over someone's choice. Guess I was wrong. This thread is useless.

Exactly what kind of useful discussion would it be if people only said nice things. I'm not lying about my opinion on Saitama. Anyone is free to disagree with me and I won't get upset. My truth is spoken out of love, areolachan.

greyjoy
October 28th, 2014, 15:32
I mean, c'mon; things are bad in the US. Law enforcement officials are dangerous, corrupt thugs, people are walking around Chipotle carrying assault rifles, and lots of folks are getting their information about the world from Fox News. Though I get homesick from time to time, it's good to remember how scary things are back there.

One of my best friends lives in the worst city in Canada, Edmonton. It has the highest crime rate of any city, and is in Alberta, the Texas of Canada(sorry). It's still, like, leagues better than 90% of American cities.

Anything said about Saitama is taken with a few grains of salt.

mothy
October 28th, 2014, 15:59
Well this was mothy way back when: http://www.ithinkimlost.com/japan-jet-school-related/5242-saitama.html

So young. So naive. Saitama did this to me.


...It's good if you like trains?

No, but seriously - talking to the boss, he came up with these points...

+ It is close to Tokyo
Which means you have to go into the toke to do anything interesting. Plus not everywhere is convenient. If you're out in the 'bu you may as well be in northern hokkaido.
+ There are lots of green spaces
Maybe in the sixties.
+ It has a bear valley (not quite sure what he was angling for with that one, but I'm assuming it's a good thing)
Kumagaya? What the what? If you're getting excited about Kumagaya you're really scraping the bottom of the barrel.
+ Lovely hot summers
Some of the hottest temperatures in all of Japan is not a good thing.
+ Landlocked, so no tsunamis (one of only eight prefectures)
If avoiding natural disasters is big on your wishlist it's better to avoid Japan altogether.
+ High population (7 million plus)
When they're some of the worst people I have ever met, this is not a good thing.
+ Good if you like Popeye cartoons
Like you can't get spinach anywhere else. Are you gonna rave about their senbei next?
+ Lots of mountains to climb in the west
It's easier to get to the mountains in gunma, tokyo or yamanashi than the mountains in Saitama. Hell, I can probably reach the mountains in tochigi faster.
+ Lots of farmland in the north if you need to detox from the city
Where do you think all the dust in the city comes from, China? You and all these racist Saitamans.


There you go, five things. Scratch that, nine.

Edit: Baby Mothy versus Ini? That was wonderful.

It was the beginning of a long love affair.


I have a sortof friend who moved to Saitama from my inaka region. She was moving in with a friend and was really looking forward to it; inaka life did not agree with her, apparently. Before the move, she would visit her friend occasionally and come back positively gushing about Saitama; how it was so convenient, how the people were all so much nicer than the people in [my Japan].
Come to think of it, I haven't seen her post anything in some time. I do hope she's all right.

Dead.

mothy
October 28th, 2014, 16:01
Anything said about Saitama is taken with a few grains of salt.

Any food in Saitama is 95% salt.

tobio
October 28th, 2014, 19:43
One of my best friends lives in the worst city in Canada, Edmonton. It has the highest crime rate of any city, and is in Alberta, the Texas of Canada(sorry). It's still, like, leagues better than 90% of American cities.

I had a super hard time believing this because I've lived in Edmonton for two years now and it's been pretty safe. Sure, it has a high crime rate in comparison to my hometown, but I never felt unsafe living here... (Not that I WANT to keep living here. It's a pretty boring place tbh.) I'm guessing as long as you stay out of the druggy neighborhoods then you're good. I did a quick google search and it says that the most dangerous cities in Canada are Winnipeg, Regina, and Saskatoon? But, hey, google could totally be lying to me.

Either way, I guess I'm here to confirm your statement as an Edmontonian. Most of the American cities I've visited have left me feeling unsafe AT LEAST once during my short visits.

greyjoy
October 28th, 2014, 20:37
Looks like they had of the highest murder rates and had probably been named Murder Capital the year before when I visited him (back in 2007/8). It seems like it's calmed down considerably in the past few years. Also, I think he probably lived in a bad neighborhood. There were numerous fights and stabbings within a few blocks of him.

tobio
October 28th, 2014, 20:41
Shit, yikes. That's some scary shit. Definitely sounds like a bad street to live on. I'm probably just blind to all the crime that goes on because I live in a decent area lmfao.

naginataonthebrain
October 29th, 2014, 05:14
Ok, I have chosen my top three placements as followed: Kumamoto-ken, Fukuoka-ken and the Kinki region. I also asked to be placed in a suburban setting. The main reason I chose the first two places is because they have really strong naginata dojos there (and my senpai has contacts with teachers there who are foreigner-friendly). Also, I just really liked the Kyushu region when I visited a couple years back. The reason I chose Kinki is because I studied abroad in Kansai (Kyoto, specifically) and I really liked that region. However, I don't want to be seen as "not open to new places" so that's why I didn't choose any prefectures. Although, it would be nice to be near Kyoto because that's where I first started my naginata training. Do y'all think my reasoning is specific enough? Of course, I know that placement is a crapshoot but I hope my reasoning sounds somewhat valid.

Verbatim
October 29th, 2014, 06:05
Exactly what kind of useful discussion would it be if people only said nice things. I'm not lying about my opinion on Saitama. Anyone is free to disagree with me and I won't get upset. My truth is spoken out of love, areolachan.

Am I the only one who noticed this? XD

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
October 29th, 2014, 07:15
Definitely not.

uthinkimlost?
October 29th, 2014, 07:37
Everyone else was too polite to draw attention to mothy's typing impediment.

Jiggit
October 29th, 2014, 08:47
Am I the only one who noticed this? XD

Well, yeah:


Aww.

Wait does that mean areolachan is the first non-troll to put saitama as their first choice?

2 PAGES AGO!!!

Nobody appreciates my genius.

word
October 29th, 2014, 08:55
4560

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
October 29th, 2014, 10:59
4560

I want to be placed in cutesville, because that picture is adorable!

johnny
October 29th, 2014, 11:00
The Internet is made of cats.

dstin
October 29th, 2014, 17:18
I'm currently in Saitama and would love to see some other part of Japan..any other part of Japan.
I requested rural and Shikoku, Chubu, or Kyushu. No specific prefectures just not Kanto/Saitama....

uthinkimlost?
October 29th, 2014, 17:29
I'm currently in Saitama and would love to see some other part of Japan..any other part of Japan.
I requested rural and Shikoku, Chubu, or Kyushu. No specific prefectures just not Kanto/Saitama....

If you go in the bathroom, turn out the lights, and say 'mothy' three times he will appear and drink all your liquor.

dstin
October 29th, 2014, 17:34
If you go in the bathroom, turn out the lights, and say 'mothy' three times he will appear and drink all your liquor.

He's going to be disappointed, all I've got is a little bit of Black Nikka left with some my backwash in it.

Side note: I'm one of those weirdo's that likes rural areas. By that I mean I don't mind owning a car to get to a grocery store 20+ minutes away, drinking with random oyaji is fun, and I keep Tarantulas and scrops in the US so the mukade in my apartment will make a nice new collection. If I have an internet connection, I'll survive.

naginataonthebrain
October 30th, 2014, 01:25
Ok, I have chosen my top three placements as followed: Kumamoto-ken, Fukuoka-ken and the Kinki region. I also asked to be placed in a suburban setting. The main reason I chose the first two places is because they have really strong naginata dojos there (and my senpai has contacts with teachers there who are foreigner-friendly). Also, I just really liked the Kyushu region when I visited a couple years back. The reason I chose Kinki is because I studied abroad in Kansai (Kyoto, specifically) and I really liked that region. However, I don't want to be seen as "not open to new places" so that's why I didn't choose any prefectures. Although, it would be nice to be near Kyoto because that's where I first started my naginata training. Do y'all think my reasoning is specific enough? Of course, I know that placement is a crapshoot but I hope my reasoning sounds somewhat valid.

*tries to avoid the Saitama hate-a-palooza and steer this back onto topic*

Does anyone have any possible cons about choosing a placement in Kyushu? Specifically Kumamoto & Fukuoka?

mrcharisma
October 30th, 2014, 03:30
North Kyushu has a good mix of cities and nice countryside so the only downside is the distance to other parts of Japan.

Elysi
October 30th, 2014, 03:58
What are people's thoughts on Shizuoka prefecture? I've considered putting it down instead of Gifu or Hyogo because my state has a strong relationship with Shizuoka. Though I'm not sure how much that weighs for a reason.

Shincantsen
October 30th, 2014, 04:07
What are people's thoughts on Shizuoka prefecture? I've considered putting it down instead of Gifu or Hyogo because my state has a strong relationship with Shizuoka. Though I'm not sure how much that weighs for a reason.

A friend of mine was placed there, she seemed to like it a lot. Lots of nature, lots of green tea, close to Tokyo.

johnny
October 30th, 2014, 08:17
North Kyushu has a good mix of cities and nice countryside so the only downside is the distance to other parts of Japan.

I concur. Kita Kyushu and Fukuoka are both nice areas.

BeckyJones
October 30th, 2014, 08:44
Kumamoto, Nagasaki, Beppu are all awesome placecs. If you want to spend your time in tokyo/Akihabara because Anime, you won't like it there. But if you want a really awesome Japan experience, Kyushu is going to rock. Also, as others have said... it is pretty as hell

Gizmotech
October 30th, 2014, 08:53
Shizuoka is beautiful but a lot bigger than most people think. It can be a bit isolating down in the peninsula. Fukuoka is nice but you're better off just selecting Kyushu as Fukuoka itself is a concrete jungle. Kumamoto seems nice but I don't know much about it.

therealwindycity
October 30th, 2014, 09:00
What are people's thoughts on Shizuoka prefecture? I've considered putting it down instead of Gifu or Hyogo because my state has a strong relationship with Shizuoka. Though I'm not sure how much that weighs for a reason.

I really like Shizuoka, but I think a lot of people request it because of relative proximity to Tokyo and Mt. Fuji. I don't think it would be a bad placement request, but I think you're a bit less likely to get it than other parts of Japan.

Elysi
October 30th, 2014, 09:23
I really like Shizuoka, but I think a lot of people request it because of relative proximity to Tokyo and Mt. Fuji. I don't think it would be a bad placement request, but I think you're a bit less likely to get it than other parts of Japan.
I thought that would be the case. I'll probably keep it there on the off chance I do get it, but I'm not placing too much hope on any of my choices.

sharpinthefang
October 30th, 2014, 09:47
I live in Kitakyushu and its a nice area, but unless you like hill walking you can explore all the 'tourist traps' within a matter of days. To get anywhere else interesting you have to travel (Hiroshima is just over an hour by Shinkansen).
Someone said Fukuoka is a concrete jungle, yeah it is with not a huge amount of things to do. If you like nature then come here, its really pretty and the local dialect is fun to attempt to learn (they drop pretty much every connecting word possiable).
I'm going to visit Beppu in a few weeks, so hopefully that will be good.

naginataonthebrain
October 30th, 2014, 12:18
Nah, I visited Akihabara during study abroad and was frankly creeped out by the amount of oji-chans hitting on the girls advertising for maid cafes. I really do like nature though...like I mentioned earlier, the reason I chose Fukuoka and Kumamoto respectively because they have strong naginata communities. Other than that, I really wouldn't mind being placed anywhere in Kyushu. But thanks for the advice everyone!

sharpinthefang
October 30th, 2014, 13:40
The best thing i found about Akihabara was the Japanese computer charger i got for a fiver. After that i got out of there as quickly as possiable.

Zolrak 22
October 30th, 2014, 14:06
was frankly creeped out by the amount of oji-chans hitting on the girls advertising for maid cafes. This is partly why I find akihabara kind of creepy, I mean, I like technology and all, but it's basically an otaku death trap.

So I'd feel odd being there for a vast amount of time.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
October 30th, 2014, 14:14
This is partly why I find akihabara kind of creepy, I mean, I like technology and all, but it's basically an otaku death trap.



Isn't an otaku deathtrap just sunlight? I mean, it doesn't take much.

Zolrak 22
October 30th, 2014, 14:15
Isn't an otaku deathtrap just sunlight? I mean, it doesn't take much.
Was gonna say tourist, but figured that'd be too general [emoji28].

BeckyJones
October 30th, 2014, 14:23
It was nicer back in the day. Before it had the "Akihabara style" or image or whatever. When it was just the electronics district, it was pretty nice. You can still find some good deals on electronics there, but those "good" deals are for Japan... If you want cheap electronics, you got to leave Japan.

hypatia
October 30th, 2014, 15:09
Ok, I have chosen my top three placements as followed: Kumamoto-ken, Fukuoka-ken and the Kinki region.

Kinki is pretty awesome. Many people who come here stay here, although next year my prefecture will have a lot of openings because a ton of 4th/5th years are going home.

therealwindycity
October 30th, 2014, 21:53
I worked at a Starbucks by Akihabara station for a very brief time while studying abroad. I would say the clientele was 60 percent average Tokyo salarymen and/or housewives, 5 percent otaku, and 35 percent tourists who had no idea why they were really there. The Gundam and AKB cafes netted most of the otaku types before they got much past the station, and aside from the occasional girl in a maid outfit handing out fliers it didn't really feel very different from the other big stations in Tokyo.

mothy
October 31st, 2014, 07:24
I agree with therectalwindcity. The akihabara is full of otaku thing is just a myth.

Ini
October 31st, 2014, 07:59
I disagree with becky that akihabara was ever "nice". It was always full of greasy nerds. Once internet shopping shut down the computer buying crowd the maids and anime gang sprung up in its place but it was never full of healthy young go getters

BeckyJones
October 31st, 2014, 08:21
I disagree with becky that akihabara was ever "nice". It was always full of greasy nerds. Once internet shopping shut down the computer buying crowd the maids and anime gang sprung up in its place but it was never full of healthy young go getters

nice is relative. I liked the place because that was where the ONE AND ONLY western video game store was, and they had a lot of good little stores selling parts like memory and hard drives for cheap. Sure the internet is better, but it was nice to shop around and see some of the newer things in action.

yea... healthy young go getters were never there.

Ini
October 31st, 2014, 08:27
the only interesting part was that covered market that used to be in front of the station where the crazy old men would set up their stalls selling shit like tubes for old tvs and random rotary dial telephones out of buckets for 100yen each. they would just sit there all day, smoke about 3 packs of cigs and take away the grand total of about 3000yen in sales. I never understood why they were there but at least they had a bit of character.

Jiggit
October 31st, 2014, 08:30
What did you guys do when ol' Tokugawa tried to make you step on Our Lord Christ's image?

BeckyJones
October 31st, 2014, 08:35
What did you guys do when ol' Tokugawa tried to make you step on Our Lord Christ's image?
took a dump on it. you think we actually gave a shit?

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
October 31st, 2014, 08:41
Apparently yes.

Fantasylife
November 1st, 2014, 08:07
Do you have to pick a location? I mean, can you simply choose open? I studied abroad in Asahikawa and spent some time in Sapporo and both places were great, but I'm not all that familiar with different cities/towns in Japan, so I'm open to being placed almost anywhere really.

miamicoordinator
November 1st, 2014, 08:20
Do you have to pick a location? I mean, can you simply choose open? I studied abroad in Asahikawa and spent some time in Sapporo and both places were great, but I'm not all that familiar with different cities/towns in Japan, so I'm open to being placed almost anywhere really.

You do not need to pick a location. You can just mark no preference.

greyjoy
November 1st, 2014, 20:57
took a dump on it. you think we actually gave a shit?

Did you understand at all the meaning behind Jiggit's post?