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starxrox
May 30th, 2015, 09:29
What are your favourite and least favourite parts about living in the inaka?

What was the accommodation like that JET provided?

BifCarbet
May 30th, 2015, 09:46
What are your favourite and least favourite parts about living in the inaka?

What was the accommodation like that JET provided?

I loved making friends with all kinds of people, learning the dialect, being in beautiful scenery, knowing the majority of my students (even by name), having three or four classes a day and being able to play, read, exercise, and surf the web during down time. I also loved long, open drives.

JET doesn't provide the accommodations, the contracting organization does. I had a giant house that I shared with two, then three people. I eventually moved to a small apartment when I changed schools. Never paid a dime in rent.

EDIT: By "all kinds of people", I mean fishermen, farmers, grandmas, shop owners, auto mechanic, gas station attendants, etc. All these people lived right by me and I ran into them everywhere. In a bigger city, I've never really gotten to know the people around me.

starxrox
May 30th, 2015, 09:52
I loved making friends with all kinds of people, learning the dialect, being in beautiful scenery, knowing the majority of my students (even by name), having three or four classes a day and being able to play, read, exercise, and surf the web during down time. I also loved long, open drives.

JET doesn't provide the accommodations, the contracting organization does. I had a giant house that I shared with two, then three people. I eventually moved to a small apartment when I changed schools. Never paid a dime in rent.

Wow... That sounds amazing. I'm applying this year and I want to go to the country side. It sounds amazing. Ideally I'd love a little house like you talked about and if I could get away without buying a car and just cycling I'd be over the moon but I understand it's not always the case. ESID blah blah...

You mentioned the dialect... Does that mean if you went to Tokyo, people there would have trouble understanding you?

Cheers.

BifCarbet
May 30th, 2015, 09:57
Wow... That sounds amazing. I'm applying this year and I want to go to the country side. It sounds amazing. Ideally I'd love a little house like you talked about and if I could get away without buying a car and just cycling I'd be over the moon but I understand it's not always the case. ESID blah blah...

You mentioned the dialect... Does that mean if you went to Tokyo, people there would have trouble understanding you?

Cheers.

I do recommend the countryside, but a suburban placement might be best if you want rural but no car.

People in Tokyo can understand me, but I could probably exaggerate and be hard to understand. I kind of tend towards normal Japanese anyway, even when I'm in the countryside.

Ananasboat
May 30th, 2015, 09:59
So much of what Bif said. I get invited to barbecues while taking walks from family members of students or by the people who work at the local Konbini. People hand me produce that they've grown. I feel sort of like a celebrity.

As for accommodations I live in a three year old apartment complex. My apartment is really nice. Three rooms, none of which are tatami thank god, and that doesn't include the awesome bathroom I have. I pay about $200 in rent a month. Last year it was only $100 for my pred, but oh well.

I don't live near the other jets, but that's okay. I can easily get to them if I wanted to, and I have an awesome bus that stops outside my house and takes me to a major city. That's not typical though.

There are days when I wish I had a city placement and there are other days when I think I wouldn't trade this for anything.

starxrox
May 30th, 2015, 10:13
Oh look I don't mind getting a car BifCarbet. Honestly the other stuff you guys have mentioned makes it sound like its a small price to pay for the benefits of inaka life!

So excited!!!

nostos
May 30th, 2015, 10:46
Community.

For both.

I love how friendly my town is, but there is a huge lack of privacy.

Gizmotech
May 30th, 2015, 10:47
Best part: No young people.

Worst part: No young people.

Win win.

Jiggit
May 30th, 2015, 13:52
Only if you're willing to settle for Christmas cake.

starxrox
May 30th, 2015, 14:13
Only if you're willing to settle for Christmas cake.

Christmas cake?

sourdoughsushi
May 30th, 2015, 21:54
Christmas cake?

Christmas cake loses its charm after the 25th of December, so that's the term Japanese use for girls 25,26+ that are still single.

I can only really echo what others have said. The lack of privacy can be a bit frustrating, like I don't want my students' mothers working at the conbini to know I'm an alcoholic, for example. But the small town feel is a very warm feel, and I feel like people are pretty approachable. I'm from somewhere rural originally, so it's also really nice to live in an area that pays less attention to fashion, too.

As said, it's easier to get to know random people around you, and it can lead to lots of side activities like working farms or going hiking, etc. I'm a lot happier here than I was in a 300k population part of Japan. :)

Ananasboat
May 30th, 2015, 22:44
Christmas cake loses its charm after the 25th of December, so that's the term Japanese use for girls 25,26+ that are still single.

I can only really echo what others have said. The lack of privacy can be a bit frustrating, like I don't want my students' mothers working at the conbini to know I'm an alcoholic, for example. But the small town feel is a very warm feel, and I feel like people are pretty approachable. I'm from somewhere rural originally, so it's also really nice to live in an area that pays less attention to fashion, too.

As said, it's easier to get to know random people around you, and it can lead to lots of side activities like working farms or going hiking, etc. I'm a lot happier here than I was in a 300k population part of Japan. :)

Ugh. Yeah. I sort of made my own bed when I went to that barbecue and decided to start drinking. The girls of hers are ones who are in my awful class. Now instead of telling me I smell, they talk about how I'm sake tsuyoi. I take it as a step up in my coolness factor with them. Haha. But yeah, I take the small town life knowing that everyone knows I buy a six pack every couple of days.

Jiggit
May 31st, 2015, 18:18
like I don't want my students' mothers working at the conbini to know I'm an alcoholic, for example.

Yeah but your students probably don't want you to know their mothers work at a conbini either.

starxrox
May 31st, 2015, 18:23
I thought drinking was more widely accepted in Japan? Not as much stigma as in western countries.

Feel free to fill me in if I (probably) am wrong.

BifCarbet
June 1st, 2015, 02:25
That's probably generally true, but you might as well still be discreet and tactful. Teachers will tell you they drink at home every night, but you don't have to advertise. Also, some ALTs get in places where there's a big spotlight on them, and people will all talk about popular trivia questions like, "Do you know how many beers Biffon-sensei drinks every weeknight?"
Again, back to your point, it isn't a problem in Japan as long as you don't do anything stupid. Personally, I'd just rather not have teachers and parents tracking my consumption.

Gizmotech
June 1st, 2015, 07:04
I'd like to meet the student at my school who doesn't know I'm an alcoholic to be honest. I used to try and hide this stuff but I decided it was better to be open about things with a strong message rather than hide it.

webstaa
June 1st, 2015, 08:20
Pretty much all the 'young' people in my town work for the municipal gov't (i.e. at the yakuba.) I've gone drinking with a few of them - they like to knock off work around 5 (super early, but small town nobody cares) and go into the nearest larger town (20-25 minutes drive) for drinks/dinner/karaoke. They have an exceedingly boring lifestyle, but that's due to the nature of their jobs.

If you're looking to make friends with people that have free time etc you might have to travel outside your inaka town.

tedcase
June 10th, 2015, 09:22
Best part was that money simply went further and lasted longer. The air was noticeably cleaner and I had a beautiful beach on my doorstep.
The JET community was also much closer and friendlier than in the cities.

downsides, Collosal bugs, and freezing winters. I was younger at the time, so a lack of youth culture was pretty draining.

Virgil
June 10th, 2015, 09:26
downsides, Collosal bugs, and freezing winters. I was younger at the time, so a lack of youth culture was pretty draining.

I could make it in rural Japan so easy. I'm actually an old man trapped in a young man's body. I go hiking on the weekends, and like having a cold beer alone in the evenings. I read books whenever I'm commuting. Everytime I go out to do something people my age do (what do we even do) I just get angry and sulk. I'm that guy.

Jiggit
June 10th, 2015, 09:29
I could make it in rural Japan so easy. I'm actually an old man trapped in a young man's body. I go hiking on the weekends, and like having a cold beer alone in the evenings. I read books whenever I'm commuting. Everytime I go out to do something people my age do (what do we even do) I just get angry and sulk. I'm that guy.

This is why you're my favorite, eh... Seneca?

Virgil
June 10th, 2015, 09:41
This is why you're my favorite, eh... Seneca?

You'll eventually have to loop back. There's only so many Roman poets.

Jiggit
June 10th, 2015, 11:52
I think I've run out, probably have to hit up wikipedia.

Cbill1
June 10th, 2015, 14:34
Pros: Easy to get to know people in town. I'm on a first name basis with many restaurants. The okonomiyaki place often gives me free beer.

Cons: Students. Students everywhere. They all have part time jobs, and I can't leave my house without running into at least one person I teach.

CUPS
June 11th, 2015, 10:19
So much of what Bif said. I get invited to barbecues while taking walks from family members of students or by the people who work at the local Konbini. People hand me produce that they've grown. I feel sort of like a celebrity.

... I have an awesome bus that stops outside my house and takes me to a major city. That's not typical though.


Controversial perhaps, but I would say if you have a conbini and/or a direct bus link to a major city (and/or "many restaurants")... you ain't rural :lol:

Ananasboat
June 11th, 2015, 13:35
Controversial perhaps, but I would say if you have a conbini and/or a direct bus link to a major city (and/or "many restaurants")... you ain't rural :lol:

You could say that, but I live on the major intersection of the town. It's really cute. So I got lucky because that intersection goes towards a highway, and as a result I have a conbini. The bus, when it gets to my stop, has already been driving for half an hour from a different town and has about four more stops before it becomes a non-stop. For an ADDED bonus, my town opened up its first supermarket in April.

There used to be a train going through the town, but it went through a population dive a while ago and tore it out, now the closest one is 40 minutes away. Half of the town's structures are old as dirt and are falling down, so they have a small "development" in the back of the town. Otherwise the entire town is on the main road or in the mountains.

I'll call that rural.

sourdoughsushi
June 11th, 2015, 14:43
Gosh, making me feel really thankful to be where I am. It's got the makings and feel of a declining inaka (big old empty schools and hospitals), but there have been new businesses and stuff coming up with the new shinkansen line that just opened. I've been seeing new sidewalks, a new hotel, groceries widening their stock. It could all be a last ditch, but it's definitely nice to see.

webstaa
June 11th, 2015, 14:53
Gosh, making me feel really thankful to be where I am. It's got the makings and feel of a declining inaka (big old empty schools and hospitals), but there have been new businesses and stuff coming up with the new shinkansen line that just opened. I've been seeing new sidewalks, a new hotel, groceries widening their stock. It could all be a last ditch, but it's definitely nice to see.

Speaking of abandoned schools... I got to go through the staff rooms of some of my town's empty schools (they were grouped into one about 4ish years ago.) The ALT from that time left EVERYTHING English related at the schools. CDs of random English stuff from years gone by, copies of textbooks, etc.

acpc2203
June 11th, 2015, 15:49
I think I will be in the borderline of suburbs/rural. Has a train stop in the town and the city that is like 15 minutes away has a mall (with uniqlo and a movie theater). But the town itself is mostly farmland and doesn't have much beyond mom and pop stores (Ty google maps!).

BifCarbet
June 11th, 2015, 15:54
I think I will be in the borderline of suburbs/rural. Has a train stop in the town and the city that is like 15 minutes away has a mall (with uniqlo and a movie theater). But the town itself is mostly farmland and doesn't have much beyond mom and pop stores (Ty google maps!).

Sounds perfect.

sourdoughsushi
June 11th, 2015, 22:00
Speaking of abandoned schools... I got to go through the staff rooms of some of my town's empty schools (they were grouped into one about 4ish years ago.) The ALT from that time left EVERYTHING English related at the schools. CDs of random English stuff from years gone by, copies of textbooks, etc.

Wooord! I used some egg dye this spring that was manufactured the same year I was born. ..........no one was hurt.


4chinneckbeard, a Uniqlo within 15 minutes is pretty grand! You're Hannah Montana up in dat place.

Saga
June 11th, 2015, 23:10
Ooh, that sounds nice - rural town with easy access to non-inaka!

I'm going to be an hour away from the nearest train station. There's a bus that comes four times a day to a small city half an hour away with restaurants/movie theater/shopping but it costs 760 yen each way. :/ So, I'm going to do a lot of driving. Go inaka Ehime!

Could be worse, thought, right? There could be no bus at all.

x_stei
June 11th, 2015, 23:20
There is apparently an Uniqlo where I'm placed too! I'm super excited about that! :).

word
June 11th, 2015, 23:26
Don't get too excited. There's a Uniqlo where I live, too, but 99% of Japanese people would consider my city to be inaka as f*ck.

x_stei
June 11th, 2015, 23:47
"inaka as f*ck" < - hahaha.

Apparently there are malls there? =/. Nanao - Ishikawa JET Resource Wiki (http://ishikawajet.wikia.com/wiki/Nanao)

acpc2203
June 12th, 2015, 05:23
I'm glad cause I have legitimately 0 winter clothing, so I can just buy it there. Luckily I'm right on the edge of easy to find Japanese clothing fitting me. But yeah would def be considered inaka by any Japanese living in a decent sized city.

hypatia
June 12th, 2015, 16:07
Best part was that money simply went further and lasted longer. The air was noticeably cleaner and I had a beautiful beach on my doorstep.
The JET community was also much closer and friendlier than in the cities.

downsides, Collosal bugs, and freezing winters. I was younger at the time, so a lack of youth culture was pretty draining.

That about sums it up. Also, you have to travel to do any decent shopping (The two UNIQLOs closest to me are in cities that are 40mins and one hour away by train)

webstaa
June 15th, 2015, 08:07
Got recognized by someone (from behind, on a bike) two towns away (roughly 30km) this weekend. By someone I'm pretty sure I've never met before. First thing that greeted me in the staffroom this morning was rumors about what I was doing 30km away on a bike. Pretty sure that qualifies as 'Something you'll only get in the inaka.'

Ebi
June 15th, 2015, 12:45
Got recognized by someone (from behind, on a bike) two towns away (roughly 30km) this weekend. By someone I'm pretty sure I've never met before. First thing that greeted me in the staffroom this morning was rumors about what I was doing 30km away on a bike. Pretty sure that qualifies as 'Something you'll only get in the inaka.'
Inaka spies are everywhere.

The only time my husband and I got caught by a student on a date was when we were miles and miles away from our town. We went to a hot spring town a few hours drive away. And at our first stop we ran into a student dressed in her school uniform (which is the only reason I recognized her)... My husband ran into a different student on our second visit to the same hot spring town almost a year later, but it happened in the men's bath so they didn't see me.

Recently, I had the opposite thing happen to me. I walked up to my students at the sports tournament this weekend wearing a hat and sunglasses and they blanked me until I said "Hello". They freaked out and started yammering "Ebi-sensei, wakari-nikui!!" That might be the first time I've successfully blended in in Japan. :lol:

Jiggit
June 15th, 2015, 12:48
I have dark hair and eyes, my kids sometimes don't recognise me until I'm a meter away. That's probably more to do with their glasses complex though.

webstaa
June 15th, 2015, 13:06
I have dark hair and eyes, my kids sometimes don't recognise me until I'm a meter away. That's probably more to do with their glasses complex though.

The "I'm half-blind but still don't wear my glasses 90% of the time" shit is everywhere. I've had to tell students that couldn't read the board to either put their glasses on or move to the front of the class... I don't know why homeroom teachers tolerate it.

Ebi
June 15th, 2015, 13:53
The "I'm half-blind but still don't wear my glasses 90% of the time" shit is everywhere. I've had to tell students that couldn't read the board to either put their glasses on or move to the front of the class... I don't know why homeroom teachers tolerate it.
Have you ever seen a student who is wearing glasses, hold up another pair of glasses in front of their face so they could read from the back of the room?

But agreed, I don't get why kids don't wear glasses when they clearly can't see. Or if they do use them, they hold them out in front of their face and put them back down again. I even have one student who lost a lens for his glasses and he just wears them like a monocle. I had a hard time marking him wrong when he wrote "My glass is black and green" since he technically only did have one.

Zolrak 22
June 15th, 2015, 14:06
I had a hard time marking him wrong when he wrote "My glass is black and green" since he technically only did have one.

That kid deserves props. [emoji122]

Virgil
June 15th, 2015, 14:20
That kid deserves props. [emoji122]

Yeah, you should call him "Sir <jname>sworth"

LilMitsuko
June 17th, 2015, 13:36
What are your favourite and least favourite parts about living in the inaka?

What was the accommodation like that JET provided?

For me, the best parts are the neighbors/community, and the nature. I love my small town, and everyone is really nice (sincerely). I've made a life-long friend with my neighbor and her husband, and we get together to eat dinner or visit some of the local attractions. The nature is really superb. I have a river flowing through my town and small streams that flow next to my house. It's peaceful. Everyone knows everyone, and if something odd happens, they let everyone know.

Least favorite part about living in the inaka: nothing to do. Apart from hanging out with my neighbor when she has time, there's nothing exciting to do in my town. Seriously. I live in a town with less than 4,000 people. We have one grocery (and general goods) store, and one convenience store. That's it. A little bit past the main area of my town a road-stop opened up just recently, and there's a restaurant there now. But again, general goods store. I have to travel about 40 minutes to get to anything "interesting" and useful. And not so expensive (my grocery store charges a bit more for things). That's a downside for me. lol

The accommodation is great though. Because I am so inaka, I got a house. It used to be an inn, but an earthquake in the area caused some major damage to the building, so they had to stop. They fixed up the front part of the place and turned it into a somewhat house. There's five bedrooms upstairs that were used as rooms people could stay overnight in, and then there's a large room downstairs and a large (compared to what I've seen while being here) kitchen. So...I lucked out that way! :D

patjs
July 10th, 2015, 23:56
The sense of community and small town life can be both the best and worst part of rural life. I love the feeling of living in a small town and the fact that everyone generally knows each other. Life isn't quite as frantic as the larger cities. People actually go home from work at a normal hour (not counting teachers) and I found that most of the people who stuck around the inaka are the type of people who don't want to spend 100% of their life in an office.

The downside is you almost have no choice but to frequent the few stores in town. People are definitely nosy and they definitely know all your business. It bothered me a lot at first but then I stopped caring. "Oh hey girl who graduated a few months ago conbini clerk, yes I'm buying all this beer and yes it is all for me."

My town actually was famous for being kind of unfriendly in the area, and even then I still would have random people give me food or take me out for insane drinking adventures- the types of stories you hear a lot. I'd imagine in a nicer town it'd be even more fun. Never turn down invitations to anything. It's worth it.

Saga
July 13th, 2015, 02:22
I think I just found out the worst part - no Hikari in my town from any of the carriers, meaning that my only options for internet will be dial-up or tethering (which is apparently incredibly slow in my area and has a ridiculously low data cap). I think I'm going to end up going into my nearest small city to use Starbucks' wifi a couple times a week so I can upload/download things I need for lesson planning.

The upside is that my classes will be really small and apparently all of the kids are well-behaved and really sweet. My smallest school has 3 kids per class, and even my "big" school only has 22. I also got really lucky in that my small (2500 people) town has a surprising number of shops, restaurants, classes at the community center, hot springs, and other things to do.

uthinkimlost?
July 13th, 2015, 06:38
Check your area's cable company. They often provide cable internet services.

Saga
July 13th, 2015, 07:28
Oh really? I will definitely check into that, then. Thanks for the heads-up!

webstaa
July 13th, 2015, 08:31
no Hikari

ADSL should still be available.

Saga
July 13th, 2015, 10:17
I'll look into ADSL. I tried looking to see if it was available in my town by putting in the phone numbers of various local businesses, but all of them came back with an error message, so I'll ask my pred if she knows anything about it. I also asked her what (if any) cable providers are in the area, so we'll she what she says on that front, as well.

Thanks so much, guys! It'd be a real relief if I didn't have to spend the next several years mooching internet off Starbucks and my friends who live in the next city over.

Gizmotech
July 13th, 2015, 10:42
I'll look into ADSL. I tried looking to see if it was available in my town by putting in the phone numbers of various local businesses, but all of them came back with an error message, so I'll ask my pred if she knows anything about it. I also asked her what (if any) cable providers are in the area, so we'll she what she says on that front, as well.

Thanks so much, guys! It'd be a real relief if I didn't have to spend the next several years mooching internet off Starbucks and my friends who live in the next city over.

I'd recommend contacting the guys at bbapply. They can do a quick check of available services to your apartment.

Saga
July 13th, 2015, 22:04
Unfortunately, my pred didn't have any information, as it sounds like when she arrived the BOE basically told her that tethering through Docomo was literally her only option, and signed her up for it right after she got there, so she didn't have the chance to look into anything else. She also doesn't have cable (and doesn't know if any is available), and only gets six channels on TV.

Thank you, Gizmo! I just checked out bbapply and I'm definitely going to have them do a check. God, that's a lot easier than what I was trying to do, which was go through every single provider's website and try to see if they were in my area.

Virgil
July 14th, 2015, 09:17
Jesus - How do people come and live in another country so woefully under prepared. My sup didn`t have a clue about internet services or anything, so I told him it was OK I would handle it. Then I needed permission from the building owner and he said `Hikari can`t be used at this building` - so I found out about bbapply and they did the mediation for me.

Zolrak 22
July 14th, 2015, 12:47
Jesus - How do people come and live in another country so woefully under prepared.

There are no wrong/stupid questions. [emoji14]


(Except for the ones that were already asked and people are too lazy to search, but other than that, no wrong/stupid questions! [emoji6] )

UPGRAYEDD
July 14th, 2015, 14:11
Where in Ehime are you headed?

I can't believe I managed 3 years of that place with the slowest ADSL ever. (shudder)

Saga
July 14th, 2015, 18:39
Hijikawa-cho, which is part of Ozu-shi.

I submitted a check with BBapply yesterday, so we'll see what they have to say.

Apparently the house doesn't even have a land line to use for dial-up... But I'd gladly pay for cable or anything else that'd get me better internet than what my pred has - it sounds like she has a really tiny practical data cap even though the plan is supposedly unlimited. And none of the schools will let her use their internet, so she has to take her dongle and tether, even at school.

UPGRAYEDD
July 14th, 2015, 21:38
No land line might be a complication. You might want to check out something like SoftBank Air.

Ananasboat
July 14th, 2015, 22:46
I dunno. I technically have no land line. My supe asked me if I wanted internet, cable, phone, or just internet. I said just internet and I pay 3000 every month. Somehow there was a plan to turn off landline and tv. Your milage may vary, but try asking your supe about it when you get there.

patjs
July 14th, 2015, 23:46
There are probably a lot of people at the BOE who don't know what they are talking about assuming a lot of things regarding the phone/internet.

I know in my situation I had everyone tell me internet was "muri" because the guy before didn't have it, Hikari was "muri" etc. When I checked into it myself it turns out it was perfectly doable. I think going with bbapply is the right move.

Regarding using internet at the schools, yes it is possible they will not allow you to use a personal computer to access the internet. However there should be some sort of common computer at least you can use to do school related work. I'd be shocked if they didn't even let you touch the internet but, who knows it is Japan. May have had a pred 15 years ago who used it to look at porn or something and now all gaijin are not allowed to use internet.

uthinkimlost?
July 14th, 2015, 23:59
Just brace yourself for the potential cost. If you can get hikari but it isn't run to the house yet, you'll have to pay. (They sometimes run deals, you can ask.) some of the local cable companies also charge "introduction fees" that border on insane.

edit: also, I briefly had adsl and it was excruciating.

UPGRAYEDD
July 15th, 2015, 00:30
Here is the hikari service map for Ehime. As you can see, ALL of your town is good to go.

愛媛県|サービス提供エリア|フレッツ 光ネクスト(インターネット接続サービス)|フレッツ光公式|NTT西日本 (https://flets-w.com/next/area/38ehime.html)

Saga
July 15th, 2015, 06:20
Awesome - I really appreciate it, Upgrayedd!

I hadn't heard of Flet's before, so I'm guessing the other Ozu ALTs and the BOE don't use it/aren't aware of it. But that's great to see that hikari apparently exists in my town despite what the BOE said - thank you so much! When I get to Japan I'll give them a call and look into getting it set up.

Virgil
July 15th, 2015, 07:47
There are no wrong/stupid questions. [emoji14]


(Except for the ones that were already asked and people are too lazy to search, but other than that, no wrong/stupid questions! [emoji6] )
I wasn't referring to the question asleep. By god, ask the questions - that's how you avoid getting sheisted on internet bills.

Virgil
July 15th, 2015, 07:48
Awesome - I really appreciate it, Upgrayedd!

I hadn't heard of Flet's before, so I'm guessing the other Ozu ALTs and the BOE don't use it/aren't aware of it. But that's great to see that hikari apparently exists in my town despite what the BOE said - thank you so much! When I get to Japan I'll give them a call and look into getting it set up.
Yeah - they'll lie to you if they're not sure since it sounds like trouble.

webstaa
July 15th, 2015, 08:30
Awesome - I really appreciate it, Upgrayedd!

I hadn't heard of Flet's before, so I'm guessing the other Ozu ALTs and the BOE don't use it/aren't aware of it. But that's great to see that hikari apparently exists in my town despite what the BOE said - thank you so much! When I get to Japan I'll give them a call and look into getting it set up.

If you go through your sup, you'll probably get 'murimuri.' The problem is, it isn't that Hikari can't be run, it's that the BoE/supervisor doesn't want to deal with it for you. If you speak some Japanese, you should be able to get it set up on your own. Go to the local K's or Yamada Denki and make some inquiries if you speak Japanese. Otherwise bbapply exists for the sole reason of helping folks who don't speak Japanese.

It also might depend on your apartment/house landlord. If the building owner has signed a deal with a provider to run fiber to the building, your options might be limited. So it might be an idea to ask your neighbors/landlord (surreptitiously if you BoE turn out to be meddling.) You sometimes can get a discount signing through the landlord's preferred company. (For example, I get ソ・800 off my bill every month for going through OCN.)

UPGRAYEDD
July 15th, 2015, 08:59
The last two posts are great advice. Basically take everything your supervisor says with a grain of salt. Most likely they will always default to the "easiest" solution whenever something comes up and that may or may not be the most optimal for you.

In my experience with Ehime, I found that making strong relationships with teaching staff and other English speaking locals was the best way to resolve problems. The BOE people just couldn't be bothered to go out of their way to do anything.

Ananasboat
July 15th, 2015, 15:13
The last two posts are great advice. Basically take everything your supervisor says with a grain of salt. Most likely they will always default to the "easiest" solution whenever something comes up and that may or may not be the most optimal for you.

For example, my pred "broke" the dryer in my apartment and asked to get it fixed. Our supe basically said, "ah, shikataganai, ne" and didn't bother looking at it, sending anyone to look at it, nothing. When I moved in it was the same story. I have this beautiful fully furnished place, but on top of my washer is a huge brick that does nothing. "Can I get it fixed?" "Ah, shikataganai, ne," she told me.

Fiddled around with it a couple weeks ago and I found out the the breaker had been turned on it. So it wasn't broken at all, the breaker just needed to be reset.

Gizmotech
July 15th, 2015, 15:31
For example, my pred "broke" the dryer in my apartment and asked to get it fixed. Our supe basically said, "ah, shikataganai, ne" and didn't bother looking at it, sending anyone to look at it, nothing. When I moved in it was the same story. I have this beautiful fully furnished place, but on top of my washer is a huge brick that does nothing. "Can I get it fixed?" "Ah, shikataganai, ne," she told me.

Fiddled around with it a couple weeks ago and I found out the the breaker had been turned on it. So it wasn't broken at all, the breaker just needed to be reset.

I had that for a while... I kept blowing the circuit in my apartment (until I figured out what the load balances were on the wires), but my AC died and I couldn't figure it out as all the switches were good. Finally I hit the main on and off and my AC came back to life.

As for fixing shit, they only have to do that if they have provided the hardware to you. If it was bought by a pred, tough shit and pitch it or get it fixed yourself.

Jiggit
July 15th, 2015, 15:54
They don't have to do anything after they get all your paperwork set up. They are supposed to help the ALT get established and deal with any unforeseen problems they might run into. I agree that if you've been here for 2 years and you ask your supervisor to help buy you a new microwave then they would be well-justified in telling you to get stuffed, but giving you the cold shoulder from the start is a pretty terrible way to treat the new ALT. An ex-ALT friend of mine basically got the job of supervising Japanese employees in America and her stories make the average ALT seem like Bear Grylls.

It's pretty sad just how unwelcoming some COs can be to their new import. O mo te na shi indeed.

Gizmotech
July 15th, 2015, 16:21
They do if they provided you the hardware. Anything else is optional :P

Ananasboat
July 15th, 2015, 19:30
They do if they provided you the hardware. Anything else is optional :P

It has the BOE sticker right on it. My perfectly working fridge had the BOE sticker on it too when they so helpfully decided to replace it for me.

uthinkimlost?
July 15th, 2015, 19:50
Are they actually required to replace that stuff? I'm -pretty sure- that in America it has to be written into the contract. No real idea about Japan, though.

Gizmotech
July 15th, 2015, 19:52
Are they actually required to replace that stuff? I'm -pretty sure- that in America it has to be written into the contract. No real idea about Japan, though.

Depends who technically owns it doesn't it? My school technically owns all the appliances in my apartment, and they replace them. They are all marked, and there was a manifest that I checked off when I arrived 4 years ago. When my washer and microwave shat out, they replaced both of them.

Saga
July 16th, 2015, 02:29
That's a lot of really solid advice - thanks guys!

I'll go ahead and (quietly) check with my landlord to see if they have an agreement with any providers once I arrive.

Luckily, I do speak some Japanese, and my RA (incredibly helpful and lives nearby) who speaks even better Japanese than I do has offered to help me get internet set up once I find out what's available and figure out what I want. So, I should be able to work things set up without the BOE or my supervisor having to help me at all. I haven't even brought up the issue with them, as I figure that, like you guys said, it's not really their responsibility to get internet set up for me. Plus, I didn't want to give them a chance to say "shikata ga nai ne" preemptively.

When I do bring it up, I'll be sure to lead with the fact that I will get it set up and they won't need to help me, etc. Luckily, my BOE has been really great up to this point, and I have a different supervisor than my pred did. My supervisor seems very kind and helpful so far.

BifCarbet
July 16th, 2015, 06:43
When I do bring it up, I'll be sure to lead with the fact that I will get it set up and they won't need to help me, etc. Luckily, my BOE has been really great up to this point, and I have a different supervisor than my pred did. My supervisor seems very kind and helpful so far.

It is totally fine to never bring it up. They're just your employer. I might take flack for saying that, but it really is true. You can just get your internet set up and have that be that. If they ask, just tell them you'll take care of it yourself.

Saga
July 16th, 2015, 09:22
That's true. I'll see... I was thinking that perhaps the BOE owned the house or something, and in that case I'd have to discuss it with them. But if it's a situation where they don't need to be included, I might try to set things up without their involvement.

BifCarbet
July 16th, 2015, 09:27
That's true. I'll see... I was thinking that perhaps the BOE owned the house or something, and in that case I'd have to discuss it with them. But if it's a situation where they don't need to be included, I might try to set things up without their involvement.

Good call. They may be your landlord too, in which case, forget what I said before.

Saga
July 19th, 2015, 00:24
I just heard back from BBapply, and he said that he couldn't find any Hikari, ADSL or cable internet services in my area - only dial-up. So, maybe Flets isn't available, after all? I'll have to check for myself once I get to Japan.

However, I heard from my pred that one of her friends just up the road from her has NEC. My kanji reading abilities are absolutely terrible, though, so I'm having difficulty finding the info I need on their website. I'd like to find out what kind of internet service it is, and whether I need either a land line or cable to use it. Would one of you guys mind taking a quick look at the site, and seeing if it says anything about those things? I apologize for asking for so much help - my pred has been too busy to reply to e-mails, and my RA is off teaching a summer camp in Tohoku. Thanks in advance!

EDIT: Of course, I forgot the website link.

http://jpn.nec.com/kotohajime/