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toast
August 31st, 2016, 19:37
Good day all =)

A friend and I are doing research into the JET programme and for now we want to know which cities would be the best to list as our preference. We are aware that we might not even get placed in any of our three choices, but who knows, maybe we'll get lucky.
So far we know to avoid asking for major and popular cities (i.e. Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka), but we really don't want to end up in an extremely rural area.
We're from South Africa so we're used to summer temperatures reaching mid to high 30C in the summer along with the joys of humidity, and we're also used to winter reaching below 10C, but we are not accustomed to snow, I don't mind some snow, but my friend isn't keen on it so cities with low to no snow would be appreciated.
Lastly, what are the chances of us being placed in the same city or at the very least within proximity of each other?

Thanks so much in advance! =)

naginataonthebrain
September 2nd, 2016, 11:22
The chances of you and your friend being placed in the same city is slim to none (closer to none). The only chance of y'all being placed in the same place is if y'all were married (and even then it's not 100% certain). You might have better luck with being in the same area though (i.e. kyushu, kinki, etc.). If you're wanting to avoid snow, I suggest requesting Kyushu, unless y'all are not willing to drive/can't drive. Because even in places like Fukuoka and Nagasaki, not having a car can be a pain.

EDIT: I'm Kyushu-biased since I live here. I requested Fukuoka, Kumamoto and Kansai (in that order) and I ended up in the semi-inaka of Miyazaki. I'm personally happy here but I think that's due to a) having decent Japanese skills and b) having a car.

webstaa
September 2nd, 2016, 13:18
You shouldn't see bad (meters and meters of) snow south/west of Tokyo unless you're up in the mountains. Even in Tohoku snow can be spotty on the east side. Avoid the "yuki-guni (https://www.google.co.jp/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiM9v-36e_OAhVIUZQKHQgSCm8QjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fmenkyodeace.jp%2Fplans%2Fonsnow.html&bvm=bv.131669213,d.dGo&psig=AFQjCNEEDvMBclMd44a4yC1tU9PK2eGUEg&ust=1472876164985617)" and Hokkaido if you don't like snow. Several of the "snowiest cities" are in Japan in Tohoku and Hokkaido.

Usually swinging a close placement to a friend is pretty difficult (more or less impossible) unless you've got a link to a place already. Something like a sister city etc. Even placement in the same prefecture can mean an hour or two of travel just to meet up. And sometimes you'll end up closer to people in other prefectures than somebody in the same prefecture. Luckily fairly good transportation networks mean that you can meet up pretty easily unless you're on the other side of the country. (Even then, I met a friend in Osaka over the summer - it was cheaper and faster than either of us traveling to each other's place. Total cost for both of us to cross half the country was around $300.)

toast
September 5th, 2016, 17:41
Thanks for the feedback. Currently my friend and I travel an hour to see each other so we won't mind that in Japan. I'll take a look into the suggesting, thanks!

So far from my own research I'm quite keen for Fijisawa or Inagi. Any expert opinions on either one of those?

mrcharisma
September 6th, 2016, 00:41
An hours travel will mean you'll need to be in the same or neighbouring prefectures. Big ask but worth a shot.

acpc2203
September 6th, 2016, 09:29
Your best chances are sister cities/towns as mentioned before or choosing inaka prefectures that few people choose as their preference. Still wouldn't count on it.

OatsCurrySummer
September 6th, 2016, 09:32
choosing inaka prefectures that few people choose as their preference.
You rang?

vaterross
September 7th, 2016, 12:04
Take a look here (http://jetprogramme.org/wp-content/themes/biz-vektor/pdf/countries/2016_jet_stats_e.pdf) for the details on this year's number of positions per Contracting Organization.

toast
September 8th, 2016, 19:29
Oh thanks, Vaterross, this is helpful. Just a quick question to be 100% sure I'm interpreting this right, is this the available spots for the 2017 programme or is this a summary of the average amount of applications received and placed?

Ebi
September 8th, 2016, 20:45
Oh thanks, Vaterross, this is helpful. Just a quick question to be 100% sure I'm interpreting this right, is this the available spots for the 2017 programme or is this a summary of the average amount of applications received and placed?
This is neither. It's the complete list of every current JET program placement in Japan right now, broken down by country of origin, job type, contracting location, and years in Japan.

To my knowledge, there are no official statistics available showing how many people apply each year vs. how many are placed, but the ballpark number people throw around is about 20~30% acceptance rate. There's also no way to know how many positions will be available yet because the current ALTs won't be turning in their recontracting forms until December, at the earliest, and those won't be processed until early next year.

Still, it's useful to know how many positions exists when making requests. For example, you'd look dumb if you requested Nagoya, since there aren't any JETs hired through that city and Aichi prefecture only has 7 JETs total.

toast
September 9th, 2016, 18:06
This is neither. It's the complete list of every current JET program placement in Japan right now, broken down by country of origin, job type, contracting location, and years in Japan.

To my knowledge, there are no official statistics available showing how many people apply each year vs. how many are placed, but the ballpark number people throw around is about 20~30% acceptance rate. There's also no way to know how many positions will be available yet because the current ALTs won't be turning in their recontracting forms until December, at the earliest, and those won't be processed until early next year.

Still, it's useful to know how many positions exists when making requests. For example, you'd look dumb if you requested Nagoya, since there aren't any JETs hired through that city and Aichi prefecture only has 7 JETs total.

Thanks Ebi, this really clears things up. So for example, I should probably list Kyoto as one of my choices since majority of South African ALTs are in Kyoto (the majority being but a total of 6, hahaha, psssh).

Again, I know my chances of being placed in my list of preferences (assuming now I'm lucky enough to qualify in the first place) are slim, but I would prefer to be prepared, just in case.

EDIT: My mistake, Shizuoka is where the majority of South African ALTs are with a total of 8.

johnny
September 9th, 2016, 22:37
I just wanted to say that if you and your buddies end up near a Shinkansen station, it won't be too difficult to meet up. Even if you guys are pretty far apart, you could probably meet up within Three hours if you meet at a midway point.

elmaldito
September 10th, 2016, 03:26
Take a look here (http://jetprogramme.org/wp-content/themes/biz-vektor/pdf/countries/2016_jet_stats_e.pdf)for the details on this year's number of positions per Contracting Organization.

Wow, 357 in Tokyo this year!

webstaa
September 12th, 2016, 07:56
Wow, 357 in Tokyo this year!

IIRC they're aiming for 400 total ALTs this year.

mrcharisma
September 15th, 2016, 08:23
Thanks Ebi, this really clears things up. So for example, I should probably list Kyoto as one of my choices since majority of South African ALTs are in Kyoto (the majority being but a total of 6, hahaha, psssh).

Again, I know my chances of being placed in my list of preferences (assuming now I'm lucky enough to qualify in the first place) are slim, but I would prefer to be prepared, just in case.

EDIT: My mistake, Shizuoka is where the majority of South African ALTs are with a total of 8.

It's not the majority. There are 85 in total so it's only about 10% of the programme's South Africans.

injektilo
October 3rd, 2016, 23:54
Also an aspiring JET trying to figure out what to list as placement preferences. It seems exciting to just leave it blank and see what happens, but I suppose there are few things I'm thinking might be desirable. Any recommendations for a decently-sized city within a few hours of Tokyo that has a lot of nature to offer?

I've visited Kamakura and am thinking of listing that. I've also visited Nikko and thought it was beautiful, but I might prefer a slightly larger city. Any mountain cities a little larger than Nikko within a few hours of Tokyo?

Otsu is my current home's sister city, any thoughts on listing Otsu?

mothy
October 4th, 2016, 12:57
Kofu in Yamanashi. It's actually in a valley, but mountains all around. Kind of a smaller city, but has everything you need, plus can do Tokyo on the weekends easy.
Matsumoto in Nagano is nice, but probably too far from Tokyo for you.
Takasaki or Maebashi in Gunma... What size of city are you thinking?
Utsunomiya in Tochigi ain't bad.

acpc2203
October 4th, 2016, 13:59
Keep in mind many Japanese cities include large rural areas since they merged many towns and villages into them over the years, so being placed in a city doesn't necessarily mean an urban or even suburban placement.

Ini
October 4th, 2016, 14:27
koriyama in fukushima aint bad, mountains all around, ski resorts just down the road in aizu, 80min to tokyo and 40min to sendai.

mrcharisma
October 4th, 2016, 18:45
Also an aspiring JET trying to figure out what to list a placement preferences. It seems exciting to just leave it blank and see what happens, but I suppose I there are few things I'm thinking might be desirable. Any recommendations from a decently-sized city within a few hours of Tokyo that has a lot of nature to offer?

I've visited Kamakura and am thinking of listing that. I've also visited Nikko and thought it was beautiful, but I might prefer a slightly larger city. Any mountain cities a little larger than Nikko within a few hours of Tokyo?

Otsu is my current home's sister city, any thoughts of listing Otsu?

I've rung Otsu's praises many a time on here. It's spitting distance from Kyoto and Osaka and has plenty of amenities itself. Still got a bit of the inaka feel in parts though so a good mix.

Madjawa
October 10th, 2016, 14:52
Debating whether I want to stay near Tokyo to be near college friends, or say screw 'em and go for that glorious snow country...

The Buddha Hulk
October 24th, 2016, 09:47
Good question!

Himeji is my city's sister city. I was going to put that down as a preference.

Also Kobe - mainly because I compete in BBQ comps and Kobe beef is pretty rad.

That being said, the Inaka lifestyle is pretty much my bag. Especially if some of the stories I've heard about getting accomodation with a little garden is on the cards. I know ESID but surely chances of that would increase the more rurally you went?

Any thoughts?


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Ferigoisacat
October 26th, 2016, 12:55
I've been sitting on this question as well, I don't have much of a preference in things, but I am terrified of driving. Any places I have a decent shot at that won't require me to drive? I wouldn't want to be in a large city like Tokyo or anything, it also wouldn't be a huge deal if I were though, but one large enough to have some reliable public transport would be lovely.
Only other slight preference I'd have is to be on Honshu, but that isn't even a big deal really.

mrcharisma
October 26th, 2016, 16:25
I've been sitting on this question as well, I don't have much of a preference in things, but I am terrified of driving. Any places I have a decent shot at that won't require me to drive? I wouldn't want to be in a large city like Tokyo or anything, it also wouldn't be a huge deal if I were though, but one large enough to have some reliable public transport would be lovely.
Only other slight preference I'd have is to be on Honshu, but that isn't even a big deal really.

There's no need to be scared of driving, if you can drive at home you can drive in Japan. For practically every placement outside Tokyo or Osaka it will improve your time on JET dramatically.

The Buddha Hulk
October 26th, 2016, 21:22
There's no need to be scared of driving, if you can drive at home you can drive in Japan. For practically every placement outside Tokyo or Osaka it will improve your time on JET dramatically.

Hell yeah... coming from my part of Australia I can't imagine having to rely on public transport. Nothing like the window down, tunes pumping and heading down the highway.




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mothy
October 26th, 2016, 21:37
That sounds nothing like driving in japan.

The Buddha Hulk
October 26th, 2016, 21:48
That sounds nothing like driving in japan.

Bubble burst haha


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Ferigoisacat
October 27th, 2016, 01:30
There's no need to be scared of driving, if you can drive at home you can drive in Japan. For practically every placement outside Tokyo or Osaka it will improve your time on JET dramatically.

While I do have a license in the states, I hate driving here enough as it is haha. And at least here I'm on the side of the road I'm familiar with and can actually read the signs and know the roads. Driving in my experience is kind of like being on the internet, that sense of anonymity brings out the worst in people. People will act like complete jerks when they think they can hide behind their steering wheel and tinted windows you know? Its's just stressful and I'd prefer not to have to add to the overall stress of moving to another country. However if that's just how it's gotta be I will of course.
Frankly the public transport was one of the appeals to Japan for me, I always wished I lived in a larger city that I didn't have to worry about the anxieties involved with driving. I live in a suburb of a fairly large city here in the states, but even when you get into the city there's nearly no public transport.

I don't really mind being in a place where driving would be more convenient or faster, but just a place where it isn't 100% necessary to survive. Even just a good bus route would work for me hah. I also don't mind walking, but would have difficulties walking extremely long distances every day. I've got a slight medical issue with my knees, nothing debilitating but just kinda painful.

Perhaps I should rephrase my question, which places should I try to avoid completely, that are situations where getting a car is 100% necessary and there is no other alternative? I assume most places in Hokkaido would be like this lol, but maybe I'm wrong.

Isola
October 27th, 2016, 08:20
Perhaps I should rephrase my question, which places should I try to avoid completely, that are situations where getting a car is 100% necessary and there is no other alternative? I assume most places in Hokkaido would be like this lol, but maybe I'm wrong.

I've had two placements in Hokkaido where I haven't been allowed to drive to work, so...
Anywhere you go, it's the luck of the draw. If you want to up your chances of not having to drive, I think saying that you're not willing to drive on the application would be more effective than trying to request a placement that has a less likely chance of requiring driving. It might decrease your chances of getting in if you're placed on the alternate list (people willing to drive are sometimes favored for upgrades), but oh well.

webstaa
October 27th, 2016, 08:25
Perhaps I should rephrase my question, which places should I try to avoid completely, that are situations where getting a car is 100% necessary and there is no other alternative? I assume most places in Hokkaido would be like this lol, but maybe I'm wrong.

Leveling with you: You can't control this. Even if you indicate that you aren't willing to drive, you might get a placement (if you're accepted) that requires a car for basic transportation. The majority of JET ALTs end up in quite rural placements, and it's fairly unavoidable. Remember that it's your Preference, but unless you have a strong existing link (like having studied abroad there, or sister city relationship etc) you're preferences are some of the lowest priority things considered in the application process.

Every prefecture has locations that will require a car, or at least driving in some form or other, unless you want to pay $30 a day for a taxi every morning. However, some cities do impose rules like "No commuting via car" - IIRC Sendai City does this. However, there are also placements in other larger cities that require a car to commute, as visit schools can be quite far away, and even very remote, despite being inside city limits.

mothy
October 27th, 2016, 08:40
If you want to improve your chance, request a metropolitan area. But there's no real control over getting a place that needs a car vs a place that doesn't.

Lianwen
October 27th, 2016, 13:25
I said no to driving on my application. I got a BFI location, with a train that came every other hour or so from 8am-7pm.

My schools were 40min-1hr by walking. I probably could have ridden a bike, but my BOE did not allow driving in our contracts. Instead, they paid for a taxi everyday, which came to about 6k-10k between two ALTs everyday.

Even though I was BFI, my apartment was tiny. I had to go an hour away by train if I wanted groceries etc.

I also did not get any of my preferred cities in my application, and my nearest preferred city was 6hrs away.

So don't put down nondriving if you think that might get you a Tokyo placement etc.

Ini
October 27th, 2016, 13:46
this is lianwen we are talking about though, there was probably a supermarket next to her house but she didn't notice it.

Lianwen
October 27th, 2016, 14:18
Go back under your bridge.

webstaa
October 27th, 2016, 15:21
I think it's important to point out (again) that every placement is different. I live in the middle of nowhere, but my school(s) are maybe a 10-15 minute walk, with a supermarket and conbinis even closer. But 5 years ago, my placement required going to 5 schools, the (second) closest which would be over 30 minutes walk - so although I could commute without my car now, 5 years it would have been a huge issue to not have one. Although otherwise quality of life would be pretty similar.

Having a license, and even getting a shitty car to bum around the inaka (and maybe go to Costco a few times too often) can be a huge boon. And driving in the countryside in Japan much easier than driving in the US. It might not be as stressful as driving in the US (or other countries) after a weeks of adjustment.

mrcharisma
October 27th, 2016, 19:30
The road signs are all in English and in 90% of placements having a car is less stressful than relying on public transport. There's also every chance you'd become "that guy" who mooches lifts off other JETs.

If you were an interviewer, would you hire someone who claims to have "anxiety" about basic lifeskills? I'm astonished how few applicants seem to realise that they're putting an obvious red flag against their name with the driving issue.

mothy
October 27th, 2016, 20:51
Well hopefully people have the wherewithal to not be putting this stuff on their application. I mean, on my application I was saying yeah, put me wherever. Deepest darkest inakaville? Sign me up! While in my head I was saying please god no.

acpc2203
October 28th, 2016, 08:54
I was dumb enough to put that I wanted to be in a sister city without checking where every sister city was, so be careful.

Ferigoisacat
October 29th, 2016, 07:07
The road signs are all in English and in 90% of placements having a car is less stressful than relying on public transport. There's also every chance you'd become "that guy" who mooches lifts off other JETs.

If you were an interviewer, would you hire someone who claims to have "anxiety" about basic lifeskills? I'm astonished how few applicants seem to realise that they're putting an obvious red flag against their name with the driving issue.

I understand that my preferences don't mean much, and I'll likely have to do it anyway (and am ok with doing it if I have to), I'd just rather do everything in my power to avoid it. Maybe anxiety was too harsh of a word, given the context these days most people seem to think any anxiety at all is crippling. Having some anxiety about something does not mean you're going into a full blown panic attack or mental break down mode. People get anxious before a big interview or test, but they're not being sent to a psych ward for it. It's completely normal to feel anxious about things in life, it doesn't have to mean you have some horrible reaction or mental disorder about it. Anxiety is not always crippling.
And I mean, there are things people would rather not do. You may think driving would be a convenience, I disagree. Driving is more a chore to me than some sort of reward or privilege. Same as doing the dishes. I would love to not have to do the dishes, because it's a chore I dislike, but just because I dislike it doesn't mean I won't do it when it needs to be done. However, I also often buy disposable utensils to avoid doing the thing I don't like doing, simply because I can and the option is there. That's the same thing I was trying to do here, if I have the ability to attempt to avoid it, I'd like to. Everyone wants to avoid doing things they don't like doing if they can, I don't think that makes them unfit in life or show a red flag at all. Sometimes you can't avoid it, so you do it anyway. The red flag is refusing to do the necessary things just because you don't like it, and that is in no way shape or form me or what I was asking. I apologize if you misunderstood me, but I thought I had made it clear that I am willing to drive, I'd just like to avoid it. So I appreciate you not diminishing my character by thinking I have no "life skills" or whatever and putting out imaginary red flags.

mrcharisma
October 30th, 2016, 07:22
It's completely normal to feel anxious about things in life, it doesn't have to mean you have some horrible reaction or mental disorder about it. Anxiety is not always crippling.
.

It's not normal for a grown adult to feel anxious about undertaking basic lifeskills. If you came out with that in interview it would almost certainly be flagged.

If you're not keen on driving in Japan spin them some other reason i.e. you're a serious cyclist, finances or something.

Ferigoisacat
October 30th, 2016, 13:19
It's not normal for a grown adult to feel anxious about undertaking basic lifeskills. If you came out with that in interview it would almost certainly be flagged.

If you're not keen on driving in Japan spin them some other reason i.e. you're a serious cyclist, finances or something.

Well I guess we're just going to have to agree to disagree. Everyone gets nervous about things in life, including you admit it or not. Big interviews, making large financial decisions, etc. There's absolutely nothing wrong with feeling nervous about things if it's not controlling your life, it's completely human. Driving is no walk in the park, thousands die every year in accidents. It's completely rational to consider the risks before doing anything that could potentially cost you your life. Evaluating risk is actually a better "life skill" if you ask me than driving. I'd even argue driving itself is not even in any way shape or form a "life skill" necessary to living anyway, since there are plenty of people who live their whole lives without ever getting behind the wheel, and yet live very successful lives at that. Whatever a "life skill" even is. You act like I cannot even function in life just because I can comprehend that driving is a risk to think about. That not enjoying driving is the same as being unable to lift a spoon to my mouth or load a washing machine. It's just silly.

OatsCurrySummer
October 30th, 2016, 14:43
The road signs are all in English and in 90% of placements having a car is less stressful than relying on public transport. There's also every chance you'd become "that guy" who mooches lifts off other JETs.

Gonna have to go with Mr.Charisma here. I got placed in the absolute most BFI and was screwed over by the Canadian bureaucratic system (long story short: they told me I could renew my license online after I got here, but once I got here I learned about some bullshit technicality which means I have to return to Canada to take a new photo, so now I cant get my Japanese license until I visit home). Having a social life blows without a car. I am always trying to avoid asking for rides, and 90% of the time I manage to do so, but Okinawa has no trains and there are some places that buses or taxis just dont go to. And then I end up being "that guy". It's not a good look.

Jiggit
October 30th, 2016, 17:38
Well I guess we're just going to have to agree to disagree. Everyone gets nervous about things in life, including you admit it or not. Big interviews, making large financial decisions, etc. There's absolutely nothing wrong with feeling nervous about things if it's not controlling your life, it's completely human. Driving is no walk in the park, thousands die every year in accidents. It's completely rational to consider the risks before doing anything that could potentially cost you your life. Evaluating risk is actually a better "life skill" if you ask me than driving. I'd even argue driving itself is not even in any way shape or form a "life skill" necessary to living anyway, since there are plenty of people who live their whole lives without ever getting behind the wheel, and yet live very successful lives at that. Whatever a "life skill" even is. You act like I cannot even function in life just because I can comprehend that driving is a risk to think about. That not enjoying driving is the same as being unable to lift a spoon to my mouth or load a washing machine. It's just silly.
Nothing wrong with it on a fundamental moral reason, sure. From the point of view of a programme wanting to employ people to go to the buttholes of Japan and deal with a whole bunch of anxiety inducing situations and tough it out for several years, telling them about how basic tasks freak you out back home is just a reason for them to toss out your application.

mrcharisma
October 30th, 2016, 22:42
Evaluating risk is actually a better "life skill" if you ask me than driving. I'd even argue driving itself is not even in any way shape or form a "life skill" necessary to living anyway, since there are plenty of people who live their whole lives without ever getting behind the wheel, and yet live very successful lives at that. Whatever a "life skill" even is.

You'll have plenty time to evaluate risks when you're waiting 4 hours on a bus in the middle of the boonies.

If you honestly think "I have evaluated the risks and have decided driving in Japan is too dangerous" will make you look more competent an applicant than "yeah sure I'll drive if needed", then please go ahead.

Ini
October 30th, 2016, 22:50
http://www.bs4.jp/aisya_henreki/onair/100/img/guest.jpg

acpc2203
October 31st, 2016, 08:35
Gonna have to go with Mr.Charisma here. I got placed in the absolute most BFI and was screwed over by the Canadian bureaucratic system (long story short: they told me I could renew my license online after I got here, but once I got here I learned about some bullshit technicality which means I have to return to Canada to take a new photo, so now I cant get my Japanese license until I visit home). Having a social life blows without a car. I am always trying to avoid asking for rides, and 90% of the time I manage to do so, but Okinawa has no trains and there are some places that buses or taxis just dont go to. And then I end up being "that guy". It's not a good look.
disgusting