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The Buddha Hulk
October 29th, 2016, 05:40
Hi all,

For those who are currently on or have been placed in the inaka for JET, I wanted to ask how you found your day to day life?

Pros and cons etc

I'm a 30 year old aspiring JET and I've done the city life, drinking till 4 in the morning and waking up in precarious places...

I'm really hoping to be placed somewhere off the beaten track and little bit special.

So my questions are:

1) Where were you placed?
2) What where the pros and cons?

Cheers!




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OatsCurrySummer
October 29th, 2016, 17:45
I'm placed on a tiny tropical island in Okinawa that is an hour's ferry from the main island and a plane ride away from mainland Japan. There are no trains in Okinawa, no conbinis on my island and it's inhabited by 1,500 people. So I pretty much win the "my-placement-is-more-inaka-than-yours" award. That being said, I was a city girl myself and being in the inaka, especially one so isolated, I've discovered what its like to have a community that cares about you. I've never been one to interact with or generally give a shit about my neighbors, but here I've learned to enjoy taking part in community events, festivals, marathons and editing a few english documents at the request of the town office, since I'm the only foreigner here. The work load is incredibly light (my mainland friends can have up to 6 classes a day, whereas I get 2 or 3) and I get to know all of my students (120 on the whole island). People here really look out of one another, and have made me feel nothing but welcome. For example, there was one time that I got food poisoning in Tokyo and when I came home, I mentioned it to someone on the ferry and within an hour, three of my neighbors were at my door with bags of vitamin drinks and homemade soup. That's the kind of community this is.
Rent is super cheap (5,000 yen a month) so I can save around $1,500 USD a month and still have lots to spend on drinking and travelling.
That being said, it's incredibly inconvenient to travel to mainland Japan from here. I take a boat, a bus and then a plane to get anywhere. That's my only real complaint. That and the sense of duty that comes with taking part in the community. If you dont show up to events, people notice. They want you to be an active member and contribute, which so far I've enjoyed doing. I'm sure many people have had very different (sometimes negative) experiences of life in the inaka, so mine definitely does not apply to all. But give it a chance, I never expected something so remote, but now I couldnt imagine my life in a huge Japanese city!

Gizmotech
October 30th, 2016, 02:49
Hi all,

For those who are currently on or have been placed in the inaka for JET, I wanted to ask how you found your day to day life?
I'm a 30 year old aspiring JET and I've done the city life, drinking till 4 in the morning and waking up in precarious places...
Cheers!


Semi inaka Ex-Jet. In my town of 60k there was plenty of drinking until 5am, the only difference was you could always get home.

The Buddha Hulk
October 30th, 2016, 06:58
I'm placed on a tiny tropical island in Okinawa that is an hour's ferry from the main island and a plane ride away from mainland Japan. There are no trains in Okinawa, no conbinis on my island and it's inhabited by 1,500 people. So I pretty much win the "my-placement-is-more-inaka-than-yours" award. Couldn't imagine my life in a huge Japanese city!

Thanks for sharing! That actually sounds pretty awesome.




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The Buddha Hulk
October 30th, 2016, 06:59
Semi inaka Ex-Jet. In my town of 60k there was plenty of drinking until 5am, the only difference was you could always get home.

Haha cheers Gizmo, the mind is willing but the body...




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mrcharisma
October 30th, 2016, 08:54
Similar situation to Gizmo. "City" of 70k but plenty to keep you occupied after dark. Cities this size in Japan will always have plenty of good restaurants and a few bars worth visiting. I was still finding new places down alleyways well into my 3rd year on Jet

Placements along these lines are probably more common than real inaka placements I'd say.

The Buddha Hulk
October 30th, 2016, 09:23
Similar situation to Gizmo. "City" of 70k but plenty to keep you occupied after dark. Cities this size in Japan will always have plenty of good restaurants and a few bars worth visiting. I was still finding new places down alleyways well into my 3rd year on Jet

Placements along these lines are probably more common than real inaka placements I'd say.

Nice one. Thanks mate.

I'm pretty keen on the community involvement side of things but I'm sure that is not decided by location. I like to get amongst it so I'm sure I'll be right anywhere.

mothy
October 30th, 2016, 09:42
A big city won't stop you from community involvement if that's something you want to do. Despite being practically in Tokyo, I could have done lots of community activities if I'd wanted to, I just didn't because who would want to do that here? Saitamans are awful.

The Buddha Hulk
October 30th, 2016, 09:46
Saitamans? As in people from Saitama?

What makes them awful? Excuse my ignorance [emoji854]

Zolrak 22
October 30th, 2016, 11:36
Saitamans? As in people from Saitama?

What makes them awful? Excuse my ignorance [emoji854]
Saitama has a bad rep, there's been a number of news articles that make it stand out as Japan's version of Gotham. Which I'm sure is an exaggeration, but an entertaining one nonetheless.

Wild Rover
October 30th, 2016, 15:29
I'm placed on a tiny tropical island in Okinawa that is an hour's ferry from the main island and a plane ride away from mainland Japan. There are no trains in Okinawa, no conbinis on my island and it's inhabited by 1,500 people!


Good luck getting laid in the middle of no where....



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Ini
October 30th, 2016, 15:47
shouldnt be a problem (http://www.dto.jp/)

mrcharisma
October 30th, 2016, 19:40
Nice one. Thanks mate.

I'm pretty keen on the community involvement side of things but I'm sure that is not decided by location. I like to get amongst it so I'm sure I'll be right anywhere.

The community involvement stuff can get pretty tedious so I'd size it up before jumping in headfirst. In my first year on Jet we all pretty much got dragged into pensioners cookery classes and the like. As Oats said the more you show up the more will be expected of you.

Once I got my bearings I spent the latter half of my Jet days hanging around snack bars with crooked salarymen. Still community involvement but a bit more interesting.

OatsCurrySummer
October 30th, 2016, 20:16
Good luck getting laid in the middle of no where....
I do just fine, thanks for your concern.

The Buddha Hulk
October 31st, 2016, 06:11
The community involvement stuff can get pretty tedious so I'd size it up before jumping in headfirst. In my first year on Jet we all pretty much got dragged into pensioners cookery classes and the like. As Oats said the more you show up the more will be expected of you.

Once I got my bearings I spent the latter half of my Jet days hanging around snack bars with crooked salarymen. Still community involvement but a bit more interesting.

Solid advice mate.
I use to live in a country town in oz so I know those small town pressures.

A little anonymity goes a long way.


Kinda wanna know about the crooked salary men now Hahahaha

mrcharisma
October 31st, 2016, 07:32
Solid advice mate.
I use to live in a country town in oz so I know those small town pressures.

A little anonymity goes a long way.


Kinda wanna know about the crooked salary men now Hahahaha

My predecessor gave me an intro to a guy, he was a proper old geezer, fairly high up in the local inaka bank and knew every bar owner in town. I met a couple of other salarymen types through him.

Guys like that exist everywhere and can make much more interesting boozing buddies than the younger herbivore men.

acpc2203
October 31st, 2016, 08:34
as long as you don't end up in tottori you will be fine.

The Buddha Hulk
October 31st, 2016, 09:29
My predecessor gave me an intro to a guy, he was a proper old geezer, fairly high up in the local inaka bank and knew every bar owner in town. I met a couple of other salarymen types through him.

Guys like that exist everywhere and can make much more interesting boozing buddies than the younger herbivore men.

Haha great! Nice work.

The Buddha Hulk
October 31st, 2016, 09:29
as long as you don't end up in tottori you will be fine.

Lol that bad?

acpc2203
October 31st, 2016, 10:28
Worse

Frap
October 31st, 2016, 10:49
im in a town of 4000 and after one year it's already boring imo

every day same people, same places, same experiences

there's nothing (or nobody) new to do in the immediate vicinity after a certain point

hoping to move to an urban area come august 2017

acpc2203
October 31st, 2016, 11:14
I don't even live in the inaka, Tottori is just depressing.

ambrosse
November 1st, 2016, 09:02
Was placed in a mountain valley town in south central Mie prefecture. 9500 people.

Pros:
-Super low cost of living
-Locals are friendly and helpful
-Small schools = better teaching and learning environment
-Chances to learn and use Japanese via immersion
-Beautiful nature
-Chances to do hiking in the mountains and boating/fishing/swimming down at the ocean
-Despite location, there is reasonable day trip access to Osaka, Nara, Kyoto, and Nagoya (within 3 hours train ride from my closest larger station taking cheap trains only)
-Tons of local festivals that aren't swarming with people like in the larger areas

Cons:
-Driving is required otherwise daily living is impossible
-Closest conbini = 10-15 minute drive
-Struggles if you don't know Japanese or can't understand the clusterfuck collective that is local dialect (and I'm talking Kansai-ben + Mie-ben + local village dialect =_= )
-Trains are useless as all stations are unmanned, and the trains always late and slow as hell
-Closest "city" for shopping + closest larger IC compatible station = 1.5 hour drive
-Lack of privacy


Love it here regardless!
The mountain valley is absolutely beautiful and I wouldn't trade this placement for any other.
It's a good location where getting to city areas is just a little bit of a drive away.

Jiggit
November 1st, 2016, 11:27
Pros: no other foreigners.
Cons: no women

Wild Rover
November 1st, 2016, 15:45
I do just fine, thanks for your concern.

Sure... [emoji57]


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Wild Rover
November 1st, 2016, 15:45
Pros: no other foreigners.
Cons: no women

Boom... Says it all


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hypatia
December 9th, 2016, 22:08
Was placed in a mountain valley town in south central Mie prefecture. 9500 people.

Pros:
-Super low cost of living
-Locals are friendly and helpful
-Small schools = better teaching and learning environment
-Chances to learn and use Japanese via immersion
-Beautiful nature
-Chances to do hiking in the mountains and boating/fishing/swimming down at the ocean
-Despite location, there is reasonable day trip access to Osaka, Nara, Kyoto, and Nagoya (within 3 hours train ride from my closest larger station taking cheap trains only)
-Tons of local festivals that aren't swarming with people like in the larger areas

Cons:
-Driving is required otherwise daily living is impossible
-Closest conbini = 10-15 minute drive
-Struggles if you don't know Japanese or can't understand the clusterfuck collective that is local dialect (and I'm talking Kansai-ben + Mie-ben + local village dialect =_= )
-Trains are useless as all stations are unmanned, and the trains always late and slow as hell
-Closest "city" for shopping + closest larger IC compatible station = 1.5 hour drive
-Lack of privacy


Love it here regardless!
The mountain valley is absolutely beautiful and I wouldn't trade this placement for any other.
It's a good location where getting to city areas is just a little bit of a drive away.

Yep. This about sums it up. I'm in a "city" of 25k in the mountains in Kansai, but this is still accurate (except I can get around my city at least on bike. For the most part)

acpc2203
December 12th, 2016, 11:29
Pros: no other foreigners.
Cons: no women
Since there are very few foreigners people always want to talk to me about random crap. Could be pro or con depending on your personality/tolerance for having the same conversation.

patjs
December 30th, 2016, 04:47
If you're way out there you have a much higher probability of locals wanting to buy you food and drink all the time. You never know when some guy is going to insist you drink with him or visit some establishments with him and pay for the entire thing.

In the cities you aren't that much of a novelty so the likelihood of this happening tends to decline. .

If you want privacy (like especially if you are single and may be seeing people) you might not like the inaka. Because you'll have no privacy. Everyone knows what you're up to. People see you in the one store in town.

fryfry
January 4th, 2017, 15:24
1st year JET, here. I was 30 last year when I applied, as well, so fancy that.

I was placed in southern Japan, in what I'd describe as a "big town". It's not quite inaka, but is close to it in some ways, with its nature spots and general air of boredom compared to that of a big city. It has plenty of karaoke, good eats and conveniences which make life easier, but if you wanna do anything else for 'fun' (or meet Japanese who are around or under your own age), you have to hop on a train or boat and look elsewhere.

I've made it sound pretty con so far, so here's the pros:
- The people are genuinely friendly, in that non-rushed, towny sort of way. There's even an unofficial international club you can join and contribute to with stuff like cheap cooking and calligraphy classes.
- The seafood eats are exceptional. Even better than the city from where I came, which I still insist (to everyone's annoyance) is the best food city in the U.S.
- For a larger town, the scenery and nature are breathtaking, and there're plenty of outdoor activities. Also it's in a prefecture densely populated with JETs, so there's no shortage of native English speakers badgering you for a night or day out.


Having 5 months of living here under my belt, I would say that if you're used to city life, don't trap yourself in an idealized view of how inaka life would be if you're placed there. After two months, I was already seeing the necessity of driving beyond my city's borders every once in a while, just to preserve sanity against the monotony of daily life. Being "off the beaten path" may sound nice, but if you're not ready and willing to fully embrace a lifestyle that's very different from the one you've enjoyed thus far in your adult life, you may be in for a rude awakening. Then again, if you are, it may be a real treat for you.


edit: ehhh, and I've just realized that my life doesn't have all that in common with inaka life. I'd still say to prepare yourself for a lifestyle change if you're coming from a big city, though.

naginataonthebrain
January 6th, 2017, 13:43
In southern Kyushu, in a town of 54,000 and shrinking...

Pros:
- Majority of my schools are small, which makes for a better teaching environment
- Randomly get free produce from my neighbors and coworkers
- People are very friendly
- Get to experience Japan in a way that most foreigners don't

Cons:
-Closest city to shop, watch movies, go out partying is about 1 hr 20 min drive
- Pain in the ass to travel to and from
- Most of the kids here haven't ever or don't plan to ever leave Kyushu so they don't see the point in learning English
- You will always run into one of your students or their parents outside of work.
- You need to have a car in order to go anywhere fun


Despite that, I'm enjoying my time here and plan to sign up for year 3.