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Nawoo
October 17th, 2006, 12:58
Hey boys and girls!

I'm a first time applicant for the JET program. I'm in the process of filling up my application form and i'm stumped on my Placement requests. I can't seem to have a fixed idea of where i wanna be!

All i know is that i want somewhere that's rural and beautiful. I'm a crazy avid photographer and i love doing Landscape photography and People photography. I'm a freelance wedding photographer every once in awhile. I'll do the craziest things for landscape shots. I'll wake up at 530am to catch morning's first light. I'll wait 2 hours for that perfect sunset shot.

Japan is a photographer's paradise. There's just so much natural beauty and so many amazing landscapes. Not to mention its very distinct culture. I just wanna go photo crazy and take a million awesome photos.

.... and teach a little bit of english at the same time


As of now, i'm listing Kochi Prefecture, Nagano prefecture, and Mizayaki Prefecture, as my respective preferences. There are like 4 prefectures on Shikoku. Which one's the nearest to the areas that i can surf? I listed Mizayaki as well since it has pretty good surf as well. What's the possibility of me being able to surf everyday after class if i have the necessary transport? I'm still contemplating on that point.

I was reading this member Spiffae's blog, and he got posted to this obscure little island in Hiroshima called Osakikamishima. And it's absolutely beautiful. I want something like that. Ahhhhh. I think Hokkaido should be really beautiful as well. But i don't really feel like freezing my balls off most of the year.

I was thinking of Shizuoka as well. So you guys need to help me with this!


Oh yeah, i have to introduce myself.

My name is Nathan. I'm originally from Singapore. I left it 3 years ago to go to the US of A to study. So i'm now a Senior at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia. I'll be done next May with a degree in Earth & Atmospheric Sciences (damn JET application didn't have my major.) I think i've had enough of American culture so i'm thinking of immersing myself into Japanese culture.

I played 6 years of Waterpolo in Singapore and 3 years in College. So cuz of that, i've taught little Japanese kids who stay in my condominium estate how to swim. Can i list this down in my application? That's the only form of teaching i've ever done. Hahaha. At least they're little jap kids right?

So yeap, that's basically me. So please list your suggestions on what places in Japan you think are the most picturesque.




Bali, Indonesia
http://www.pbase.com/nawoo/image/57111003/medium.jpg

http://www.pbase.com/nawoo/image/57111193/medium.jpg

http://www.pbase.com/nawoo/image/57111325/medium.jpg

My Home
http://www.pbase.com/nawoo/image/57110953/medium.jpg

1440
October 17th, 2006, 13:19
I am at the moment sitting at my desk looking at the beautiful mountains to my left and the Seto Inland sea to my right. I think Hiroshima-ken is really picturesque, but not great for surfing AFAIk

Nawoo
October 17th, 2006, 13:22
Drools. Ok Hiroshima shall be on my list. I gotta kick Nagano out. Hahaha. Unless anyone has anything to say about Nagano.

All i wanna do there is take photos of the Snow Monkeys in their hot baths. Hahaha

1492
October 17th, 2006, 13:22
You want picturesque rural small island life somewhere you can surf? Err, that's Okinawa, to a T. You can try for that, but the odds of getting Okinawa are pretty small. Hundreds apply, few get through. If you apply as "rural" though, your chances go up.

Yeah, put down anything vaguely involved with teaching children down on your application. Put down anything related to interacting with other cultures too. I put down the three whole days I did afternoon daycare. It scored brownie points for me.

Nawoo
October 17th, 2006, 13:28
I was thinking of Okinawa as well. But i don't really want to be around the US Army bases, or even have a chance of meeting a military person.

I'm not democrat though. I'm republican. But i still don't feel like being in close range to the military. LOL.

Okinawa might be a bit too tropical for me since i'm from Singapore.

dombay
October 17th, 2006, 13:30
Wherever you're placed you can travel to see scenery.

Along the Seto Inland sea though is very beautiful I reckon, plus you'd get me as a neighbour. I live in a small fishing port and as much as I bitch about it constantly it's really very beautiful.

I'm with whoever requested hiroshima. Yamaguchi, Hiroshima and Okayama on the coast are very beautiful prefectures with great little islands everywhere for a bit of scenery. We also have some great cities like Hiroshima and Okayama and when you get sick of them Osaka and Kyoto aren't too far away.

1492
October 17th, 2006, 13:33
I'm South African, and I'm survivng. Took a month to adjust, but it's worth it. I just put up a rather amateurish photo in the gallery, but it will give you an idea of what I see everyday, even in the middle of the city.

And don't worry about the military. If you apply for rural, you probably wont see them. I'm in a semi-rural, and I only see a foreigner maybe once a week, and not necessarily even military. If you go into the central cities, or near the bases, then yeah, you'll see a few. But they don't actually come out the bases much.

jack_zuta
October 17th, 2006, 13:34
If you're into pastoral/bucolic landscapes you may want to consider requesting Phantasmagorical Tohoku.

1492
October 17th, 2006, 13:34
damn, forgot link, see the photo here (http://www.ithinkimlost.com/gallery/main/IMG_0681).

1492
October 17th, 2006, 13:36
If you're into pastoral/bucolic landscapes you may want to consider requesting Phantasmagorical Tohoku.

damn, how's that word-a-day calendar doing for you?

az
October 17th, 2006, 13:36
Even if he wanted Okinawa the chances of him getting here are next to zero, considering the amount of people who choose it.

az
October 17th, 2006, 13:41
If you're into pastoral/bucolic landscapes you may want to consider requesting Phantasmagorical Tohoku.

Talk about obfuscation, phew

jack_zuta
October 17th, 2006, 13:42
If you're into pastoral/bucolic landscapes you may want to consider requesting Phantasmagorical Tohoku.

damn, how's that word-a-day calendar doing for you?

Is this a nerd meme? I get that zinger from people online about once a week.

az
October 17th, 2006, 13:52
It must be a strong meme

Nawoo
October 17th, 2006, 13:56
Yeah. What are like the areas that are really hot for applicants. Are Hiroshima and Shizuoka highly requested as well?

Does requesteing for the prefecture, but asking for Rural areas make a difference?

dombay
October 17th, 2006, 15:11
Even if he wanted Okinawa the chances of him getting here are next to zero, considering the amount of people who choose it.

Looks like my japan syndrome has made it's way down to the outlying territories then.

1440
October 17th, 2006, 16:01
Yeah. What are like the areas that are really hot for applicants. Are Hiroshima and Shizuoka highly requested as well?

Does requesteing for the prefecture, but asking for Rural areas make a difference?

I requested Hiroshima, semi-rural/town and I got it all. :roll: Judging by the profiles of the Okinawa peeps, it looks like Linguistics as a major gets your foot in there.

This is my area:http://apike.ca/japan_takehara.html When I get home I will post some pics.
Here are some of the Seto-island sea off the net:
http://www.h5.dion.ne.jp/~stonemia/sub40Seto11.jpg
http://static.flickr.com/43/117383818_941e3296f6_m.jpg
http://www.imonoyama.org/excursions/miyajima/misensan04.jpg

As Dombay said, it is not difficult to travel. Apparently there is a surfing club in Onomichi who get together on trips quite often

Nawoo
October 17th, 2006, 17:18
Ah Hiroshima it is then. So if i request for Hiroshima prefecture, it is entirely by luck, where in that prefecture they place me right?

Tohoku looks very rugged and beautiful. I like it alot. But it's up north. Might be too cold for me than i'd prefer it to be.

dombay
October 17th, 2006, 18:20
I requested Hokkaido. I got Okayama.

They'll place you wherever the feel like placing you. Some people get their requests but just as many don't.

Just enter into the whole thing with an open mind and flexibility and you'll get good to go.

1263
October 17th, 2006, 18:34
aye! if you dont already have a strong desire to go somewhere in particular i wouldnt put too much thought into in incase you get really passionate about somewhere - you might end up disappointed cos very few people get their first choice, and after all - its Japan! youre bound to be near something/place/one beautiful where ever you are placed!

If you are highly put off by the millitary, i would avoid Okinawa, i was speaking to a girl in the North the other day who said where she lived was just like being in America which is not what you are after by the sounds of it! Having said that, i would never knock okinawa jet - i wouldnt want to be anywhere else!x

psychohistoric
October 17th, 2006, 20:47
i don't really want to be around the US Army bases, or even have a chance of meeting a military person.

Then don't come to Japan. They're unavoidable here. You can steer clear of them most of the time, but odds are you'll run into one or two somewhere in Japan. Also, if you're looking for really striking natural landscapes, move to New Zealand. Anyway, enough of my being a bastard. I think Kumamoto is really pretty, especially near Mt. Aso. I just got back from a weekend in Nagasaki and there are some amazing natural areas round them parts. Regardless of where you're placed, kirei na inaka is within a short bike/train/car ride. Good luck.

Nawoo
October 18th, 2006, 08:53
aye! if you dont already have a strong desire to go somewhere in particular i wouldnt put too much thought into in incase you get really passionate about somewhere - you might end up disappointed cos very few people get their first choice, and after all - its Japan! youre bound to be near something/place/one beautiful where ever you are placed!

If you are highly put off by the millitary, i would avoid Okinawa, i was speaking to a girl in the North the other day who said where she lived was just like being in America which is not what you are after by the sounds of it! Having said that, i would never knock okinawa jet - i wouldnt want to be anywhere else!x

Ah but there are 3 choices. I don't really care if i get my first choice or not. Are there people who don't get any of their choices at all?What are the chances of that happening.

Omega037
October 18th, 2006, 09:16
If you are counting on getting one of your choices, don't. The chances aren't that great. Anyways though, I live on Shikoku(Kagawa) and it is pretty majestic here. Kochi, which is on the south of the island facing the ocean, is definately the area for surfing and such though.

1440
October 18th, 2006, 09:17
Ah but there are 3 choices. I don't really care if i get my first choice or not. Are there people who don't get any of their choices at all?What are the chances of that happening.

The chances are pretty high that you dont get any of your choices. My friend did not get any of her choices and ended up in Okinawa. She was not happy at first, but is lovin it now. In the end, its what you make of it. Japan is 5 times smaller than South Africa, so it is really easy to travel and see many places. Maybe if you state a good reason for your first choice, you could get it. My friend stated that she wanted Hiroshima because she planned to further her studies in something to do with peace.

1263
October 18th, 2006, 09:22
I didnt get any of my choices and most people i speak to didnt either, i never expected to get any of my choices either! They pretty much place you wherever they like!

Its all good though, i love okinawa!

Nawoo
October 18th, 2006, 09:41
So people who want to go to Okinawa dont get placed in Okinawa. And people who didn't ask to get placed there, get placed there instead.

hahahaha.

There should be an online trading forum or something.

Once JETs know their placements. Those who want to trade can do so. Since all JETs are the same anyway.

psychohistoric
October 18th, 2006, 09:48
So people who want to go to Okinawa dont get placed in Okinawa. And people who didn't ask to get placed there, get placed there instead.

Yeah, it`s a bit of a crap shoot. I requested Hokkaido and got Kyushu, and I met a couple JETs at the Tokyo orientation who had requested Kyushu and got Hokkaido. I do love my placement, though. I`m pretty sure this is all part of some sort of sick experiment.

jacqui
October 18th, 2006, 09:52
Yeah, it's up to the boards of education who request people fitting your description.

Almost all Okinawa JETs have linguistics qualifications, so that's why I ended up here. (I'm the friend Narnia was talking about). My choices were Tochigi, Saitama and Gunma.

Let's put it this way, you have a higher chance of getting placed somewhere you want to go if you request it. But requesting a place can mean squat if they want you somewhere else.

1263
October 18th, 2006, 09:54
Once JETs know their placements. Those who want to trade can do so. Since all JETs are the same anyway.

No way hozay would that ever happen! you either accept the placement you get offered or you dont go! you definitely cant trade placements! would be super cool if you could though!!

As for okinawa, who knows how they work it out, my friend actually said "i dont mind where i go as long as its not okinawa cos i dont like hot weather" and she is one of two jets on a remote island a four hour ferry ride away from okinawa - she's loving it all the same!!

jacqui
October 18th, 2006, 10:00
Yeh, agreed. Not all JETs are the same and not all have the same qualifications.

I believe az and I got placed in handicapped schools partially because we both know our country's sign language (it's just a theory, and the actual fact that we do is pretty irrelevent in those schools, but anyway...)

Also with the Okinawa JETs having linguistics qualifications. And all JETs have different levels of teaching experience and whatnot.

az
October 18th, 2006, 10:29
I made no choices, I ticked the box that said "No Preference". I told them I will be just happy to go to such a beautiful country and be in such a beautiful culture. They asked me what weather I like and I said, "I prefer warm weather." I ended up in Okinawa the only tropical prefecture and spend my days luxuriating on Japan's most beautiful beaches- ahhhhhhhh.

tomh_83
October 18th, 2006, 10:50
I guess I should try and defend Nagano-ken... get out of the big cities and past all the concrete and there are so many beautiful areas for hiking, climbing (Kamikochi, the Kiso valley, Iizuna-kogen), and you can see the snow monkeys at the Jigokudani Yaen-koen in Yamanouchi. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jigokudani_Monkey_Park

If you want surf, you're in the wrong place. You can be about 3-4 hours drive on the highway from the coast and any decent surfing. But in the winter, you're in the right place - skiing, snowboarding, onsens, parties - just go to Hakuba. But if you really really don't like the cold, this is not the place for you...

dobharrison
October 18th, 2006, 11:01
If it's scenery you want, I wouldn't recommend Hiroshima! I mean, it has some pretty areas, but there are much better choices for that kind of thing (like most of Shikoku). If it's urban you want, then Hiroshima City itself is awesome; but I don't think the rest of the prefecture is all that special in terms of scenery when you compare it to the rest of Japan.

KateW
October 18th, 2006, 13:09
And I'm here to advocate Nagasaki prefecture and it's gorgeous mountains and the 99 Goto islands. :B

Dude, it sounds to me like you don't need to worry about finding picturesque places in Japan. Anywhere you get placed is probably going to be gorgeous, or very close by to a gorgeous place that you can travel to. If I've come up with anything from my small bit of travel and listening to the people on this board, Japan is really just beautiful, period.

dobharrison
October 18th, 2006, 13:18
'Tis true. Even if you live in downtown Tokyo or Osaka, pretty nature is always close due to the excellent trains.

mteacher80
October 18th, 2006, 14:16
yeah you will be close to a beautiful picture taking area no matter where you are, and as a photographer, you can make even the most non-beautiful things in to a great picture, i have pics of those rusted half-sank intothe ground kei trucks and pictures of dirty train stations that turn out really good.

Just a little plug thought. Shiga is really nice, you have Lake Biwa with many small islands in it, as well as many mountains over looking it, there is still alot of farmland and its really close to kyoto for traditioal pics of temples and shrines, as well as osaka for the modern stuff.

But dont worry too much, you will be fine where ever you are!

mark!

Nawoo
October 18th, 2006, 15:27
I don't want to travel like miles just to take photos. I want to have beauty right at my doorstep. Hahahhaa. To be ONE with nature.

I applied to The University of Alaska, Fairbanks to do my degree. That place was smack in the middle of the Alaskan Range and Denali National Park. But they screwed up my application so now i'm stuck in crappy Atlanta.

Yeah i just realised all JET's are different. Everyone has different credentials. Silly me. Didn't realise that.

Oh well, i read that Kochi and Tokushima has awesome surfing. Do you think i should just list 3 choices from Shikoku.

Rural Shikoku isn't the most highly sought after place for JET applicants right?

Doomer
October 18th, 2006, 15:47
Rural Shikoku isn't the most highly sought after place for JET applicants right?

I think (in general) you could replace Shikoku with anywhere and still be correct...

Embley
October 18th, 2006, 18:03
I'll stick up for Nagano a bit as well. I was just there for the soccer tournament and thought it was beautiful.

I don't know anyone who got their placement requests. Not many people request Fukushima (I didn't make a placement request.) But I really like it here.

jack_zuta
October 19th, 2006, 11:53
Tohoku looks very rugged and beautiful. I like it alot. But it's up north. Might be too cold for me than i'd prefer it to be.

I like how it is colder up here because I work in a Cool Biz (or whatever it's called) situation and thus August was kind of rough.

It's not that much colder here, though.

Himawari
October 19th, 2006, 12:50
I haven`t been there yet, but from what I hear Kochi and Tokushima have the best surfing and Shikoku in general is quite pretty.

The Kinki/Kansai area (Osaka, Nara, Kyoto, Hyogo, Wakayama) would be a great place for photography. No matter where in that area you get placed you`ll be within three hours at the most of dozens of Japan`s most famous photogenic tourist sites as well as gorgeous mountains, fields, beaches, and cities. There`s urban sprawl on the main Osaka-Kobe corridor, but the majority of the area is rural beauty. I live in a tiny town that has the ruins of a castle and most of the buildings in town are edo-period merchant houses, in a valley full of rice paddies framed by tall green mountains that I am told will shortly be awash in autumn maple leaves.

Acutally, I guess for good photography rural anywhere in Japan would be good. Just stay away from Tokyo and the prefectures that border it. Fields, mountains, pretty trees, etc. can be found all over the country!

Nawoo
October 19th, 2006, 13:42
I just changed my preferences to Kochi, Tokushima, and Ehime.

LOL, that better get me on that Island.

Oh well, i should at least start thinking about this again only if they call me up for an interview.

I'm just about done with my application.

Just stumped on this one question.


Proposed direction of current/future profession and how it relates to JET.

Since i'm an Earth and Atmospheric science major, i was gonna go into Environmental Consulting.

I have no clue how that would relate to JET.

I can't tell them i'd teach the kids how to be environmentally friendly could i

Doomer
October 19th, 2006, 13:44
I can't tell them i'd teach the kids how to be environmentally friendly could i

Sure you could...

1440
October 20th, 2006, 09:12
I can't tell them i'd teach the kids how to be environmentally friendly could i

I have only been teaching for two months, and I have already had two lessons on being enviromentally friendly. The textbooks are quite keen to include it as a topic. Moreover, it is apparently always in the big exams, so they will appreciate that.

az
October 20th, 2006, 09:25
Proposed direction of current/future profession and how it relates to JET.

Since i'm an Earth and Atmospheric science major, i was gonna go into Environmental Consulting.

I have no clue how that would relate to JET.

I can't tell them i'd teach the kids how to be environmentally friendly could i

You will have to be crafty here. Maybe do a little research on Japanese Environmental stuff (highly technical technical term there, lol) and say that you are interested in observing the Japanese approach, mention something they do,

or that in the future want to do International Consulting with Japan in mind,

I don't really know these are just suggestions, but something along these lines might help you.

For me it was easy- I'm a Teacher so it was pretty straightforward.

1492
October 20th, 2006, 13:05
I'm pretty sure I left that one blank. I have the career direction of a blueberry muffin, and they still let me in.

They even asked me that in the interview, and I said I didn't know. So I don't think you need to worry too much about it.

Doomer
October 20th, 2006, 13:32
With the right frame of mind you can make JET useful regardless of what you plan to do...

I have NO desire to be a teacher...Im gonna be a Police Officer when I get back...Im considering the possibility of woring in Orange county, California...a county which has a rather large Japanese (as well as other asian) population...my JET experience will aid me in understanding their customs more and in speaking with them...its good to understand the people you are working to protect...

1440
October 20th, 2006, 14:08
[quote="Doomer"]

Im considering the possibility of woring in Orange county, California...a county which has a rather large Japanese (as well as other asian) population...quote]

LOL, I read whoring :smt005

1492
October 20th, 2006, 14:22
so did I... so confusing... a police officer whoring....

tvanhorne
October 20th, 2006, 14:30
Wakayama has some good surfing spots and some good scenery; it also has a lot of inland areas and some really ugly spots too! I guess this is true anywhere, but I spent two years in a really ugly spot before getting xfered somewhere beautiful. Like a million people have said before, it's a lottery anyway. Except that people don't tend to choose Wakayama so if you wanted to request it, there's a decent chance you'd get it. Like I did.

Doomer
October 20th, 2006, 14:36
so did I... so confusing... a police officer whoring....

WHOOPS!! 8O

I meant working...but im sure you already knew that... :P

psychohistoric
October 20th, 2006, 16:50
so did I... so confusing... a police officer whoring....

Police officers can be whores, too. Quit trying to make him fit into your neat little preconceived notions of what a police officer 'should' be. I say, if you want to sell your body, doomer, then by all means you should do it, tiger.

kurara
October 21st, 2006, 15:32
Im considering the possibility of woring in Orange county, California...a county which has a rather large Japanese (as well as other asian) population...

Japanese and a whole hell of a lot of Vietnamese :O I can't go two or three blocks without getting some sign in Vietnamese.

on a side note, I read your SOP in the downloads and you're from UCR (me too~)! Yay for UCR! The new 91/60/215 interchange is coming along nicely, be sure to check it out when you come back :D

1492
October 23rd, 2006, 13:59
Police officers can be whores, too. Quit trying to make him fit into your neat little preconceived notions of what a police officer 'should' be. I say, if you want to sell your body, doomer, then by all means you should do it, tiger.

I'm so sorry, you're completely right. Every policeman is entitled to his own interesting mix of morals. Please feel free, Doomer. You have my metaphysical support. It's quantam, but feel free to pat yourself on the back anyway. In a completely platonic and unsuggestive manner.