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babydollwannabe
July 6th, 2007, 09:39
I just got the news that I will be going to a "village" of 1500 people out in middle of no where Japan. I'm terrified. Seriously, call me pussy, but I am. I can't even get decent grocery without driving a good 40 minutes. Yes, I've got the lecture about how "I'll be truly involved in Japanese culture" and "Your Japanese will improve so much faster than your city friends". I know I know, but I'm still feeling terribly scared.

I've always thought of myself as a city person. I love the noise, entertainment, yummy restaurants, and just having fun things to keep me occupied. However, I am fairly flexible and have managed to live in cities of different sizes and in ranging climate, but nothing like this, at least everyone spoke English, even in small towns that I lived in. I have a picture of myself locked up inside the house during winter blizzards, while the other "cool" people are partying in fun cities outside of inaka.

If you live in the inaka, can you tell me that it's not as bad as I think and I'll stay sane in middle of nowhere Japan? Or, will you be my friend and make sure I stay sane? *lol*

1440
July 6th, 2007, 09:46
Maybe start some hobbies, get the internet? Maybe you will make some Japanese friends who will invite you around for some good suppers? Will you be able to get to places on the weekend?

547
July 6th, 2007, 10:16
I'd suggest you pump your pred for as much info as you can get, and the local JETs (are you signed up to your areas jet /AJET email list?)

Especially ask about transport links, so you can get to town's/cities when you want to.

I've enjoyed my time in the inaka - but I had shopping close by, and now I have great transport connections. I also like to visit cities - but not live in them (I'm meaning big cities like Kobe, Osaka, Tokyo).

Try to keep an open mind and take it as it comes.

Ini
July 6th, 2007, 10:17
Just take a drink every hour, it keeps you drunk enough to not care but sober enough to get through school without anyone noticing. At night kill another bottle and pass out before the crushing loneliness gets too you.

1440
July 6th, 2007, 10:20
Just take a drink every hour, it keeps you drunk enough to not care but sober enough to get through school without anyone noticing. At night kill another bottle and pass out before the crushing loneliness gets too you.

That sounds really tempting right now, though I am a giggly drunk so my kyoto-sensei may notice

1565
July 6th, 2007, 10:35
Well, considering that sounds like where I grew up in the states, I'd say get some friends. Get drunk. Have sex. Maybe blow up fireworks if you can get your hands on them. Sterno is a good alternative to fireworks, by the way.
And don't worry too much about it. Really. Sure, you'll have to work harder to have fun, but the alternative is hating yourself more than you probably already do.

Pandilex
July 6th, 2007, 10:52
Don't worry about it mate you'll be fine.

babydollwannabe
July 6th, 2007, 12:06
Maybe start some hobbies, get the internet? Maybe you will make some Japanese friends who will invite you around for some good suppers? Will you be able to get to places on the weekend?

Haha I hope I have internet set up already *crossing my fingers*. I have heard that the people there are super friendly so hopefully that will provide me with some good support. Although friendly people speaking in Japanese is still a bit scary for me since I probably won't understand the friendly words they're saying. I probably will be able to go to places on weekend. I've decided that a car will probably be good for my mental health so I'm gonna get one to visit JETs in adjacent places (adjacent = 1+ hour drive away).


I'd suggest you pump your pred for as much info as you can get, and the local JETs (are you signed up to your areas jet /AJET email list?)


What do you mean by transport connections? People that'll be able to give me rides?? I asked and it seems that the public transportation is close to non-existent and cars are highly recommended. I'm signed up to the local JET email list but it seems like everyone is somewhat far apart. However, I have no clue what the relative distances are between cities so hopefully they'd be closer than I have imagined.


Just take a drink every hour, it keeps you drunk enough to not care but sober enough to get through school without anyone noticing. At night kill another bottle and pass out before the crushing loneliness gets too you.

That sounds like a good idea. Although I doubt if there's a place to get alcohol in my village, or if I buy bottles of alcohol from local store (if one is available), everyone in the town might know what I'm an alcoholic by the next day.


Well, considering that sounds like where I grew up in the states, I'd say get some friends. Get drunk. Have sex. Maybe blow up fireworks if you can get your hands on them.

I have heard that being naughty in small secluded towns may cause serious consequences compared to being naughty in big cities where no one cares/knows about you. Sex might be good, but that I doubt if there will be decent attractive men in town (I have the image that I will be spending my afternoons fishing with old Japanese men). And again, with power of gossip, I might have to drive an hour to the next town where no one knows me to get laid. The thought of that seems really sad....

keekers
July 6th, 2007, 12:32
Hey babydollwannabe, I noticed in the placement topic that you're in Hokkaido too. I'm in Kuriyama-cho, which is a small town 45 minutes east of Sapporo. I'm also scared of inaka, and it looks like you're close to Sapporo too, so we can be friends. :smt006

swedeinshiga
July 6th, 2007, 12:33
Dont worry about it :D :D :D U get to run naked in the rice fields
and no one will ever know (well except for the few people actually living in your town, but dont worry its all good) :D

Inaka is nice as long as you got a car to get you around...enjoy the nakedness :-D

1565
July 6th, 2007, 12:41
I have heard that being naughty in small secluded towns may cause serious consequences compared to being naughty in big cities where no one cares/knows about you. Sex might be good, but that I doubt if there will be decent attractive men in town (I have the image that I will be spending my afternoons fishing with old Japanese men). And again, with power of gossip, I might have to drive an hour to the next town where no one knows me to get laid. The thought of that seems really sad....
Well, that assumes you get caught. :D
Just sayin', you can make do

surgeon
July 6th, 2007, 12:44
yes, living in the deep inaka really is as bad as you've imagined.
there will be NOTHING for you to do, especially in a town of 1,500 people.

i recommend getting to the city every weekend, becoming friendly with the owner of the local bar (if you have one), becoming an alcoholic, and searching for friends and sex partners on the internet.

hope this helps

fenyx66
July 6th, 2007, 12:56
That sounds like a good idea. Although I doubt if there's a place to get alcohol in my village, or if I buy bottles of alcohol from local store (if one is available), everyone in the town might know what I'm an alcoholic by the next day.


HA ha ha. I'm not is as deep inaka as you, but we have one grocery store, 2 restaurants and 3 liquor stores, 2 conbinis a gas station and that's it. I think it's funny how the liquor stores outnumber everything else in my town.

The best advice has already been given. Get a car so you can get around and join some clubs: taiko, martial arts, ikebana, yosakoi, etc... the more you join, the less free time you'll have to contemplate your loneliness and the more opportunities to make friends you will have so you won't be lonely anyway.

You're gonna have a great time, just live it up.

Ini
July 6th, 2007, 13:23
I think I'll stick to a bottle of nikka a day if ikebana and taiko are the alternatives.


I don't even want to know what yosakoi is.

kiwimusume
July 6th, 2007, 13:26
I think I'll stick to a bottle of nikka a day if ikebana and taiko are the alternatives.


I don't even want to know what yosakoi is.

What about green tea and onsens?

dombay
July 6th, 2007, 13:28
That sounds like a good idea. Although I doubt if there's a place to get alcohol in my village, or if I buy bottles of alcohol from local store (if one is available), everyone in the town might know what I'm an alcoholic by the next day.


HA ha ha. I'm not is as deep inaka as you, but we have one grocery store, 2 restaurants and 3 liquor stores, 2 conbinis a gas station and that's it. I think it's funny how the liquor stores outnumber everything else in my town.

The best advice has already been given. Get a car so you can get around and join some clubs: taiko, martial arts, ikebana, yosakoi, etc... the more you join, the less free time you'll have to contemplate your loneliness and the more opportunities to make friends you will have so you won't be lonely anyway.

You're gonna have a great time, just live it up.

That's not the inaka, love.

I have always been a big city cat but i live in the inaka in japan. I love the inaka. Fresh food, cheap living, friendly people, faster learning of japanese and actually being part of a community and making a difference.

I know i go on about this topic but people in japan, usually those who live in big cities and think that they and their experience of japan, is just totally shit hot, and shit hotter than their own.

Basically this is about YOU. You can have a good time and you don't need the advice of people like Surgeon above.

Often when you find other people denigrating your placement and your experience of Japan its more them trying to convince themselves that they are having a good experience, that theirs is better than someone else's. That attitude is endemic throughout the country - just ignore it and you'll be fine.

1565
July 6th, 2007, 13:29
The country? It's not just a Japan thing. :D

Himawari
July 6th, 2007, 13:54
Definitely get a car and a season pass to nearby ski/snowboard places. Even if you don`t do either of those sports now, learn! The average age in your town will probably be about 90, so the slopes will be your best bet for getting out of the house in the winter and meeting people your own age.

1565
July 6th, 2007, 13:58
If you do anything, don't do things that you have no interest in just to do them. :P

psychohistoric
July 6th, 2007, 15:21
Some of the most satisfied JETs I've met live on the islands off of Kumamoto and Nagasaki where they're at least an hour (up to 9) boat ride from land. It is what you make of it.

kiwimusume
July 6th, 2007, 16:55
I know i go on about this topic but people in japan, usually those who live in big cities and think that they and their experience of japan, is just totally shit hot, and shit hotter than their own.

Basically this is about YOU. You can have a good time and you don't need the advice of people like Surgeon above.

Often when you find other people denigrating your placement and your experience of Japan its more them trying to convince themselves that they are having a good experience, that theirs is better than someone else's. That attitude is endemic throughout the country - just ignore it and you'll be fine.

This is a little off-topic, but can I ask why you seem to take negative comments about the inaka so personally? If you were really satisfied with your placement, wouldn't it not bother you what other people said about it?

Or have you just met a lot of complete wankers that I've been lucky enough to avoid?

Back on topic. I agree with what a lot of people have said - get a car, and join some clubs for things you enjoy or think look interesting. I like revenantkioku's advice, too. :D

occidental_xiaojie
July 6th, 2007, 18:03
I'm in the inaka and I don't like it. It's not uber-inaka like you though. But hey, at least you'll be able to learn to snowboard? That would be awesome. Here it just gets cold - no snow, no fun.

dombay
July 6th, 2007, 19:35
I know i go on about this topic but people in japan, usually those who live in big cities and think that they and their experience of japan, is just totally shit hot, and shit hotter than their own.

Basically this is about YOU. You can have a good time and you don't need the advice of people like Surgeon above.

Often when you find other people denigrating your placement and your experience of Japan its more them trying to convince themselves that they are having a good experience, that theirs is better than someone else's. That attitude is endemic throughout the country - just ignore it and you'll be fine.

This is a little off-topic, but can I ask why you seem to take negative comments about the inaka so personally? If you were really satisfied with your placement, wouldn't it not bother you what other people said about it?

Or have you just met a lot of complete wankers that I've been lucky enough to avoid?

Back on topic. I agree with what a lot of people have said - get a car, and join some clubs for things you enjoy or think look interesting. I like revenantkioku's advice, too. :D

Um i don't think I do take it too personally. Its just that a lot of people (including on here) are going on like they're going to die because they've been placed in the inaka.

This is just my version of being positive for the new people?

But yes I have met a lot of wankers who get really stuck up because of their placement and yes this is one of my pet hates.

Ini
July 6th, 2007, 20:24
Oh come off it Susan, between this and how great China is thats all you ever talk about.

If you inaka life is so shite stop kidding yourself and go back to chinky land.

dombay
July 6th, 2007, 20:49
Um, that's not true. I also sometimes talk about cock, japanese drivers, um ... i made a post before about the Kure line in Hiroshima ...?



Ah fuck off and die you silly tit.

Ini
July 6th, 2007, 23:40
close, if next week falls through I may take you up on that.

Phil
July 7th, 2007, 06:06
hey man, im in the inaka too, and guess what, its going to rock!

I havent stepped a foot in there yet, and i am a big city person, but hey, this is our fate, so lets roll with it, worst case scenario i'll be gone every weekend visiting other cities ( like thats even bad)

..and i dont have a best case scenario yet, because Inaka is going to rock any which way it comes.


and if things get desperate i'll find myself a love pet and snuggle in the blankets every night..dreaming about a place much more like home...

babydollwannabe
July 7th, 2007, 18:24
Hey keekers, for sure let's be Hokkaido inaka buddies and entertain ourselves. The place I'm actually placed in is over an hour north of Sapporo, but then again, at least I can get there whenever I want to and not have to take a 6 hour boat ride :p

I just received the package from my CO today which helped me calm some nerve. The apartment I'm getting seems to be a good size, benefits of living in middle of no where. And apparently the village has a ski slope according to google map, which will probably make those long winter days somewhat enjoyable.

Thanks all for your replies. I'm feeling much better now about my placement and am looking forward to get there. It definitely feels more comforting knowing that there are many of inaka folks out there having a blast. :D

takenoko
July 11th, 2007, 13:15
The inaka can be really beautiful. And you can find a lot of things in it that you can't find in the city. If you happen to live in a town that really wants you to be there then it can be a great experience. The worst thing about the inaka is its lack of resources. If you get sick with anything more specific or serious than a cold then you're going to be spending a lot of time traveling to a bigger city for treatment. Also, you won't have access to a lot of helpful things like well-organized, free Japanese classes or big city events. You will spend much more time and money on travel because before you can take your plane or shinkansen you have to somehow get to the big city where they leave from. If things are going well for you, then living in the inaka isn't a big deal. But as soon as you start having problems the inaka really compounds them.

shirokawa_sara
July 12th, 2007, 14:30
Hey babydoll. I've been in the inaka for three yeas now, and minus a car. It can be tough going if you don't go in there with a positive and open mind, but you'd get that with any placement! But, really, would you have applied for JET if you weren't wanting to try something new? I just recommend getting out there and meeting people in your community. Yes, they may be about 90 and sing enka, but you'll definitely have an interesting experience!

I'd also suggest inviting local people around for dinner - cook them a good "foreign" meal and they'll love you forever (as well as do your dishes).

Also, a lot of inaka JETs pick up their local dialect - you'll be able to wow city-dwelling JETs with Japanese they don't know!

Oh, and the small towns often have events and festivals - you just need to ask around! Good luck and welcome to the inaka!

dombay
July 12th, 2007, 18:02
Hey babydoll. I've been in the inaka for three yeas now, and minus a car. It can be tough going if you don't go in there with a positive and open mind, but you'd get that with any placement! But, really, would you have applied for JET if you weren't wanting to try something new? I just recommend getting out there and meeting people in your community. Yes, they may be about 90 and sing enka, but you'll definitely have an interesting experience!

I'd also suggest inviting local people around for dinner - cook them a good "foreign" meal and they'll love you forever (as well as do your dishes).

Also, a lot of inaka JETs pick up their local dialect - you'll be able to wow city-dwelling JETs with Japanese they don't know!

Oh, and the small towns often have events and festivals - you just need to ask around! Good luck and welcome to the inaka!

Everything s/he said plus one.

Awesome post and so true.

heatherG
July 12th, 2007, 23:00
I'd also suggest inviting local people around for dinner - cook them a good "foreign" meal and they'll love you forever (as well as do your dishes).
Hmmm but how to fit them into the 3 square feet of space that is not taken up by futon or bathroom in my apartment . . .

Fin
July 13th, 2007, 03:12
Hey babydoll. I've been in the inaka for three yeas now, and minus a car. It can be tough going if you don't go in there with a positive and open mind, but you'd get that with any placement! But, really, would you have applied for JET if you weren't wanting to try something new? I just recommend getting out there and meeting people in your community. Yes, they may be about 90 and sing enka, but you'll definitely have an interesting experience!

I'd also suggest inviting local people around for dinner - cook them a good "foreign" meal and they'll love you forever (as well as do your dishes).

Also, a lot of inaka JETs pick up their local dialect - you'll be able to wow city-dwelling JETs with Japanese they don't know!

Oh, and the small towns often have events and festivals - you just need to ask around! Good luck and welcome to the inaka!

I'm already day-dreaming about all these things. I've never lived in a small "city" before - I am very much looking forward to the experience.

1440
July 13th, 2007, 09:34
I'd also suggest inviting local people around for dinner - cook them a good "foreign" meal and they'll love you forever (as well as do your dishes).
Hmmm but how to fit them into the 3 square feet of space that is not taken up by futon or bathroom in my apartment . . .

BBQ? JoshuaZ's apartment is rather tidy, but he can fit a lot of people in it

kiwimusume
July 13th, 2007, 09:42
Also, a lot of inaka JETs pick up their local dialect - you'll be able to wow city-dwelling JETs with Japanese they don't know!

I'm skeptical about the whole "wowing city JETs" thing (especially since most cities have dialects too) but it sure as hell wows the locals. :D

surgeon
July 16th, 2007, 23:46
just wait for the deep, dark depths of winter!

*evil laugh*

Ini
July 17th, 2007, 00:13
Yeah, The christmas lights in ginza are quite pretty but they are nothing compared to oxford street.