Page 1 of 16 1234511 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 301

Thread: JETs in the Inaka

  1. #1
    Member kgcava88's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Island Living
    Posts
    65

    Default JETs in the Inaka

    So, I'm in the same boat as many of my fellow North American JETs with interviews around the corner.

    I've been thinking long and hard about placement IF I were to get into the JET program. I've told myself I'd be pretty happy (and almost prefer) being in rural Japan. I'd love the ability to become near-fluent in Japanese and enjoyed (to an extent) the superstar status being a foreigner in rural Japan gave me (when I studied abroad last year). However, when I studied abroad, I had made friends with other students who lived closeby (about a 15-20 minute bike ride).

    So, I am wondering if one was to be placed in rural Japan is it likely to have another JET or two placed nearby? I don't mind living by myself, though I can imagine living by yourself in the middle of nowhere Japan without a nearby JET friend could be difficult.

    Any thoughts/comments would be greatly appreciated!!
    "If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home. "
    -- James Michener

  2. #2
    Senior Member ScienceDivison's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    East Coast
    Posts
    345

    Default

    From what I have read, even in the inaka, there is usually another JET nearby within 40-60 minutes. You can also enroll in the JETAA if your looking for that type of support structure.
    "Psychologically, you have to have confidence in yourself and this confidence should be based on fact."

  3. #3
    Bilbo's Cloak of Geekery goloons's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    +1 to smiting
    Posts
    5,529

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kgcava88 View Post
    So, I'm in the same boat as many of my fellow North American JETs with interviews around the corner.

    I've been thinking long and hard about placement IF I were to get into the JET program. I've told myself I'd be pretty happy (and almost prefer) being in rural Japan. I'd love the ability to become near-fluent in Japanese and enjoyed (to an extent) the superstar status being a foreigner in rural Japan gave me (when I studied abroad last year). However, when I studied abroad, I had made friends with other students who lived closeby (about a 15-20 minute bike ride).

    So, I am wondering if one was to be placed in rural Japan is it likely to have another JET or two placed nearby? I don't mind living by myself, though I can imagine living by yourself in the middle of nowhere Japan without a nearby JET friend could be difficult.

    Any thoughts/comments would be greatly appreciated!!
    I can think of only one or two people I've met on JET so far who didn't have at least one other JET within about twenty minutes of them. I'm probably one of the most inaka posters on this board, and even I have half a dozen or so other JETs within an hour of me.
    Quote Originally Posted by AliDimayev View Post
    They are like elongated octopi, but with only 6 testicles.

  4. #4
    VIP Coollead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Yes We Kansai!
    Posts
    8,855

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kgcava88 View Post
    I'd love the ability to become near-fluent in Japanese
    Here we go again.

  5. #5
    Resident ewok wicket's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Melbourne - Osaka - Felixstowe - Melbourne - Yandina
    Posts
    8,525

    Default Re: JETs in the Inaka

    everyone assumes they'll learn japanese better/faster in the inaka as they won't have as much exposure to english. this is partly true, at least when it comes to informal speaking.
    however, if you're going for the JLPT and/or want to learn to write and speak formally, it's nice to have access to classes at tutors that are more likely to be available in the cities.

    in short, six of one, half a dozen of the other.
    "Like anyone with a sliver of honesty in them I believe what I find I believe when I wake up each morning."
    Stephen Fry, The stars' tennis balls

  6. #6
    VIP Coollead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Yes We Kansai!
    Posts
    8,855

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cataphract View Post
    Can someone elaborate on this? is it harder to learn in inaka areas, or does the area have no bearing on it, or what? Is this something that shouldn't be said during an interview because it sounds dumb to anyone who really knows about the program?
    What wicket said.

    Everyone just assumes "Oh, inaka! I can learn Japanese!" and, while it's true for a small number of people, placement doesn't really have anything to do at all with your learning ability. Actually studying, no matter where you are, will help your Japanese. Being in a city means nothing, because even in a city, only a small fraction of people will actually speak English.

    Also, learning materials are much easier had in the cities vs. the inaka.... tutors and classes as well.

  7. #7
    VIP UPGRAYEDD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Tokyo
    Posts
    4,158

    Default Re: JETs in the Inaka

    It's simply much harder to make Japanese friends near your own age in the inaka. More Japanese friends you have = more Japanese you learn.

    In addition to that in the city you are bombarded with Japanese noise and visuals like billboards, subway ads, etc. Out here in the inaka you are blessed with the sounds of insects, rain drops, and the odd car or two that drives by your house.

    That's my opinion there.
    You see, gentlemen, a pimp's love is very different from a square's...
    (郷に入っては郷に従え.)

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    10,366

    Default Re: JETs in the Inaka

    Let's not forget that many deep inaka placements come with strong, incomprehensible accents, a lack of bars/restaurants to hang out in and practice your Japanese, and few young people for you to date/hang out with.
    Quote Originally Posted by tenderRondo View Post
    I always wanted to play black flag football, but there were never enough minorities.

  9. #9
    Useless cm2jr4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Undefined
    Posts
    2,880

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by UPGRAYEDD View Post
    It's simply much harder to make Japanese friends near your own age in the inaka. More Japanese friends you have = more Japanese you learn.

    In addition to that in the city you are bombarded with Japanese noise and visuals like billboards, subway ads, etc. Out here in the inaka you are blessed with the sounds of insects, rain drops, and the odd car or two that drives by your house.

    That's my opinion there.
    must rain a lot there, especially.

    Quote Originally Posted by Waldroon View Post
    Let's not forget that many deep inaka placements come with strong, incomprehensible accents, a lack of bars/restaurants to hang out in and practice your Japanese, and few young people for you to date/hang out with.
    Agreed.

  10. #10
    SENIOR MEMBER Neb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    EVILUOYEREHW
    Posts
    4,249

    Default Re: JETs in the Inaka

    What 'droon said. I think you have more of an opportunity to speak Japanese if you are placed in urban locations. Plus, most newbs seem to be under the impression that no one speaks English in the inaka, so you are forced to speak Japanese. This may be true, but it is also the case in urban locations. I was fortunate enough to be placed in a fairly urban location, and it's not often that i run into people that speak English (although I do often times encounter drunk people who attempt to speak it when i go out, which is great, and helps you practice your Japanese as you kinda try to meet them halfway).

    le edit:
    Quote Originally Posted by Cataphract View Post
    Do you guys find ANY positive aspects in an inaka placement? Or is it really just a "haha you got fucked" situation?
    Honestly, in the prefecture I'm in, most JETs have nothing but good things to say. I had my mid-year conference in one of these inaka towns, and I straight up thought how boring it was. I guess you make due with what you get. I was definitely spoiled by my urban placement. One thing that the inaka JETs keep telling me is how easy it is to save money. Of course I'd rather spend the extra 50k and actually have things to do.
    Last edited by Neb; February 15th, 2010 at 08:45.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    173

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cataphract View Post
    Do you guys find ANY positive aspects in an inaka placement? Or is it really just a "haha you got fucked" situation?
    Despite what people here said about there being another JET not too far away (which is true usually) you can enjoy an inaka placement if you are ok with spending lots of time by yourself. And if you can drive and get a car.
    Definitely easier to save money, the people are nice and generally a lot more relaxed than in the city, and you get to see another side of Japan in a way and be more involved in the town's life.
    I lived both in a big city in Japan and in a tiny town where I have to drive hald an hour for anything I want. Its an adventure definitely! (in the big city I was so busy with my gaijin friends I didn't notice I was in Japan half the time)

  12. #12
    Senior Member Crab's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    In the sea, retard.
    Posts
    1,704

    Default Re: JETs in the Inaka

    I think people see going into the Inaka like going up some mountain for 20 years and living with some bizarre Japanese tribe in a cave.

    Truth is they probably won't like you, let alone want to hang out with you.

    Have fun in that cave. Gonna get awful echoey.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotty View Post
    sean bean and viggo mortensen are like aint no thang yo we just shank this bitch and gandalf says YOU CANT CUT A BITCH MADE OF FIRE MOTHERFUCKER put that shit away and fuckin CHEESE IT bitches

    Quote Originally Posted by matt360 View Post
    Now I think of Magneto forming metal dildos to ram up his own ass. And then I picture Gandalf whispering to butterflies to go get him some dildos so he at least has something to do on that tower.

  13. #13
    VIP UPGRAYEDD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Tokyo
    Posts
    4,158

    Default Re: JETs in the Inaka

    In conculsion

    - Severe economic depression
    - Depopulation
    - Quiet
    - Racism
    - Scenic
    - Usually not that far from a city so it works out in the end
    - Can save the monies
    - Small schools = never busy
    You see, gentlemen, a pimp's love is very different from a square's...
    (郷に入っては郷に従え.)

  14. #14

    Default

    Benefits of the inaka:

    - Friendly people
    - Quiet
    - Generous BoE perks (usually)
    - Nicer teachers (younger, genkier teachers are banished to the inaka)

    I really love living out in the sticks, but I can see the drawbacks if you're not near a large city (in my case, Tokyo is an easy drive/train ride).

    Even if you don't like it though, you can always get out on weekends.

    Edit: Nearest ALT is 24km away. Definitely scenic too. From my JHS:
    Last edited by ten_of_spades; February 15th, 2010 at 11:01.
    "In his heart of hearts, he knows that you're on your own at this level..of big nose monkey snooker"

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    10,366

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cataphract View Post
    Do you guys find ANY positive aspects in an inaka placement? Or is it really just a "haha you got fucked" situation?
    There are many benefits to living in the inaka, but it's just that quickly attaining mastery of Japanese isn't usually one of them (at least for people with low-level Japanese).
    Last edited by Waldroon; February 15th, 2010 at 10:45.
    Quote Originally Posted by tenderRondo View Post
    I always wanted to play black flag football, but there were never enough minorities.

  16. #16
    Senior Member stufflikethat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Land of the mikan
    Posts
    382

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ten_of_spades View Post
    Benefits of the inaka:

    - Friendly people
    - Quiet
    - Generous BoE perks (usually)
    - Nicer teachers (younger, genkier teachers are banished to the inaka)
    agreeed.

    and...

    -smaller schools
    *more relaxed
    *easier to get to know all of the students
    *less work (usually)
    -celebrity status (this is both a positive and a negative)
    -interesting accents/dialects
    -cheaper cost of living (usually)

    It's definitely debatable as to whether or not it makes your Japanese better. I think Coollead is probably right on this. It doesn't matter where you live. If you're studying a lot, then your Japanese will get better.
    Homophobia is so gay.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Crab's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    In the sea, retard.
    Posts
    1,704

    Default Re: JETs in the Inaka

    I know someone who's been sent to work in the mountains in Nagano prefecture.

    He has to drive everywhere, the nearest convenience store is 30 mins away, and he's apparently always busy.

    On the other hand the place he's living is absolutely beautiful. One of his schools has 5 students.
    \
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotty View Post
    sean bean and viggo mortensen are like aint no thang yo we just shank this bitch and gandalf says YOU CANT CUT A BITCH MADE OF FIRE MOTHERFUCKER put that shit away and fuckin CHEESE IT bitches

    Quote Originally Posted by matt360 View Post
    Now I think of Magneto forming metal dildos to ram up his own ass. And then I picture Gandalf whispering to butterflies to go get him some dildos so he at least has something to do on that tower.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    10,366

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kgcava88 View Post
    So, I'm in the same boat as many of my fellow North American JETs with interviews around the corner.

    I've been thinking long and hard about placement IF I were to get into the JET program. I've told myself I'd be pretty happy (and almost prefer) being in rural Japan. I'd love the ability to become near-fluent in Japanese and enjoyed (to an extent) the superstar status being a foreigner in rural Japan gave me (when I studied abroad last year). However, when I studied abroad, I had made friends with other students who lived closeby (about a 15-20 minute bike ride).

    So, I am wondering if one was to be placed in rural Japan is it likely to have another JET or two placed nearby? I don't mind living by myself, though I can imagine living by yourself in the middle of nowhere Japan without a nearby JET friend could be difficult.

    Any thoughts/comments would be greatly appreciated!!
    How much you enjoy the inaka will depend a lot on your personality. The JETs I've met who have flourished in an inaka environment tended to have a very strong interest in Japan, study their Japanese very hard (before coming, after, or both), and thoroughly enjoy the many nuances of Japanese life that other foreigners are either annoyed by, neutral too, or simply hate.

    They were not the type looking to go out in a major city and go clubbing or trying to get laid as often as possible by as many different women as possible.

    But, those are gross generalizations based on a small sample from personal experience. ESID is probably the rule of thumb here and you'll have to decide on your own if you think you can handle, and enjoy, a placement like that.

    Keep in mind that having another JET a few miles away can be great, but only if you and that JET can stand to hang out together. Also be aware that if you cannot easily travel to the areas of other JETs to hang out on a fairly regular basis it can be difficult. A lot of inaka placements lack regular and late-hour transportation, and there is zero tolerance for drinking and driving, so you may find yourself having to either crash at someone's place or take a 9:30 train back.

    But, perhaps the best way to think about it is like this;

    Pretend you're a rock star, but a somewhat controversial one. Most people want to meet you, but a select few are going to think you're scum before they ever do. Now, imagine that you've decided to spend a year living in the most rural place you can imagine in your home country. Ever been to a town with fewer than 5,000 people? Could you see yourself living there and enjoying yourself? Oh, and the accent spoken by the locals is so thick you'll barely be able to understand every 5th word, just enough to get by but it might be difficult to hold long, meaningful conversations. But, because you're a rock star many people will try, and you'll be showered with attention all the time, at least for the first few months / year.

    For some people, it sounds great. For others it sounds like hell.
    Last edited by Waldroon; February 15th, 2010 at 10:55.
    Quote Originally Posted by tenderRondo View Post
    I always wanted to play black flag football, but there were never enough minorities.

  19. #19
    Senior Member stufflikethat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Land of the mikan
    Posts
    382

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Crab View Post
    On the other hand the place he's living is absolutely beautiful. One of his schools has 5 students.
    \
    Beautiful scenery is another benefit.

    I also have a school that tiny. It's absolutely wonderful
    Homophobia is so gay.

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by stufflikethat View Post
    agreeed.

    and...

    -smaller schools
    *more relaxed
    *easier to get to know all of the students
    *less work (usually)
    -celebrity status (this is both a positive and a negative)
    -interesting accents/dialects
    -cheaper cost of living (usually)

    It's definitely debatable as to whether or not it makes your Japanese better. I think Coollead is probably right on this. It doesn't matter where you live. If you're studying a lot, then your Japanese will get better.
    Those are all true (although I'm in Kanto so even Inaka Taro has a fairly normal accent). 37 students at my JHS and only 13 staff/admin, so we're pretty tight. Super relaxed too. My BoE gives me the summers off, and now they don't even care about taking nenkyuu for my Christmas trips. They just tell me to bring them back something nice. The kyoto-sensei lets the teachers leave on their breaks to drive into town to run errands w/o using nenkyuu too.

    It definitely takes the right kind of personality to find it pleasant out here. A more social person might find it unbearable, but if you enjoy your solitude, you'll love the inaka.
    "In his heart of hearts, he knows that you're on your own at this level..of big nose monkey snooker"

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •