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Thread: Incoming Hokkaido JETs

  1. #1
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    Default Incoming Hokkaido JETs

    Just jumping on the incoming bandwagon.
    I am currently in Hokkaido and thought I could serve to welcome and reassure those who are placed here.
    Hokkaido has a bad rep (mostly from people who are not living here) but really it's an absolutely beautiful and wonderful place to live.
    Don't get me wrong there are some cons to living on an island not connected to Honshu but it's not hell on earth by any means.
    Hokkaido has the largest number in JETs in all of Japan, we're also the largest prefecture. This JET community is quite tight but also very relaxed and not overbearing.
    There is always something going on but you won't be shunned if you don't go to every event.
    It is stunningly beautiful and has milder summers than the rest of Japan. Many Japanese come up here to relax during the summer and ski during the winter.
    It gets cold here, true, but not as cold as Canada so I don't think anyone need worry.
    Post here if you have been placed here, have questions or even if you just requested Hokkaido (most who do get placed up here).
    Last edited by AVN; May 25th, 2011 at 21:15.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Incoming Hokkaido JETs

    "Milder summers" my scottish side is begging for Hokkaido now.

  3. #3

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    Hokkaido was one of the requests (2nd or third I can't remember) my step mum's family live in Sapporo so I thought it would be smart to live near people I know. I've been there before and it was really lovely, it's true the summer is not that hot but its better then the awful, sweaty naaaasty times down south. Blegh!

    I'll let you know if I'm placed there

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    Senior Member Eudox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Incoming Hokkaido JETs

    Hokkaido was one of my top three as well, so I kinda assume I'll be placed there. I didn't really have any reason for requesting it, but I'm glad to hear it's not all horrible extreme inaka placements. Hopefully we'll find out soon - the suspense is killing me!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Incoming Hokkaido JETs

    Hokkaido was my 3rd placement, and the climate was a big factor. More like "only" I guess. All my Japanese friends were confused when I told them my placement preferences because, "Hokkadio is just like Wisconsin. Why would you want to go there?" Pffft. I like the cold.

    I'm expecting to be placed there, because I did request it, and I think I'll be very happy if I am.

    Do you ever travel down to the main island for anything or find it difficult to do so?

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    Don't worry a mild Japanese summer just means a little shorter and less humid, it's still a very very nice summer.
    "Horrible inaka" is everywhere in Japan but don't worry I feel inaka is what you make of it. There's a lot of factors that play into enjoying a placement, language ability (of you and your coworkers), relationships with coworkers, willingness to put yourself out there, spending a bit of money, etc.
    You can make it work I'm sure Plus I know some people in big cities, "dream placements" who didn't enjoy their year even though we were all envious.
    I am in a town of approx 4000 and there are cons but I love it, I'm happy.

    Scissors: I am fortunate enough to live near one of the small, there are a few, airports in Hokkaido. There is also a large one in Sapporo. Depending on your placement you should always have an airport nearby. Often the smaller ones will only take you to Kansai or Tokyo but that allows me to leave if I want.
    Also if you live further south trains are still an option to get to Honshu without too much trouble.

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    Senior Member Tyr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Incoming Hokkaido JETs

    I much prefer the cold too.
    Too hot exists. The temperature goes north of 30 and its hell. You can only strip off so much.
    Too cold...doesn't exist. Just keep throwing on more clothes!
    I'm moderately hoping I don't get placed in Hokkaido- not very typically Japanese, I've experienced that kind of place before, etc... but I wouldn't be totally aghast if I was put there.
    Last edited by Tyr; May 23rd, 2011 at 04:01.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyr View Post
    I much prefer the cold too.
    Too hot exists. The temperature goes north of 30 and its hell. You can only strip off so much.
    Too cold...doesn't exist. Just keep throwing on more clothes!
    I'm moderately hoping I don't get placed in Hokkaido- not very typically Japanese, I've experienced that kind of place before, etc... but I wouldn't be totally aghast if I was put there.
    Where did you experience it?
    Yeah it's not "typical" Japan but it's a special kind of Japan and still very much Japan. I think it's something you can grow to like but I feel you on it.

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    Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations: Japan:Hokkaido Episode Summary on TV.com

    This episode is really a great way to get a feel for it.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by AVNicholls View Post
    Where did you experience it?
    Yeah it's not "typical" Japan but it's a special kind of Japan and still very much Japan. I think it's something you can grow to like but I feel you on it.
    Plus Hokkaido is home to the Ainu people, which makes it awesome.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Tyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AVNicholls View Post
    Where did you experience it?
    Yeah it's not "typical" Japan but it's a special kind of Japan and still very much Japan. I think it's something you can grow to like but I feel you on it.
    Scandinavia. Lots of land, no people, very colonial feeling.

    Not typically Japanese- different landscape, no history, normal weather... Meh, as I said I would probally be fine in Hokkaido, its not in the 'oh crap! noooo!' section of my list but it is in the 'oh....thats lame....oh well....' section. Unless its near Sapporo of course, then its 'not what I picked but cool anyway!'
    Last edited by Tyr; May 23rd, 2011 at 19:52.

  12. #12

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    Typically Japanese?
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    But what if we reverse the polarity of the quantum string theory? According to uncertainty principle there are infinite worlds out there, so it stands to reason schrodinger's cat is alive in one of them.


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    U da real mvp.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Tyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uthinkimlost? View Post
    Typically Japanese?
    The mountainous sort of landscape, weird weather, history, etc...

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyr View Post
    Scandinavia. Lots of land, no people, very colonial feeling.

    Not typically Japanese- different landscape, no history, normal weather...
    Well like I said before the Ainu people have been in Hokkaido for a long time, their culture dates back about 800 years and has some pretty unique culture that had hundred years of isolation to develop and thrive. Do you mean stereotypically Japanese? I didn't notice a huge difference when I went to Hokkaido, I noticed it had more patches of green but no where near as isolated as New Zealand can be.

    Yeah I'm a fan of Hokkaido. Woooo.

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    Basically in Hokkaido the layout of cities is more "modern" and buildings are less "Japanese" in style. It was colonized later than the rest of Japan but it is still basically the same. Just kind of more relaxed and more and more Ainu culture is emerging and being studied.
    Technically the history of Hokkaido is very long and interesting just not written. In my town there is a site that was populated as far back as the Jomon period.
    It's really no different than the rest of Japan beyond a few superficial things which have more to do with it's age, its rebellion in the Meiji and having a Western port quite early on.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Incoming Hokkaido JETs

    I agree with AV, the inaka, specifically of the Hokkaido variety is for the most part what you make of it. In that sense, small town Hokkaido could be the best thing ever.

    I would have to disagree on one point, I think that Hokkaido is more than superficially different from the other islands. Though I can only really speak to Honshu rather than all of them as a whole. The differences in climate, history, and isolation as compared to other parts of Japan are nothing to sneeze at, and worth being aware of should you be placed here. I think this is especially true if you have spent time, especially extended time (vacation or otherwise) in other parts of Japan. Hokkaido is unique, and life here can be very rewarding, but it comes with a set of strings which I feel might be more complex than you would receive if you are placed elsewhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ercasse View Post
    I agree with AV, the inaka, specifically of the Hokkaido variety is for the most part what you make of it. In that sense, small town Hokkaido could be the best thing ever.

    I would have to disagree on one point, I think that Hokkaido is more than superficially different from the other islands. Though I can only really speak to Honshu rather than all of them as a whole. The differences in climate, history, and isolation as compared to other parts of Japan are nothing to sneeze at, and worth being aware of should you be placed here. I think this is especially true if you have spent time, especially extended time (vacation or otherwise) in other parts of Japan. Hokkaido is unique, and life here can be very rewarding, but it comes with a set of strings which I feel might be more complex than you would receive if you are placed elsewhere.
    I lived in Niigata for two years before moving to Hokkaido. I get what you mean about more than superficially different but only in so much as many of the other prefectures are different from one another. Especially Kyushuu but that's besides the point.

    Yes Hokkaido's history is a little different, and yes the different climate and layout of the land/establishment of communities gives it a different flavour than some places, like Kyoto, but I don't think that makes it less Japanese etc just different in the way California is different from Wisconsin but they are neither more or less American. Same as when I go to Niigata or any other prefecture they all have a different "feel" to me.

    I think we're both agreeing but my spin on it is to dispell (at least somewhat) the Hokkaido is not Real Japan myth.

    Japanese people are Japanese people, Japanese culture is Japanese culture, varied and adaptable, as any other country is.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Punchy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Incoming Hokkaido JETs

    I love how these prefecture threads sound like travel agency pitches to get you to visit haha

    Kyushu > all

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    Quote Originally Posted by Punchy View Post
    I love how these prefecture threads sound like travel agency pitches to get you to visit haha

    Kyushu > all
    Haha it's true eh? We all get a little boastful of our prefectures when we're happy there. I think they all have a lot going for them. I loved Kyushu too!

  20. #20
    Senior Member Punchy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Incoming Hokkaido JETs

    Yeah they do. Except Shikoku. Fuck Shikoku.

    I have an irrational dislike for Japan's forgotten middle child island.

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