Page 1 of 9 12345 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 165

Thread: SF Coordinator comments about driving...

  1. #1

    Default SF Coordinator comments about driving...

    Quote Originally Posted by Zolrak 22 View Post
    Is this asked in the interview or do you have to bring it up?

    I'm on the same boat.

    I'm fine with driving if there's no other choice, but I prefer not to.
    Miami PC touched on it, but it's worth repeating. Whether or not you are willing to drive in Japan is binary. It is a yes or a no, not a "Well, I don't really want to, but if I have to, I guess I will." In our database you are either marked as a JET who can drive or a JET who cannot / isn't willing to drive in Japan. That's it. If you are an alternate I'll be honest and say that this can really affect your chances of being upgraded. I definitely skipped over a number of alternates to get to someone who had a driver's license. That was the deciding factor between going and not going for a lot of people.

    Most JETs drive. Most people that commute to work in the world drive. Driving in Japan is not a big issue. It's a little nerve-wracking getting used to driving on the other side of the road, but think about the tens of thousands of people who come to America each year and rent a car to get anywhere. Buying a car is pretty painless too, as they have a system in place where everyone is buying a new car every couple of years, so it's very easy and streamlined. I was able to get a great car from a second-hand dealer in one day.

    My strong recommendation is that if you have a driver's license, say that you're willing to drive in Japan. Be marked as a Y on our database instead of a N, because that can be the difference between being upgraded or not as an alternate. That's assuming that getting onto the program is more important to you than having to drive in Japan.

    Furthermore, aside from Tokyo, Osaka, and a few other major cities, you will need a car to go anywhere in Japan. Japan's transportation network is great for going around big cities but the train does not stop off at your local grocery store, mall, school, etc. If you want a social life outside of work there is a high probability that you will need to get a car. I really think everyone should set their initial expectations as "I'm going to drive in Japan and I'm going to need to get a car."

    Finally, I absolutely loved having a car. I didn't think I would, but it makes a huge difference. It's a lot cheaper when you want to travel across Japan with friends (more people paying for the toll roads rather than everyone buying their own ticket). It's a lot faster to travel around in a car than on most trains. You can easily go shopping, go to Costco to stock up on supplies, you can use your car to go camping, etc. You can meet up with Japanese friends that you've just made, or go to events that you really want to go to in a neighboring town, where there is no direct train line. Most everyone in Japan not in a major city has a car. I honestly could not imagine being able to enjoy so much of Japan that I was able to without a car.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Interview Advice/Prep?

    Quote Originally Posted by JET ProgramCoordinator SF View Post
    Miami PC touched on it, but it's worth repeating. Whether or not you are willing to drive in Japan is binary. It is a yes or a no, not a "Well, I don't really want to, but if I have to, I guess I will." In our database you are either marked as a JET who can drive or a JET who cannot / isn't willing to drive in Japan. That's it. If you are an alternate I'll be honest and say that this can really affect your chances of being upgraded. I definitely skipped over a number of alternates to get to someone who had a driver's license. That was the deciding factor between going and not going for a lot of people.

    Most JETs drive. Most people that commute to work in the world drive. Driving in Japan is not a big issue. It's a little nerve-wracking getting used to driving on the other side of the road, but think about the tens of thousands of people who come to America each year and rent a car to get anywhere. Buying a car is pretty painless too, as they have a system in place where everyone is buying a new car every couple of years, so it's very easy and streamlined. I was able to get a great car from a second-hand dealer in one day.

    My strong recommendation is that if you have a driver's license, say that you're willing to drive in Japan. Be marked as a Y on our database instead of a N, because that can be the difference between being upgraded or not as an alternate. That's assuming that getting onto the program is more important to you than having to drive in Japan.

    Furthermore, aside from Tokyo, Osaka, and a few other major cities, you will need a car to go anywhere in Japan. Japan's transportation network is great for going around big cities but the train does not stop off at your local grocery store, mall, school, etc. If you want a social life outside of work there is a high probability that you will need to get a car. I really think everyone should set their initial expectations as "I'm going to drive in Japan and I'm going to need to get a car."

    Finally, I absolutely loved having a car. I didn't think I would, but it makes a huge difference. It's a lot cheaper when you want to travel across Japan with friends (more people paying for the toll roads rather than everyone buying their own ticket). It's a lot faster to travel around in a car than on most trains. You can easily go shopping, go to Costco to stock up on supplies, you can use your car to go camping, etc. You can meet up with Japanese friends that you've just made, or go to events that you really want to go to in a neighboring town, where there is no direct train line. Most everyone in Japan not in a major city has a car. I honestly could not imagine being able to enjoy so much of Japan that I was able to without a car.
    This is a compelling argument but I'm not sure I'll ever truly be sold lol... however, I'm curious, when you were in JET (I'm assuming?), and you had to buy your own car, did you have any help or was it sort of a go it alone, good luck type of deal? The reason why buying my own car right off the bat freaks me out is because, what if I leave and I can't sell it? Or what if something happens, I end up leaving early and I'm stuck with car payments in another country? These are the kinds of things I think about, and honestly, it's the only major thing that makes me crazy nervous when I think about moving to Japan, which is why I'm kind of keeping my distance...

    If I were to change my mind between now and the interview, would it be appropriate to mention something since I have "No" marked on my application?
    Last edited by weepinbell; January 14th, 2015 at 03:00.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Interview Advice/Prep?

    Quote Originally Posted by weepinbell View Post
    This is a compelling argument but I'm not sure I'll ever truly be sold lol... however, I'm curious, when you were in JET (I'm assuming?), and you had to buy your own car, did you have any help or was it sort of a go it alone, good luck type of deal? The reason why buying my own car right off the bat freaks me out is because, what if I leave and I can't sell it? Or what if something happens, I end up leaving early and I'm stuck with car payments in another country? These are the kinds of things I think about, and honestly, it's the only major thing that makes me crazy nervous when I think about moving to Japan, which is why I'm kind of keeping my distance...

    If I were to change my mind between now and the interview, would it be appropriate to mention something since I have "No" marked on my application?
    I was on JET for three years, from 2009 - 2012. I actually bought a car from my a local JET who was leaving for $1000. Unfortunately when I got there it turned out to be a complete lemon, and I found out that that ALT was rather notorious amongst the local JET crowd. The AC didn't work, the sound didn't work, it needed new tires, it literally had his old gym socks in it, it was a complete piece of rubbish. I ended up haisha-ing it to get $200 back. Haisha, or "abolishing of car", is a program offered by the government where they buy back your car. You usually get somewhere around $200~$300 for it, depending on its condition. I've heard that they usually take those cars and sell them to poorer parts of South Asia at a discount. Anyways it's what JETs (and Japanese people) will do when they can't resell their old car. So you definitely have a way to get rid of a car if you can't sell it. As for acquiring a car, there are a variety of ways to go about it, each with their pros and cons. We do our best to give you all the pertinent information so you can make the best decision.

    After my bad experience with that car I went to a second-hand dealer. Actually I checked out a couple of smaller mom and pop autoshops that people recommended. One car was nice but it was previously owned by a smoker and the smoke stench wouldn't come out of the upholstery. I'm also a tall guy - 6'4" - so I needed to be able to fit inside the car. Thankfully I found a great car (Nissan Tino) at one of the local second-hand dealers (of which there are a lot of in Japan). A lady from my office went with me - they had to drive me to these different places since I didn't have a car - and she helped translate where I needed it. Your office will help you get to and from school, and if you need a car to get to work, they will help you acquire one. After I found the car I wanted it was just a matter of signing some documents and paying the $2000 in cash (Japanese people are used to making large purchases like that in cash, so it wasn't out of place).

    It was a great, trustworthy car. I took friends in it to Costco, to Fukuoka and Nagasaki, to camping trips and festivals. When my family and friends visited me from America I was able to pick them up from the airport and drive them up to Kumamoto Castle and to my favorite restaurants. The amount of freedom that you have with a car is invaluable. I sold it to my successor, who then ended up selling it to another local JET, who then sold it to his successor, who happened to be a JET that I sent from San Francisco last year.

    If you suddenly and abruptly leave the country early you will be stuck with more than just car payments - you'll have your phone bill, utilities, and a whole host of other bills to pay and issues to sort out. But everyone knows when their contract will be up and will be moving back to America, so you have plenty of time to get everything organized. It can definitely be a pain sometimes - I had to ask my friends to pay off a late credit card charge after I had moved back to America - but welcome to being an adult, replete with headaches and responsibilities.

    And if you decide that you are willing to drive in Japan, be sure to mention it at your interview. We'll be sure to change it.
    Last edited by JET ProgramCoordinator SF; January 14th, 2015 at 04:06.

  4. #4
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Posts
    28,772

    Default Re: Interview Advice/Prep?

    a tino?

    how ghastly
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Interview Advice/Prep?

    Quote Originally Posted by JET ProgramCoordinator SF View Post
    I was on JET for three years, from 2009 - 2012. I actually bought a car from my a local JET who was leaving for $1000. Unfortunately when I got there it turned out to be a complete lemon, and I found out that that ALT was rather notorious amongst the local JET crowd. The AC didn't work, the sound didn't work, it needed new tires, it literally had his old gym socks in it, it was a complete piece of rubbish. I ended up haisha-ing it to get $200 back. Haisha, or "abolishing of car", is a program offered by the government where they buy back your car. You usually get somewhere around $200~$300 for it, depending on its condition. I've heard that they usually take those cars and sell them to poorer parts of South Asia at a discount. Anyways it's what JETs (and Japanese people) will do when they can't resell their old car. So you definitely have a way to get rid of a car if you can't sell it. As for acquiring a car, there are a variety of ways to go about it, each with their pros and cons. We do our best to give you all the pertinent information so you can make the best decision.

    After my bad experience with that car I went to a second-hand dealer. Actually I checked out a couple of smaller mom and pop autoshops that people recommended. One car was nice but it was previously owned by a smoker and the smoke stench wouldn't come out of the upholstery. I'm also a tall guy - 6'4" - so I needed to be able to fit inside the car. Thankfully I found a great car (Nissan Tino) at one of the local second-hand dealers (of which there are a lot of in Japan). A lady from my office went with me - they had to drive me to these different places since I didn't have a car - and she helped translate where I needed it. Your office will help you get to and from school, and if you need a car to get to work, they will help you acquire one. After I found the car I wanted it was just a matter of signing some documents and paying the $2000 in cash (Japanese people are used to making large purchases like that in cash, so it wasn't out of place).

    It was a great, trustworthy car. I took friends in it to Costco, to Fukuoka and Nagasaki, to camping trips and festivals. When my family and friends visited me from America I was able to pick them up from the airport and drive them up to Kumamoto Castle and to my favorite restaurants. The amount of freedom that you have with a car is invaluable. I sold it to my successor, who then ended up selling it to another local JET, who then sold it to his successor, who happened to be a JET that I sent from San Francisco last year.

    If you suddenly and abruptly leave the country early you will be stuck with more than just car payments - you'll have your phone bill, utilities, and a whole host of other bills to pay and issues to sort out. But everyone knows when their contract will be up and will be moving back to America, so you have plenty of time to get everything organized. It can definitely be a pain sometimes - I had to ask my friends to pay off a late credit card charge after I had moved back to America - but welcome to being an adult, replete with headaches and responsibilities.

    And if you decide that you are willing to drive in Japan, be sure to mention it at your interview. We'll be sure to change it.
    Awesome. This is super informative and helpful, thanks so much.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Interview Advice/Prep?

    I realize I can probably google this information, but does anyone know off-hand how it works if you want to drive a scooter? Do you need a permit and everything? Are the easy to get?

    (Also, should all this information on driving be moved to its own thread?)
    Last edited by AyaReiko; January 14th, 2015 at 11:11.

  7. #7
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    日本
    Posts
    18,422

    Default Re: Interview Advice/Prep?

    Quote Originally Posted by AyaReiko View Post
    I realize I can probably google this information, but does anyone know off-hand how it works if you want to drive a scooter? Do you need a permit and everything? Are the easy to get?

    (Also, should all this information on driving be moved to its own thread?)
    We've had a few driving threads in the past, but SF's comments regarding the "will drive/will not drive" (and the affect it has on your admission into the program) are sticky-worthy and exactly the sort of thing we've been saying for years. Lemme see what I can do.
    Quote Originally Posted by 00Bear00 View Post
    When I read your post I suddenly feel like I am so far away from being crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ananasboat View Post
    It's festivals days like these on which I really try really hard to make up for not partying in college.
    yeah, because who needs free flowing drugs and alcohol fueling adventorous sex with taut, lithe young bodies when you could wander around a dying town in the freezing cold with a can of asahi super dry in your hand while some toothless old farmer shouts at you.

  8. #8
    Ghost of Ecru SomePeopleJustSaySnow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Somewhere deathly quiet
    Posts
    4,897

    Default Re: SF Coordinator comments about driving...

    Seconded, definitely.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    Old Snow wouldn't have said that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zolrak 22 View Post
    You are like the secret boss battle they only advertised back when the game was being developed.

  9. #9
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    日本
    Posts
    18,422

    Default Re: SF Coordinator comments about driving...

    Quote Originally Posted by JET ProgramCoordinator SF View Post
    That [whether or not a candidate can drive a car] was the deciding factor between going and not going for a lot of people.
    I should make this my new signature. Pay attention, people. Driving a motor vehicle is a skill that any competent adult ought to possess--especially for Americans. I understand that in some countries, acquisition of a drivers' license is an expensive and difficult process. In the United States, it is not. Get your freaking drivers' license.
    Quote Originally Posted by 00Bear00 View Post
    When I read your post I suddenly feel like I am so far away from being crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ananasboat View Post
    It's festivals days like these on which I really try really hard to make up for not partying in college.
    yeah, because who needs free flowing drugs and alcohol fueling adventorous sex with taut, lithe young bodies when you could wander around a dying town in the freezing cold with a can of asahi super dry in your hand while some toothless old farmer shouts at you.

  10. #10

    Default Re: SF Coordinator comments about driving...

    Wasn't that one guy that walked 1 km an hour the one that insisted he wouldn't need to drive?
    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.


    Quote Originally Posted by Apollo87;
    U da real mvp.

  11. #11
    Ghost of Ecru SomePeopleJustSaySnow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Somewhere deathly quiet
    Posts
    4,897

    Default Re: SF Coordinator comments about driving...

    Quote Originally Posted by uthinkimlost? View Post
    Wasn't that one guy that walked 1 km an hour the one that insisted he wouldn't need to drive?
    You mean the guy that wasn't accepted? Yeah.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    Old Snow wouldn't have said that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zolrak 22 View Post
    You are like the secret boss battle they only advertised back when the game was being developed.

  12. #12
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    日本
    Posts
    18,422

    Default Re: Interview Advice/Prep?

    Quote Originally Posted by AyaReiko View Post
    I realize I can probably google this information, but does anyone know off-hand how it works if you want to drive a scooter? Do you need a permit and everything? Are the easy to get?
    Oh, and to answer your questions about the scooter:

    On the International Drivers' Permit (IDP), you may ONLY operate a scooter legally if you have the motorcycle endorsement stamped. That is, you must be licensed to operate a motorcycle in your home country. I'm not sure about all nationalities, but in the US, a motorcycle endorsement is separate from a regular drivers' license. For example, in Texas, a "Class C" license permits you to operate most passenger vehicles, but you need a "Class CM" license in order to operate a motorcycle or scooter. If you have this, your IDP will be stamped to indicate as much, and you'll be fine to operate a scooter (or even a motorcycle) in Japan.

    If you don't have this endorsement on your IDP, you cannot legally operate a scooter or motorcycle on Japanese roads.

    Once your IDP runs out, though (a year after your arrival or when the IDP expiration date is reached, whichever comes first), you'll need to get a Japanese license. If your scooter is under 50cc, you don't need anything other than the regular ol' J-license. It is actually possible to get a scooter-only license, incidentally. If you want to operate anything larger than 50cc, you must get a motorcycle license, which requires additional testing.

    Scooters are relatively easy to get but tend to be a bit overpriced (like everything else in Japan). They're very pleasant to ride when the weather is very nice and if there is no traffic, but nightmarish in bad weather or heavy traffic. If you live in the ultra-inaka or in a quiet area, they can be fine for puttering about town in the late spring to early fall. They're not much fun in the winter. I haven't started mine in a few weeks.
    Quote Originally Posted by 00Bear00 View Post
    When I read your post I suddenly feel like I am so far away from being crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ananasboat View Post
    It's festivals days like these on which I really try really hard to make up for not partying in college.
    yeah, because who needs free flowing drugs and alcohol fueling adventorous sex with taut, lithe young bodies when you could wander around a dying town in the freezing cold with a can of asahi super dry in your hand while some toothless old farmer shouts at you.

  13. #13
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    On a happy rainbow
    Posts
    12,377

    Default Re: SF Coordinator comments about driving...

    With the driving thing I put down I was willing to drive. But I really didn't want to. I was so happy when I saw my placement... And then I saw Saitama...

    If I'd had to drive I might not have came, though I probably would have, but I figure it's better to give yourself options.

  14. #14
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Posts
    28,772

    Default Re: SF Coordinator comments about driving...

    people who don't drive should be lined up against a wall and shot. They are nothing more than a liability
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  15. #15
    Ghost of Ecru SomePeopleJustSaySnow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Somewhere deathly quiet
    Posts
    4,897

    Default Re: SF Coordinator comments about driving...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    people who don't drive should be lined up against a wall and shot. They are nothing more than a liability
    ... I don't drive.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    Old Snow wouldn't have said that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zolrak 22 View Post
    You are like the secret boss battle they only advertised back when the game was being developed.

  16. #16
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    On a happy rainbow
    Posts
    12,377

    Default Re: SF Coordinator comments about driving...

    I can drive in the US. Just don't like to and I hate car ownership. But yeah. If you can't drive at all... Worthless.

  17. #17
    Ghost of Ecru SomePeopleJustSaySnow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Somewhere deathly quiet
    Posts
    4,897

    Default Re: SF Coordinator comments about driving...

    Quote Originally Posted by mothy View Post
    I can drive in the US. Just don't like to and I hate car ownership. But yeah. If you can't drive at all... Worthless.
    Well, I can technically drive, as in, I can make a car move in a direction without crashing. And motorbikes are no problem. But I just never bothered to get licensed - cars were fine for the south of france, where I was the only person on the road most of the time I was driving, and the biking was all on private land. And when I moved into the city, there just didn't seem to be a point.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    Old Snow wouldn't have said that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zolrak 22 View Post
    You are like the secret boss battle they only advertised back when the game was being developed.

  18. #18
    Senior Member ambrosse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Minnesota->Mie
    Posts
    628

    Default Re: SF Coordinator comments about driving...

    An ex-JET friend of mine actually got in a car accident while driving in Japan.
    Japanese wonky intersection + old people. No one was hurt but she said it was a pain in the ass getting the car repaired. The BoE gave her a little crap about it, but they recontracted her for two more years and still allowed her to drive, so I guess it wasn't that big an issue.
    I'm not surprised she got in an accident though. She was a pretty crazy driver back here in the states!

  19. #19
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Posts
    28,772

    Default Re: SF Coordinator comments about driving...

    Everyone is fine without driving until a nuclear powerstation explodes in your backyard and then they all come crawling out the woodwork begging for a lift out of the exclusion zone. Should have thought about that before the sky was raining caesium 137.
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  20. #20

    Default Re: SF Coordinator comments about driving...

    Quote Originally Posted by JET ProgramCoordinator SF View Post
    That's assuming that getting onto the program is more important to you than having to drive in Japan.
    This is the most important part to me. How much do you not want to drive? Enough to refuse a placement? Because that's what you'll potentially be doing.

    I can't drive, but if I could you can be damn sure I would have put it on my application. Why would you not maximise your chances?

Posting Permissions

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