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Thread: Coming to Saitama

  1. #1
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    Default Coming to Saitama

    Hey guys,

    I've just found out about this site, so I'm a newbie.

    I have been accepted into the JET program and will be located in the Saitama prefecture. I've yet to receive a confirmation on the actual place, however I'm hoping for some tips or advice for when I arrive.
    Is anyone on this site located there currently?

    Cheers,
    Elias

  2. #2
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coming to Saitama

    mothy is there, apparently. I know a girl who moved there from my area.

    You should understand that Saitama is something of a running joke on this site; because of its higher crime rates (still lower than lots of areas in the US) and general reputation amongst many of its own residents, we have a tendency to lampoon the area in a rather exaggerated manner. Don't let it get you down; I'll bet you'll have a blast!
    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.

  3. #3
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coming to Saitama

    Yeah. The running "joke".

    Airyass, are you prefectural or municipal?

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    Default Re: Coming to Saitama

    Thanks for the replies!
    i wasn't aware Saitama could be a dangerous area.

    mothy, I haven't been told yet where in Saitama prefecture I'll be working.
    Where about are you located?

    Apart from running away and (I'm assuming) making sure my door is always locked, is there anything else I should keep in mind that doesn't involve crime or fear of life?

  5. #5
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coming to Saitama

    Quote Originally Posted by Eriasu View Post
    Apart from running away and (I'm assuming) making sure my door is always locked, is there anything else I should keep in mind that doesn't involve crime or fear of life?
    As long as you don't rely on a service dog, you'll probably be fine.
    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.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coming to Saitama

    Quote Originally Posted by Eriasu View Post
    Thanks for the replies!
    i wasn't aware Saitama could be a dangerous area.

    mothy, I haven't been told yet where in Saitama prefecture I'll be working.
    Where about are you located?

    Apart from running away and (I'm assuming) making sure my door is always locked, is there anything else I should keep in mind that doesn't involve crime or fear of life?
    If you're out in the boonies you won't have to worry about crime at all.
    Really even the cities aren't so crime filled either. It's more that Saitama raises the special kind of asshole that would stab a guide dog with a fork.

    Sounds like you're prefectural than, since most likely if you were municipal they'd have told you that.
    I'm in the near Tokyo area.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Coming to Saitama

    Quote Originally Posted by word View Post
    As long as you don't rely on a service dog, you'll probably be fine.
    Quote Originally Posted by mothy View Post
    If you're out in the boonies you won't have to worry about crime at all.
    Really even the cities aren't so crime filled either. It's more that Saitama raises the special kind of asshole that would stab a guide dog with a fork.

    Sounds like you're prefectural than, since most likely if you were municipal they'd have told you that.
    I'm in the near Tokyo area.
    Cheers mothy!
    I'm not too worried about the area. Just wanna know where exactly I'll be teaching and living.
    Close to the Tokyo area would be an awesome spot.

    I'll keep an eye out for those assholes. Thanks for the heads up!
    Enjoy your weekend.

  8. #8
    Perpetually confused. johnny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coming to Saitama

    Being near Tokyo must be neat.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Teach them something new?? Are you mad? All you do in Japan is rehash the same stuff over and over for 15 years. Hello song, what do you like sports? and fruit basket. The holy trinity of English education.

  9. #9
    The Sun's Bird God..what? Zolrak 22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coming to Saitama

    Quote Originally Posted by johnny View Post
    Being near Tokyo must be neat.
    I don't know, I imagine most Tokyo "rejects" would live around those spots.

    So they'd be the most *$+#&- of Saitama.

  10. #10
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coming to Saitama

    The problem with Saitama close to Tokyo, other than the people of Saitama being assholes, is that the rest of Saitama is a dusty wasteland. With the other prefectures that border Tokyo you can head deeper into the prefecture and find amazing things. In Saitama you venture away from the city and you just find inbreds growing spinach in the dust. Plus all that dust gets blown into the cities. But the racist locals insist it's all from China. Just like the rusted bicycles that fill every river in the cities.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Coming to Saitama

    I live right on the border of Gunma and Saitama. The nice thing about living around here is that its only an hour and a half away from central Tokyo so you can experience both life in the countryside during the week AND enjoy the big city on the weekends.

    Gunma is pretty cool too - its known for onsen, outdoor sports and has some great mountains for snowboarding. I highly recommend Takaragawa Onsen, snowboarding, rafting, canyoning and bungee all in the Minakami area. Probably only an hour and a half away from wherever you are placed in Saitama Try to meet some of the Gunma JETs at your Tokyo Orientation! We're all really friendly and welcoming.

    Anything else you'd like to know about, feel free to shoot me a PM.
    Last edited by Apollo87; March 9th, 2015 at 14:13.
    2010-2015 Toronto JET | Gunma-ken | thejetcoaster.com

  12. #12

    Default Re: Coming to Saitama

    Eriasu - As a newbie please be aware that there are a handful of longtime posters on this site to whom the term "jaded" is an understatement. The old, grumpy, hates-everything-about-Japan-but-for-some-reason-doesn't-just-leave English teacher is definitely a type of expat that is common throughout Japan. Please keep that in mind when you read what people post.

    As far as Saitama goes, it is one of the more populated JET areas, so you'll be able to meet a lot of other current JETs there. Given its close proximity to Tokyo it can often be seen as a borough / commuter prefecture. I've never heard of Saitama being dangerous. While actual crime rate is extremely low throughout Japan, organized crime (yakuza) are still fairly strong. They have a larger presence in more rural communities though (Kyushu, Tohoku). If anything the running joke about Saitama is that it's "Dasai-tama", which means "Uncool Saitama". More than likely Saitama is seen to be "uncool" given its close proximity to Tokyo, which is by and large the "coolest" place in Japan.

    Anyways I think it's a great placement and you'll have a great time there!

  13. #13
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coming to Saitama

    yakuza? I'd love it if saitama was full of Yakuza. Its the gangs of bosozoku and petty criminals trying to impress someone enough to get into the yakuza that are the problem. Its not the crime thats the problem its the type of crime.
    http://www.japantoday.com/search?q=saitama

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    Last edited by Jiggit; March 11th, 2015 at 08:54.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coming to Saitama

    I love how whenever I share my knowledge on Saitama built over 7 years of living there, someone who has never been there calls me jaded.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Coming to Saitama

    OP, you'll be fine. Don't let posters like INI and Mothy colour your perspective before you even get here. I've been here for almost 5 years just across your prefectural border and seen my fair share of trouble. Even stuff like Bozosoku gangs and "yankii" punk youth are more annoying (or amusing, depending on how you look at i) artifacts of Japanese culture than legitimate threats to your personal safety.

    Focus on the positives - stable job, lots of travel, opportunity to get fluent in Japanese, cultural immersion, personal growth, etc. And if it turns out that you really don't like your particular placement, you're a stones throw from the biggest metropolitan area in the world. Come here, get your bearings, then look for a different job. A positive mentality, just like a negative one, is often a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    Last edited by Jiggit; March 11th, 2015 at 08:56.
    2010-2015 Toronto JET | Gunma-ken | thejetcoaster.com

  16. #16

    Default Re: Coming to Saitama

    I think Apollo is right, mothy. It's not uncommon to feel some frustrations like yours when dealing with culture shock.

    Everyone has gripes about their own region, but it's important to put them in perspective. Sometimes I feel dissatisfied with my placement too, but I would never say it's the "worst". It's not like I've been to every single prefecture in Japan.

    In fact, I know of only one man who could provide such insight. Can we get Thomas Simmons in here to make some sense of all this?

  17. #17

    Default Re: Coming to Saitama

    Yes Jiggit, you are right. Thomas Simmons can provide us with the insight we need as he has visited all 47 prefectures twice. Unfortunately he is playing celebrity in a sea of elementary school children trying to get his autograph all day today so I don't think he can jump into the thread right now. However, I shall let him know that he is being summoned in the great halls of ITIL.
    Last edited by Apollo87; March 10th, 2015 at 09:38.
    2010-2015 Toronto JET | Gunma-ken | thejetcoaster.com

  18. #18
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coming to Saitama

    Ok, I cant say for sure if its the worst in japan as there isnt enough money in the world to make me spend an extended period of time west of mt fuji. Saying that, those backward places aren't really japan. As far as Kanto and Tohoku go Saitama is the worst prefecture by a country mile.
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  19. #19
    Perpetually confused. johnny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coming to Saitama

    Apollo and Jiggit are right. You'll do just fine in Saitama.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Teach them something new?? Are you mad? All you do in Japan is rehash the same stuff over and over for 15 years. Hello song, what do you like sports? and fruit basket. The holy trinity of English education.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Coming to Saitama

    Quote Originally Posted by BeckyJones View Post
    The bright eyed, cheerful, Won't tell you the truth about Japan for some reason and wants everything to visit their blog English teacher is definitely a type of expat that is common throughout Japan.
    Agree on all counts. This goes for your superiors, trainers, person who's job your taking over, as well.

    With what you're talking about though I think its more a case of, "well I'll let you figure out the bad parts of the job, come to my blog for fun stuff" rather than "THE ALT JOB IS THE MOST PERFECT JOB IN THE WORLD!! ITS AWESOME 4EVAAAA" though I know some people do fall into the latter category.
    Last edited by Jiggit; March 11th, 2015 at 08:55.
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