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Thread: Best and worst parts of Rural life in Japan

  1. #1

    Default Best and worst parts of Rural life in Japan

    What are your favourite and least favourite parts about living in the inaka?

    What was the accommodation like that JET provided?

  2. #2
    read half. react. BifCarbet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best and worst parts of Rural life in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by starxrox View Post
    What are your favourite and least favourite parts about living in the inaka?

    What was the accommodation like that JET provided?
    I loved making friends with all kinds of people, learning the dialect, being in beautiful scenery, knowing the majority of my students (even by name), having three or four classes a day and being able to play, read, exercise, and surf the web during down time. I also loved long, open drives.

    JET doesn't provide the accommodations, the contracting organization does. I had a giant house that I shared with two, then three people. I eventually moved to a small apartment when I changed schools. Never paid a dime in rent.

    EDIT: By "all kinds of people", I mean fishermen, farmers, grandmas, shop owners, auto mechanic, gas station attendants, etc. All these people lived right by me and I ran into them everywhere. In a bigger city, I've never really gotten to know the people around me.
    Last edited by BifCarbet; May 30th, 2015 at 09:51.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Best and worst parts of Rural life in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by BifCarbet View Post
    I loved making friends with all kinds of people, learning the dialect, being in beautiful scenery, knowing the majority of my students (even by name), having three or four classes a day and being able to play, read, exercise, and surf the web during down time. I also loved long, open drives.

    JET doesn't provide the accommodations, the contracting organization does. I had a giant house that I shared with two, then three people. I eventually moved to a small apartment when I changed schools. Never paid a dime in rent.
    Wow... That sounds amazing. I'm applying this year and I want to go to the country side. It sounds amazing. Ideally I'd love a little house like you talked about and if I could get away without buying a car and just cycling I'd be over the moon but I understand it's not always the case. ESID blah blah...

    You mentioned the dialect... Does that mean if you went to Tokyo, people there would have trouble understanding you?

    Cheers.

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    Default Re: Best and worst parts of Rural life in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by starxrox View Post
    Wow... That sounds amazing. I'm applying this year and I want to go to the country side. It sounds amazing. Ideally I'd love a little house like you talked about and if I could get away without buying a car and just cycling I'd be over the moon but I understand it's not always the case. ESID blah blah...

    You mentioned the dialect... Does that mean if you went to Tokyo, people there would have trouble understanding you?

    Cheers.
    I do recommend the countryside, but a suburban placement might be best if you want rural but no car.

    People in Tokyo can understand me, but I could probably exaggerate and be hard to understand. I kind of tend towards normal Japanese anyway, even when I'm in the countryside.
    車庫 B1F

  5. #5

    Default Re: Best and worst parts of Rural life in Japan

    So much of what Bif said. I get invited to barbecues while taking walks from family members of students or by the people who work at the local Konbini. People hand me produce that they've grown. I feel sort of like a celebrity.

    As for accommodations I live in a three year old apartment complex. My apartment is really nice. Three rooms, none of which are tatami thank god, and that doesn't include the awesome bathroom I have. I pay about $200 in rent a month. Last year it was only $100 for my pred, but oh well.

    I don't live near the other jets, but that's okay. I can easily get to them if I wanted to, and I have an awesome bus that stops outside my house and takes me to a major city. That's not typical though.

    There are days when I wish I had a city placement and there are other days when I think I wouldn't trade this for anything.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Best and worst parts of Rural life in Japan

    Oh look I don't mind getting a car BifCarbet. Honestly the other stuff you guys have mentioned makes it sound like its a small price to pay for the benefits of inaka life!

    So excited!!!

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    Member nostos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best and worst parts of Rural life in Japan

    Community.

    For both.

    I love how friendly my town is, but there is a huge lack of privacy.

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    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best and worst parts of Rural life in Japan

    Best part: No young people.

    Worst part: No young people.

    Win win.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

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  10. #10

    Default Re: Best and worst parts of Rural life in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    Only if you're willing to settle for Christmas cake.
    Christmas cake?

  11. #11

    Default Re: Best and worst parts of Rural life in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by starxrox View Post
    Christmas cake?
    Christmas cake loses its charm after the 25th of December, so that's the term Japanese use for girls 25,26+ that are still single.

    I can only really echo what others have said. The lack of privacy can be a bit frustrating, like I don't want my students' mothers working at the conbini to know I'm an alcoholic, for example. But the small town feel is a very warm feel, and I feel like people are pretty approachable. I'm from somewhere rural originally, so it's also really nice to live in an area that pays less attention to fashion, too.

    As said, it's easier to get to know random people around you, and it can lead to lots of side activities like working farms or going hiking, etc. I'm a lot happier here than I was in a 300k population part of Japan.
    Last edited by sourdoughsushi; May 30th, 2015 at 21:54. Reason: beer made me dumb

  12. #12

    Default Re: Best and worst parts of Rural life in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by sourdoughsushi View Post
    Christmas cake loses its charm after the 25th of December, so that's the term Japanese use for girls 25,26+ that are still single.

    I can only really echo what others have said. The lack of privacy can be a bit frustrating, like I don't want my students' mothers working at the conbini to know I'm an alcoholic, for example. But the small town feel is a very warm feel, and I feel like people are pretty approachable. I'm from somewhere rural originally, so it's also really nice to live in an area that pays less attention to fashion, too.

    As said, it's easier to get to know random people around you, and it can lead to lots of side activities like working farms or going hiking, etc. I'm a lot happier here than I was in a 300k population part of Japan.
    Ugh. Yeah. I sort of made my own bed when I went to that barbecue and decided to start drinking. The girls of hers are ones who are in my awful class. Now instead of telling me I smell, they talk about how I'm sake tsuyoi. I take it as a step up in my coolness factor with them. Haha. But yeah, I take the small town life knowing that everyone knows I buy a six pack every couple of days.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Best and worst parts of Rural life in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by sourdoughsushi View Post
    like I don't want my students' mothers working at the conbini to know I'm an alcoholic, for example.
    Yeah but your students probably don't want you to know their mothers work at a conbini either.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Best and worst parts of Rural life in Japan

    I thought drinking was more widely accepted in Japan? Not as much stigma as in western countries.

    Feel free to fill me in if I (probably) am wrong.

  15. #15
    read half. react. BifCarbet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best and worst parts of Rural life in Japan

    That's probably generally true, but you might as well still be discreet and tactful. Teachers will tell you they drink at home every night, but you don't have to advertise. Also, some ALTs get in places where there's a big spotlight on them, and people will all talk about popular trivia questions like, "Do you know how many beers Biffon-sensei drinks every weeknight?"
    Again, back to your point, it isn't a problem in Japan as long as you don't do anything stupid. Personally, I'd just rather not have teachers and parents tracking my consumption.
    Last edited by BifCarbet; June 1st, 2015 at 02:26.
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    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best and worst parts of Rural life in Japan

    I'd like to meet the student at my school who doesn't know I'm an alcoholic to be honest. I used to try and hide this stuff but I decided it was better to be open about things with a strong message rather than hide it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Best and worst parts of Rural life in Japan

    Pretty much all the 'young' people in my town work for the municipal gov't (i.e. at the yakuba.) I've gone drinking with a few of them - they like to knock off work around 5 (super early, but small town nobody cares) and go into the nearest larger town (20-25 minutes drive) for drinks/dinner/karaoke. They have an exceedingly boring lifestyle, but that's due to the nature of their jobs.

    If you're looking to make friends with people that have free time etc you might have to travel outside your inaka town.

  18. #18
    Senior Member tedcase's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best and worst parts of Rural life in Japan

    Best part was that money simply went further and lasted longer. The air was noticeably cleaner and I had a beautiful beach on my doorstep.
    The JET community was also much closer and friendlier than in the cities.

    downsides, Collosal bugs, and freezing winters. I was younger at the time, so a lack of youth culture was pretty draining.
    The locals possess a peculiar aversion to the bayonet.

  19. #19
    Fit via vi Virgil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best and worst parts of Rural life in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by tedcase View Post

    downsides, Collosal bugs, and freezing winters. I was younger at the time, so a lack of youth culture was pretty draining.
    I could make it in rural Japan so easy. I'm actually an old man trapped in a young man's body. I go hiking on the weekends, and like having a cold beer alone in the evenings. I read books whenever I'm commuting. Everytime I go out to do something people my age do (what do we even do) I just get angry and sulk. I'm that guy.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Best and worst parts of Rural life in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    I could make it in rural Japan so easy. I'm actually an old man trapped in a young man's body. I go hiking on the weekends, and like having a cold beer alone in the evenings. I read books whenever I'm commuting. Everytime I go out to do something people my age do (what do we even do) I just get angry and sulk. I'm that guy.
    This is why you're my favorite, eh... Seneca?

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