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Thread: Best cities to list as preference?

  1. #1
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    Default Best cities to list as preference?

    Good day all =)

    A friend and I are doing research into the JET programme and for now we want to know which cities would be the best to list as our preference. We are aware that we might not even get placed in any of our three choices, but who knows, maybe we'll get lucky.
    So far we know to avoid asking for major and popular cities (i.e. Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka), but we really don't want to end up in an extremely rural area.
    We're from South Africa so we're used to summer temperatures reaching mid to high 30C in the summer along with the joys of humidity, and we're also used to winter reaching below 10C, but we are not accustomed to snow, I don't mind some snow, but my friend isn't keen on it so cities with low to no snow would be appreciated.
    Lastly, what are the chances of us being placed in the same city or at the very least within proximity of each other?

    Thanks so much in advance! =)

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Best cities to list as preference?

    The chances of you and your friend being placed in the same city is slim to none (closer to none). The only chance of y'all being placed in the same place is if y'all were married (and even then it's not 100% certain). You might have better luck with being in the same area though (i.e. kyushu, kinki, etc.). If you're wanting to avoid snow, I suggest requesting Kyushu, unless y'all are not willing to drive/can't drive. Because even in places like Fukuoka and Nagasaki, not having a car can be a pain.

    EDIT: I'm Kyushu-biased since I live here. I requested Fukuoka, Kumamoto and Kansai (in that order) and I ended up in the semi-inaka of Miyazaki. I'm personally happy here but I think that's due to a) having decent Japanese skills and b) having a car.
    Last edited by naginataonthebrain; September 2nd, 2016 at 11:25.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Best cities to list as preference?

    You shouldn't see bad (meters and meters of) snow south/west of Tokyo unless you're up in the mountains. Even in Tohoku snow can be spotty on the east side. Avoid the "yuki-guni" and Hokkaido if you don't like snow. Several of the "snowiest cities" are in Japan in Tohoku and Hokkaido.

    Usually swinging a close placement to a friend is pretty difficult (more or less impossible) unless you've got a link to a place already. Something like a sister city etc. Even placement in the same prefecture can mean an hour or two of travel just to meet up. And sometimes you'll end up closer to people in other prefectures than somebody in the same prefecture. Luckily fairly good transportation networks mean that you can meet up pretty easily unless you're on the other side of the country. (Even then, I met a friend in Osaka over the summer - it was cheaper and faster than either of us traveling to each other's place. Total cost for both of us to cross half the country was around $300.)

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    Default Re: Best cities to list as preference?

    Thanks for the feedback. Currently my friend and I travel an hour to see each other so we won't mind that in Japan. I'll take a look into the suggesting, thanks!

    So far from my own research I'm quite keen for Fijisawa or Inagi. Any expert opinions on either one of those?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Best cities to list as preference?

    An hours travel will mean you'll need to be in the same or neighbouring prefectures. Big ask but worth a shot.

  6. #6
    Looking for some chaw acpc2203's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best cities to list as preference?

    Your best chances are sister cities/towns as mentioned before or choosing inaka prefectures that few people choose as their preference. Still wouldn't count on it.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Best cities to list as preference?

    Quote Originally Posted by acpc2203 View Post
    choosing inaka prefectures that few people choose as their preference.
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    We're in a country where salarymen read doraemon on the train, I wouldn't worry either way.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Best cities to list as preference?

    Take a look here for the details on this year's number of positions per Contracting Organization.

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    Default Re: Best cities to list as preference?

    Oh thanks, Vaterross, this is helpful. Just a quick question to be 100% sure I'm interpreting this right, is this the available spots for the 2017 programme or is this a summary of the average amount of applications received and placed?
    Last edited by toast; September 8th, 2016 at 19:30.

  10. #10
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best cities to list as preference?

    Quote Originally Posted by toast View Post
    Oh thanks, Vaterross, this is helpful. Just a quick question to be 100% sure I'm interpreting this right, is this the available spots for the 2017 programme or is this a summary of the average amount of applications received and placed?
    This is neither. It's the complete list of every current JET program placement in Japan right now, broken down by country of origin, job type, contracting location, and years in Japan.

    To my knowledge, there are no official statistics available showing how many people apply each year vs. how many are placed, but the ballpark number people throw around is about 20~30% acceptance rate. There's also no way to know how many positions will be available yet because the current ALTs won't be turning in their recontracting forms until December, at the earliest, and those won't be processed until early next year.

    Still, it's useful to know how many positions exists when making requests. For example, you'd look dumb if you requested Nagoya, since there aren't any JETs hired through that city and Aichi prefecture only has 7 JETs total.
    Last edited by Ebi; September 8th, 2016 at 20:45.

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    Default Re: Best cities to list as preference?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ebi View Post
    This is neither. It's the complete list of every current JET program placement in Japan right now, broken down by country of origin, job type, contracting location, and years in Japan.

    To my knowledge, there are no official statistics available showing how many people apply each year vs. how many are placed, but the ballpark number people throw around is about 20~30% acceptance rate. There's also no way to know how many positions will be available yet because the current ALTs won't be turning in their recontracting forms until December, at the earliest, and those won't be processed until early next year.

    Still, it's useful to know how many positions exists when making requests. For example, you'd look dumb if you requested Nagoya, since there aren't any JETs hired through that city and Aichi prefecture only has 7 JETs total.
    Thanks Ebi, this really clears things up. So for example, I should probably list Kyoto as one of my choices since majority of South African ALTs are in Kyoto (the majority being but a total of 6, hahaha, psssh).

    Again, I know my chances of being placed in my list of preferences (assuming now I'm lucky enough to qualify in the first place) are slim, but I would prefer to be prepared, just in case.

    EDIT: My mistake, Shizuoka is where the majority of South African ALTs are with a total of 8.
    Last edited by toast; September 9th, 2016 at 18:10.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Best cities to list as preference?

    I just wanted to say that if you and your buddies end up near a Shinkansen station, it won't be too difficult to meet up. Even if you guys are pretty far apart, you could probably meet up within Three hours if you meet at a midway point.
    Last edited by johnny; September 9th, 2016 at 22:38.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Best cities to list as preference?

    Quote Originally Posted by vaterross View Post
    Take a look here for the details on this year's number of positions per Contracting Organization.
    Wow, 357 in Tokyo this year!

  14. #14

    Default Re: Best cities to list as preference?

    Quote Originally Posted by elmaldito View Post
    Wow, 357 in Tokyo this year!
    IIRC they're aiming for 400 total ALTs this year.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Best cities to list as preference?

    Quote Originally Posted by toast View Post
    Thanks Ebi, this really clears things up. So for example, I should probably list Kyoto as one of my choices since majority of South African ALTs are in Kyoto (the majority being but a total of 6, hahaha, psssh).

    Again, I know my chances of being placed in my list of preferences (assuming now I'm lucky enough to qualify in the first place) are slim, but I would prefer to be prepared, just in case.

    EDIT: My mistake, Shizuoka is where the majority of South African ALTs are with a total of 8.
    It's not the majority. There are 85 in total so it's only about 10% of the programme's South Africans.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Best cities to list as preference?

    Also an aspiring JET trying to figure out what to list as placement preferences. It seems exciting to just leave it blank and see what happens, but I suppose there are few things I'm thinking might be desirable. Any recommendations for a decently-sized city within a few hours of Tokyo that has a lot of nature to offer?

    I've visited Kamakura and am thinking of listing that. I've also visited Nikko and thought it was beautiful, but I might prefer a slightly larger city. Any mountain cities a little larger than Nikko within a few hours of Tokyo?

    Otsu is my current home's sister city, any thoughts on listing Otsu?
    Last edited by injektilo; October 4th, 2016 at 22:58.

  17. #17
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best cities to list as preference?

    Kofu in Yamanashi. It's actually in a valley, but mountains all around. Kind of a smaller city, but has everything you need, plus can do Tokyo on the weekends easy.
    Matsumoto in Nagano is nice, but probably too far from Tokyo for you.
    Takasaki or Maebashi in Gunma... What size of city are you thinking?
    Utsunomiya in Tochigi ain't bad.

  18. #18
    Looking for some chaw acpc2203's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best cities to list as preference?

    Keep in mind many Japanese cities include large rural areas since they merged many towns and villages into them over the years, so being placed in a city doesn't necessarily mean an urban or even suburban placement.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Best cities to list as preference?

    koriyama in fukushima aint bad, mountains all around, ski resorts just down the road in aizu, 80min to tokyo and 40min to sendai.
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Best cities to list as preference?

    Quote Originally Posted by injektilo View Post
    Also an aspiring JET trying to figure out what to list a placement preferences. It seems exciting to just leave it blank and see what happens, but I suppose I there are few things I'm thinking might be desirable. Any recommendations from a decently-sized city within a few hours of Tokyo that has a lot of nature to offer?

    I've visited Kamakura and am thinking of listing that. I've also visited Nikko and thought it was beautiful, but I might prefer a slightly larger city. Any mountain cities a little larger than Nikko within a few hours of Tokyo?

    Otsu is my current home's sister city, any thoughts of listing Otsu?
    I've rung Otsu's praises many a time on here. It's spitting distance from Kyoto and Osaka and has plenty of amenities itself. Still got a bit of the inaka feel in parts though so a good mix.

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