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Thread: Okayama JETs

  1. #1

    Default Okayama JETs

    Oriana and I just found out we're heading off to Okayama. I guess I'll start off with a couple questions. First on our minds is... does anyone know of a Canadian (Ottawa embassy) couple coming in? We'd love to know the cities, so feel free to pm either Oriana or I if you know anything.

    Otherwise, how is it? How are the prefectural JETs treated?

    Who else is coming into Okayama this year?

    Last, but not least... where can I get a good beer in Okayama?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Okayama JETs

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahura
    Oriana and I just found out we're heading off to Okayama. I guess I'll start off with a couple questions. First on our minds is... does anyone know of a Canadian (Ottawa embassy) couple coming in? We'd love to know the cities, so feel free to pm either Oriana or I if you know anything.

    Otherwise, how is it? How are the prefectural JETs treated?

    Who else is coming into Okayama this year?

    Last, but not least... where can I get a good beer in Okayama?
    Whooops - both posted a thread at the same time.

    As far as I know, prefecture JETs haven't been told about their successors yet.

    Prefecture JETs here are treated fairly well, basically as per the standard JET contract - you get 15 days of nenkyuu a year and you'll probably be working at one or two Senior High Schools.

    As for who else is coming to Okayama this year - I'm starting a list in the other thread...! Just one other person so far, though myself, dombay and a few others who need to make themselves known are staying on.

    Good beer?! Probably anywhere - I love the beer in Japan. Most of the bars are in Okayama City though. There's a lovely reggae bar, but the beer there's all bottled. Best bet for big beers is Aussie Bar I guess (though I hate it :twisted: ) - it's near the station in Okayama City.

  3. #3
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    I look forward to meeting all the other Okayama Jets!

    Ah, the ever important Beer question. Other than the major Japanese beers are there any local brews of note in this area?

    What do you suggest are key things I must do/see/visit in Okayama?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Okayama JETs

    Quote Originally Posted by Marrissey
    Whooops - both posted a thread at the same time.
    That's alright, from the looks of it Okayama is totally awesome enough to support two threads. Or, we can try to consolidate them into one thread.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oriana
    I look forward to meeting all the other Okayama Jets!

    Ah, the ever important Beer question. Other than the major Japanese beers are there any local brews of note in this area?

    What do you suggest are key things I must do/see/visit in Okayama?
    Ummm....local brews - that would be a thing of fancy! I'm afraid it's all lager and in most places it's either Kirin or Asahi. You can get some more exotic varieties (a bar in Kurashiki serves Okinawan beer for example). I don't know of anything specifically local though. I am very glad that two drinkers are coming here

    As for things to do/see/visit - I posted a bit about this in the Okayama thread I started. Check it out - and feel free to ask about anything specific!

    ETA: I am a prefecture BoE JET living in Kurashiki City btw, going into my 2nd (and final!) year.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marrissey
    Ummm....local brews - that would be a thing of fancy! I'm afraid it's all lager and in most places it's either Kirin or Asahi. You can get some more exotic varieties (a bar in Kurashiki serves Okinawan beer for example). I don't know of anything specifically local though. I am very glad that two drinkers are coming here

    As for things to do/see/visit - I posted a bit about this in the Okayama thread I started. Check it out - and feel free to ask about anything specific!
    That kinda sucks about the local beer thing, but understandable. Do they have Asahi black? I'm not sure on the exact Japanese name, but there's one place around there that serves it (from a can) and I think it's my favorite Japanese beer. Lagers are nice and all, but I need my darker beers or I'll go crazy.

    Honestly I can't think of any specific questions at the moment -- now that we've got the beer issue out of the way. I'm sure some will pop up as I read everything google sends me.

    Nice to have such a warm welcome already, can't wait to meet up in person.

  7. #7
    Daimyo ***** dombay's Avatar
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    You can get good beer in a place called Skippers in the city if you like European Beers. They also sell a few odd ones at the import shops in bottles.

    There is a microbrewery in Kurashiki I think and I know you can get all sorts of weird and wonderful things if you look around Kurashiki enough.

    On the whole it:s just a much nicer city than Okayama.
    Melanie: back!

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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahura
    That kinda sucks about the local beer thing, but understandable. Do they have Asahi black? I'm not sure on the exact Japanese name, but there's one place around there that serves it (from a can) and I think it's my favorite Japanese beer. Lagers are nice and all, but I need my darker beers or I'll go crazy.
    You can get Guiness in lots of places here and, as Dombay said, Skippers is a great bar for European beers (though a bit pricey for this Brit!!!) - it specialises in Guiness.

    I haven't heard of Asahi black - it's possible I just haven't noticed it but I'm sure I would have tried it. God knows where the micro-brewery is in Kurashiki, Dom, I certainly haven't found it! But yeah - Kurashiki's nice and chilled (but a bit quiet at night!).

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    Thanks for the tips!

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    So is there anything bad about Okayama? (I like to get both sides of things)

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by cLam
    So is there anything bad about Okayama? (I like to get both sides of things)
    I'm not a hater but I'll do my best:

    No big city here at all.
    Lots of very pokey placements that can be lonely (like pretty much everywhere else on JET I guess)
    Apparently Okayama dialect makes you sound like someone from Deliverance.
    Expensive to go to Tokyo.
    Any big city is a bit of a mission.
    Some people dislike Okayama City quite a lot (I think it's quite pretty)
    Gets hot here if you don't like heat.
    Gets cold here if you don't like cold.
    No surfing.
    A lot of the supposed "attractions" aren't all that: see Korakuen Gardens, Tivoli et al.
    No-one gets amazing paid leave like people in some prefectures.
    No-one's heard of it, and your friends from home might be less likely to visit because there's nowhere famous on your doorstep.

    I did my best, but it's really a very nice place. Perhaps too nice.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Paper_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marrissey
    Expensive to travel to big cities.
    But isn't it only a train-ride away from Hiroshima and Kyoto? Surely it won't be too expensive?

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paper_
    Quote Originally Posted by Marrissey
    Expensive to travel to big cities.
    But isn't it only a train-ride away from Hiroshima and Kyoto? Surely it won't be too expensive?
    You've, errrm, not actually quoted anything I said :?: . I said Tokyo is expensive - it costs 33,000 yen return - and other big cities are a "bit of a mission". What this means is that either you take the shink and they're still somewhat expensive (Kyoto - 14,000 yen return, Hiroshima - 12,000 yen return) or take the local trains and it takes a long time to get there (e.g 2 and a half hours to Hiroshima, longer to others).

    Of course this is all fine for going sightseeing to somewhere for one weekend. My point (which I didn't explain clearly) basically was, if you live in Okayama and you want to go clubbing all the time or buy stuff that only a really big city would have, you can't go to a city every weekend unless you want to blow all your time and money on doing that. It's hard to just pop into places like that - you have to stay over night. Hiroshima's doable, but not that big really.

    I don't find this a problem because I don't crave nightclubs and a good selection of clothes shops, but I know people who really, really do, so thought I'd mention it.

  14. #14
    Daimyo ***** dombay's Avatar
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    Its not too bad. You can get a bus to Osaka in 3 hours for 4500 yenners. Just bring a good book or your DS. Shink in 45 minutes but its more expensive. 30 to Hiroshima but once again you'd be better on a bus or local train with a good book or DS. If you're into Shikoku too (and I am, it's gorgeously pretty) you can get there on a reasonably inexpensive train in less than an hour.

    But yea if you really want to make a weekend out of it you need to stay overnight. There is cheap accommodation options in Osaka though for both men and women so it's not too bad.

    Okayama City does blow goat testicles in some ways but there is a few nice places.

    The inaka can be pretty deep here but we've got some absolutely gorgeous inaka too. Especially on the inland sea where I live and also up north there's some awesome spots.

    What really makes Okayama though I think is the awesome people. We have a lot of fun together.
    Melanie: back!

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    Daimyo ***** dombay's Avatar
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    To answer the OP there is only one couple that I know of who is leaving so in that sense it's pretty obvious where you're going to be placed but on the other hand they changed some couples around last year so they might do it again and last year there was a couple that lived on either ends of the ken so it might not be too good to speculate on that one ...
    Melanie: back!

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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by dombay
    To answer the OP there is only one couple that I know of who is leaving so in that sense it's pretty obvious where you're going to be placed but on the other hand they changed some couples around last year so they might do it again and last year there was a couple that lived on either ends of the ken so it might not be too good to speculate on that one ...
    I think there are a two Prefecture couples leaving from Okayama City actually. One's couple's married, the other isn't. But, yeah, I've heard they can do some funny stuff so it doesn't mean too much...

    And I was playing devil's advocate by the way. I think the travel's fine here and you can go for the odd night in the city no probs but I know some people can't live without a biweekly Osaka fix, and when it gets to that the commute can be pretty annoying tbh. I'm just listing the drawbacks compared to being placed in some prefectures, as requested.

    The coach is still 4,500 yen so that's almost $100 to get where you want to start drinking and shopping and back again - not ideal.

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    -Okayama also has a lovely place called Shiraishi, which is an island off the coast of Kasaoka City (last city before you hit Hiroshima-ken). It has a great beach and beach bar- run by an American and an Aussie who stock it with foreign beer and root beer. It also has one of the international villas, at which you can stay for about 2500 yen a night.

    -The fruit here is good and obachans hand give it to you for free sometimes.

    -They have Asahi Black at my local combini.

    -A nice thing about Okayama is that it is really cheap to live here. You can use that extra money to travel, save, or whatever.

    Dombay and Marrissey are right; there is not a whole lot here but it is a nice place.

  18. #18
    Daimyo ***** dombay's Avatar
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    Oooh ok my mistake.

    And yea I know what you meant Marrisey.

    And yea I think Mollie is right there. But I think it's good because it brings us together for more friendly low key stuff with friends and Osaka is available for occasional big city stuff.
    Melanie: back!

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    I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that Ahura and I will be placed nearby, it certainly would make life a little easier.

    Where are the other couples living?

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    Daimyo ***** dombay's Avatar
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    Sorry I didn't mean to scare you. It's pretty unlikely I think that you won't be placed together. Was just trying to say that they've done some odd things in the past which is why I didn't want to speculate.

    Probably Okayama City at a guess though.
    Melanie: back!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZdDxFsopVs

    'Oh it's so wonderful to be an older woman. All this old stuff to do'

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