Contact has been made

Woo!! I just received an email from my Contracting Organisation!!

*Dances happily*

I was starting to get worried that I wouldn’t hear anything before I left. I’m going to be living in a part of Toyooka called Kei/Kehi. It seems that tip off I got was right. It’s a small little place with no train station on the west coast of Hyogo. Right on the coast of the Sea of Japan. It’s about 5km to the nearest station in Kinosaki and about 15km from the centre of Toyooka itself. My main junior high school is only about a 10 minute walk from my apartment so that’s awesome. (hopefully still an awesome walk in the 30cm-40cm snow)

I also officially have been given my predecessors email so now I can complete bug her with all of my stereotypical questions… well, to continue to bug her. She found me on Facebook a few weeks ago and suspected I was her successor because we’re from the same city.

Another thing I found out is that the city subsidizes my rent by half so my monthly rent should only be around Y26,000 (around $300 NZD) which is half of what I have been paying for the last three years for my room at the flat I had in Wellington. After rent, power, pension fund, taxes, health insurance and other deductions I should be left with around Y140,000 (est $1500 NZD) per month. Realistically if I manage my bills I’ll be absolutely fine.

It’s so close to leaving for Japan. Now only the last lot of waiting. I should get a Notice of Appointment, Terms and Conditions and a Statement of Agreement by mail air soon so it’ll all be completely official very soon.

And then the countdown begins!

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Wellington Q&A

Been a little bit busy over the last couple of weeks, but on the 13th and 14th of June was the Wellington Q & A session, where we had two days of presentations and lessons. I flew up to Wellington and made my way to the Japanese Embassy. I have to say walking around in business formal dress was a little strange. I’m not really used to wearing it.

Our JET coordinator spent the next hour or so talking about general information about the programme. We had a visit from a representative from the Inland Revenue Department and then from the Travel agent. So now I actually know when I’m leaving for Japan! Still waiting to hear from my Predecessor and Contracting organisation… I have had a little tip off that I might be heading to a place called Kehi, in northern Toyooka.

It was really good to hear from past JETs and all of their experiences. After the first day we went out for dinner at a local Japanese restaurant, Origami, and were paired up with an ex-JET that had been placed near where we were heading off to.

The best part of the whole weekend was the lessons we had with a local Japanese teacher from Wellington. She was amazing and reminded me of why I was sitting there in the first place. How much I had enjoyed learning Japanese in the past. If I had her as a high school teacher instead of my own, I think I would have a better grasp on the Japanese language and would have applied for JET at least two years earlier.

Not gonna lie, I am really starting to think that I am not prepared enough for Japan. Lots of stuff to work on…