Thursday, July 12, 2007

hello world!

so i'm moving from brooklyn, ny to japan at the end of this month, to become an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) as part of the Japan Exchange & Teaching Programme (JET). I will be in yurihonjo-shi, in akita prefecture. it's a lovely town on the sea of japan coast of the northern part of the main island. why am i doing this? i find that the best answer is "because i can". here's a map of where i'll be:

it's about a 4-hour ride from tokyo on the shinkansen (express train).

some information i have gathered:

  • i'll be teaching mainly in a junior high school, and an elementary school as well
  • it will be really cold and snowy in the winter
  • i will be arriving just in time for the kanto matsuri, a festival of lanterns (pictures to come!)
  • in addition to a hopefully intense progression of my novice japanese skills, my french may benefit as well as i will be living near and working with 2 francophones (also ALTs)
  • fun stuff near where I'll be/about akita:

mount chokai and the cedar forests

a bunch of beautiful onsen (hot spring spas) ie. this one

akita has the highest sake consumption rate in all of japan

people in akita love snow so much they have a snow fort festival

this doggy, called an akita inu, is from/named after the prefecture

yurihonjo beach

this is what kids in akita look like according to the internets. AHHHH!

that's it for now - i'll be enjoying my short and bittersweet remaining time in NYC of frantic preparations and spending time with friends and family before leaving on a jet plane on july 28th! next time i write may be from the orientation in tokyo...