JET Programme 2013

JET Placements 2013

Well, the time has finally come to find out where all the new JETs are heading this coming August. The USA started getting their placements on Monday 20th, while the rest of the world looked on anxiously. In Canada, we got our emails on Wednesday carrying the good news. UK, Australia and all other countries are still waiting for their results. So … where am I going?


Hidaka’s city flag

My new home for the year will be the city of Hidaka in Saitama Prefecture. Now wait before you Google it, because I’ve already done that and quickly found out that there is nothing to be seen. The town is really small, about 50 000 inhabitants (roughly the same size as my hometown) and surrounded by picturesque mountains, rivers and fields.

What I gathered from Google pictures of this small town is that thousands of flowers seem to bloom all year-round in Hidaka, and hiking is the #1 diversion for the town dwellers. Hidaka is apparently a tourist attraction for Japanese travellers who enjoy scenic hikes up the sides of cliffs and swimming in shallow rivers.

Problem is, as you might recall, I had asked to be placed in either one of these prefectures:

  1. Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa-ken
  2. Ehime-ken
  3. Shiga-ken

Obviously, I didn’t get any of these choices, and was sorely depressed when I first heard that I was headed for Saitama-ken. This little town stuck in between nowhere and somewhere was so far from Kanazawa (my one true love), that I couldn’t help but shed tears of anguish and disappointment when I found out. I now I should have been ecstatic like all the other JETs from receiving a placement offer, but I was too heartbroken over Kanazawa to really appreciate this opportunity.

Yesterday, I went to my JETAA Japanese class, where I discussed my placement with my teacher and coordinator. This is when I discovered the benefits of living in Saitama:

  • being terribly close to Tokyo (about 1h30 by train)
  • having easy access to most of the Kanto region
  • being close to my friend Zoé (she’s going to be attending Soka Daigaku)
  • being close to a new found JET friend (he will be living in Musashimurayama)
  • one of my Kanazawa friends visits regularly Saitama-ken
  • reasonably close to Chiba where several of my friends live
  • having the opportunity to explore a new area of Japan

I think that, had I been given my first choice of placement, I would have quickly fallen into old habits. Kanazawa is very special to me, and holds countless memories of my friends and I, and I think that this could have been more hurtful than anything else. At least I have the consolation that in Hidaka, I can start anew and not worry about seeing my friends’ ghosts everywhere around town.

On a happier note, I’ll leave you with some pictures I found of my new home ^_^ I’m sure it will be as wonderful as Kanazawa, and I promise to make the most out of my time there.



6 thoughts on “JET Placements 2013

  1. It looks wonderful, sorry you didn’t get your 1st choice but you’ll be close to me now (yay)… 😀 It looks really pretty. I’m sure next year you can ask to go to your 1st location~
    I love those flowers!

    • Thanks! 🙂 haha I thought the same thing! I’ll be reasonably close to Chiba so I’ll be able to drop by (and you can do the same of course!)
      The flowers are truly gorgeous *_* It’s a good thing I love nature ❤ The pictures of Hidaka remind me of Hokkaido! It's a win-win situation

    • I can’t wait to see this place with my own two eyes. I was so sad to have lost my placement that I didn’t take the time to realize how beautiful this place is. Now I feel guilty about it ^^; I know I’ll be snapping tons of pictures of this place once I get there ♥

      You’re going to Aomori-ken right? I expect you’ll have fields of flowers too, just like in Hokkaido. I’ve always wanted to visit those two prefectures ^_^ Maybe I’ll get the chance to do so this year.

      • Yeah, I’ll be in Aomori! I don’t think they’re known for flowers, but they are known for their apples, snow, and apparently the best sakura in Japan. If you ever want to go skiing, hit me up!

      • Sounds cool! I love snow (being from Canada and all). I’d love to! I usually ski here in the winter but I know I won’t be able to do so in my little town :/ Aomori sounds like the perfect place for that ^_^ I heard that the mountains in Niigata are pretty wicked too. I saw some pictures online, the sakura trees looks amazing! :O This is so exciting 🙂
        (oh and if ever you’re in the Saitama region, I’ll gladly show you around my part of town too ^^)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s