May is always a busy month for me. Between dance exams and the year-end recitals, all of my days seem to revolve around dance – not that I’m complaining! The constant distraction meant that I had little time to dwell on receiving my placement in the JET Programme. Before I knew it, I got an e-mail mid-recital week (May 22) from the Montreal JET Desk with my placement:
Even though I did not request Akita, I am thrilled! (My original requests were Niigata, Hokkaido, and Hyogo, in that order, but I didn’t really have strong reasons for requesting any of them.) From what I’ve read, Akita is a beautiful prefecture (see: Mount Chokai) with countless festivals (including a cherry blossom festival in Yurihonjo!), hot springs (!!!), delicious food, and a great climate. Yurihonjo itself has around 83,000 people, which won’t be too big of a shock after living in a city with ~100,000 people for most of my life. Not to mention that the Akita JET community seems to be filled with wonderful people. I have yet to get in contact with my predecessor (or “pred” – I think they were told to wait until June before contacting their successors), but I am already so excited. Well done, JET Programme. Well done. :D
In the closing of my placement e-mail, our Coordinator wrote:
We hope that your preparations are going well and that your placement offer will further fuel your curiosity about your future home in Japan!
My “future home” – suddenly, moving to Japan seems so much more real!
On that note, I’ve already started a list of things I want to do/see while in Japan (in no particular order):
1. Visit an outdoor hot spring in winter (should be a breeze in Akita! Maybe the Takanoyu Onsen?)
2. See Do As Infinity in concert
3. See Arashi in concert
4. Hanami in Honjo Park
5. Visit Kyoto
6. Ride on a Shinkansen
7. Buy a (super cute!) kotatsu
Of course, this list will constantly be updated and changed as I learn more about Yurihonjo, Akita, and Japan in general. Edit (June 4, 2013): I’ve decided to give my Japan Bucket List its own page. It can now be viewed by clicking on the link in the blog’s top menu, or by clicking here!
Up next: the dreaded Yakkan Shoumei application.
69 days ’til Japan! Eee~.