Kamikawa-cho, Kamikawa-gun (HOKKAIDO)
"The JET Files - teaching English in Japan"
June 23, 2003: Well, T-minus one month and about 3 days to go until I officially leave for Japan to teach English for a year. My placement is in Kamikawa town, Hokkaido prefecture. The population for my town is only 5,500 people!!! On the above map, Kamikawa is situated in the Kamikawa basin, about 30 minutes by bus to Daisetsuzan National park, the largest wilderness reserve in Japan. Hokkaido is the northernmost island in Japan. The climate is roughly the same as Alberta, but they get more precipitation. Hokkaido is the sister province to Alberta, and the capital, Sapporo, is the sister city to Edmonton.
I'm told by my predecessor, who incidentally is also from Edmonton (small world huh?), that I have a "swank" new apartment, a yellow mountain bike (which has more than one gear, YAY!) to get around on, and I am going to be a "one-shot" JET Assistant Language Teacher. A "one-shot" teacher is basically a teacher who has an office in one school, but goes around from school to school teaching (I am assigned to 5 schools), depending on the day of the week. The schools I am at are high school and junior high schools, so it should be a good mix.
Hopefully I will be updating this about once or twice weekly while I am in Japan, so check it out if you'd like the lastest!