This July, Chris and I will be moving to a largish town called Noshiro in Northwestern Japan. I have earned a position with JET, the Japan Exchange and Teaching program. My job will be to act as a diplomat through the teaching of English. My position is for a year, though I have the option of renewing for an additional 1 to 2 years.
Chris will, of course, be coming with, as he has the most amazingly flexible job in the world, which allows him to work anywhere with an internet connection. Bless you, MyFonts.
Some fun facts we’ve gathered while trying to acquaint ourselves with our new home:
- We’ll be living in the prefecture (think “state”) of Akita in the region of Tohoku on the main Japanese island, Honshu. The major industries are shipping and lumber. We’re pretty far outside the usual tourist circuit, which hopefully means we’ll get to see more of “old Japan”. Northern Japan is great for hot springs, and mountain vistas full of trees (see above: lumber industry)
- Hot springs and public baths are skin only: no suits allowed.
- We’re supposed to give our landlord two months’ rent. As a gift.
- Noshiro has the temperature cycle of Chicago with the precipitation of Portland (more snow, I’m guessing)
- Airport Customs dictates that you can only bring one pack of birth control pills into the country, but 24 tubes of toothpaste is okay.
- Drivers found on the road with ANY Blood Alcohol Content will be jailed immediately. Seriously, kids. Don’t drink and drive.