Nov 13

By Suzanne Bhagan (Tottori-ken, 2014-2015)

 Suzanne is a freelance writer originally from Trinidad and Tobago. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or on her blog. 

 

japanese train

All aboard!

Wine Train

When: 17 November

Where: Ōmi-Hachiman Station, Shiga Prefecture

Join ShigaAJET for round two of the Omi-Tetsudo booze train extravaganza! The wine train will leave the station for a 2-hour nomihoudai with 6 delicious wines from across Italy and France.

 

Sports Day Night Cup

When: 18 November
Where: Oita Prefecture

Oita AJET welcomes you to a night of games and challenges and the glory of winning the Night Cup!

Japanese city

Beautiful Hakodate

 

Hakodate Takeover

When: 18 November

Where: Hakodate, Hokkaido

Join Aomori AJET after SDC exploring the beautiful city of Hakodate.

 

Mt. Kajigamori Day Hike

When: 18 November

Where: Otoyo-cho, Kochi-ken

Catch the fall colors on a day hike on Mt. Kajigamori and then spend a relaxing evening at Star Lodge Kajigamori!

 

hot spring town in japan

Get your kit off at Arima onsen

Naked and A-Bathed: Arima Onsen Day Trip

When: 18 November

Where: Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture

KAJET welcomes fellow JETs to steam in the nude and wash away your troubles at Arima onsen. Don’t forget your towel!

 

2017 Shikoku Field Day

When: 18 -19 November

Where: Mima, Tokushima Prefecture

Shikoku Field Day is ready to kick-off with its tradition of silly games, outdoor fun, and getting to know other fellow JETs from all around Shikoku! After the games, enjoy a BBQ and help raise money for a good cause.

 

ShizAJET Regional Potluck Party

When: 18 November- 2 December

Where: Hamamatsu, Shimizu, Mishima, Shizuoka Prefecture

ShizAJET will be having separate potluck parties in 3 locations: Seibu, Chubu, and Tobu. Bring food to share for all.

 


Oct 24

JETAA Chapter Beat November 2017

JETAA Chapter Beat is a periodic mosaic of events taking place in the JETAA sphere. Compiled by AJET‘s Director of Alumni Resources Sara-Jane Seery (Kochi Prefecture, 2016- Present).

 

  1. JETAA Minnesota

30 Years of Change – JET Program’s 30th Anniversary

Come and join us in celebrating 30 years of the JET Program. We will be talking about the connections between Japan and Minnesota past, present and future. Join us for an amazing multi course meal at Kado no Mise to commemorate 30 years of the JET program! (menu to be posted shortly on our website and Facebook page)

https://jetaamn.org/2017/10/04/save-the-date-jet-30th-anniversary-banquet-event/

When: Sunday, November 12th from 2pm-5pm

Where: Kado no Mise 33 North 1st Ave, Mpls, MN 55401

 

2. JETAAMB

Whale Watching

JETAAMB is hosting its first-ever Whale Watching Trip!

We will meet at Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey at 1pm on Saturday, November 18th. Anyone is welcome: JET alumni, family, friends, and anyone interested in Japan. We will be traveling with the Monterey Bay Whale Watch Company, and we will most likely be able to see humpback whales and dolphins.

Tickets are on sale at Eventbrite (https://tinyurl.com/y8ps2mk6). You must buy tickets by October 30th (Monday) at 6pm. RSVPing on Facebook is NOT good enough, you must buy your tickets in advance.

Schedule:

1pm Meet Fisherman’s Wharf (Monterey Bay Whale Watch @ 84 Fisherman’s Wharf Monterey, CA)

2-5pm Whale Watching

5-8pm Nijikai at downtown Monterey Pub to be determined later

Special Notes: Seas may be rough and cold, so bring anti-seasickness medication and warm clothing. The event may be canceled in the event of bad weather. For safety reasons, pregnant women are not allowed on the whale watching but are welcome at the nijikai.

 

3. JETAA NY

Karaoke Marathon

Let’s enjoy a karaoke marathon!. Please RSVP by Monday, November 6 if you plan to attend, so we can reserve an appropriate size room. Huge selection of English and Japanese songs, and other languages are available too. Did we mention some drinks are 50% off? All are welcome, so feel free to invite friends, JETs, and friends of JET alike!

Note: You can bring your own food, but not drinks (you can get drinks at the bar separately; some will have happy hour specials). Also, please make sure to bring your state ID — if even one person doesn’t have it, the whole room can’t drink. (Don’t be that guy!)

Happy Hour details: http://www.karaokeduet.com/index.php?itemid=5

When: Saturday, November 18th, 1pm – 8pm (Come late, leave early – you don’t have to stay the entire time!)

Where: Duet 48 (304 E 48th St, New York, NY 10017)

Cost: $14/person

RSVP/Questions: Email Alexei at alexeisensei@gmail.com and check out more details.

 

4. JETAASC

Natsukashii Nomikai

Come one, come all, to JETAASC’s 9th Natsukashii Nomikai! Every second Friday of the month, JETAASC checks out a new Japanese-owned establishment in the LA area. Relax and enjoy a drink and/or some food with us, because it’s the weekend! This month we’ll be at Ebisu, which has plenty of Kyushu flavor along with great happy hour specials

When: Friday, November 10 at 5:30 PM PST

Where: EBISU Japanese Tavern 356 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, California 90012

 

 

5. JETAA NSW

Career Workshop

The careers workshop is ideal for new JET Returnees but is open to any individuals interested in working on their job hunting, networking or personal promotion skills.

The workshop comes in two parts. Part one is this workshop and part two will be a networking evening where you can use the skills that you have acquired to build your personal and professional network

 

6. JETAA Chicago

Career Development Workshop

Just got back from Japan and looking for a job? Unsure about how to leverage your experiences in Japan? Maybe you have a job and are considering a career change? Wondering what skills you need to get that promotion? Attend JETAA Chicago’s annual Career Development Workshop on Saturday, November 18, 2017 to get guidance on building a path to career success.

The Career Development Workshop is free of charge. Registation will begin at 1:30 PM with the presentations scheduled to start at 2:00 PM and the networking reception scheduled for 5:00 PM.

The workshop will be held in downtown Chicago however the venue for the event has yet to be confirmed. Check back for more details.

When: Saturday, November 18 at 1 PM – 4 PM CST

Where: 400 S Michigan Ave, Ste C, Chicago, Illinois 60605

 

7. JETAA Manitoba/Saskatchewan

JET Program Info Session

Join JETAA Alumni for our JET Program Information session. If you want to know more about the JET Programme please join us.

When: Thursday, November 16 at 10 AM – 11:30 AM UTC-06

Where: 474 University Center. 66 Chancellors Circle, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 2N2

 

 


Oct 23

JETAA Chapter Beat October 2017

JETAA Chapter Beat is a periodic mosaic of events taking place in the JETAA sphere. Compiled by AJET‘s Director of Alumni Resources Sara-Jane Seery (Kochi Prefecture, 2016- Present).

 

1.JETAA Rocky Mountain

Tsukimi welcome back party

When: Saturday, September 30 at 4:30 PM MDT

Where: Chautauqua Park in Boulder, the lower park area near Baseline Road. We will be flying our JETAARM Nobori Flags and should be easy to spot.

900 Baseline Rd, Boulder, Colorado 80302

Join us in wishing an “okaerinasai” to the recently returned JETs at our Tsukimi picnic! Friends and family are welcome to join us for , tabemono (food), hot tea and, of course, moon viewing!

Looking forward to seeing you there!

 

2. JETAA UK

Leicester Japan Club ‘Sushi and Sword’

When: Saturday, September 30 at 1 PM – 3 PM UTC+01

Where: University of Leicester

University Road, LE1 7RH Leicester, United Kingdom

The Leicester Japan Club are organising a talk on Japanese swords and history by Joe Robey from the King Richard III Visitor Centre (he will bring his colelction of Japanese swords) on Saturday 30th September from 1pm until 3pm at the University of Leicester. There will also be sushi @ £5 a head and a chance to buy sweet Japanese bread.

Orders must be made before Friday 22nd September. E mail junko.n.tamaki@gmail.com to register and order sushi.

Read More


Sep 29

WIT Life #316: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Teikoku Hotel

 

Written by professional Writer/Interpreter/Translator Stacy Smith (Kumamoto-ken CIR, 2000-03), WIT Life is a periodic series about aspects of Japanese culture such as film, food and language.  Stacy starts her day by watching Fujisankei’s newscast in Japanese, and here she shares some interesting tidbits and trends along with her own observations.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright’s birth, and celebrations are taking place around the country and world.  I recently had the chance to go to MoMA’s Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive (ending October 1 so run to check it out if you haven’t already!).  This incredibly comprehensive exhibit looks at Wright’s career from 12 different perspectives, each of which has its own section.   There are around 450 works that he made from the 1890s through the 1950s on display, and each section has a video narrated by a scholar in the respective field.

I was particular interested in the section discussing the second version of the Imperial Hotel (帝国ホテル), designed by Wright and built from 1919–1923).  It survived the Great Tokyo Earthquake that September, but eventually slipped into decay over time and in 1967 it was decided to demolish the hotel and replace it with a high-rise building.  The structure was mostly destroyed, but the iconic central lobby wing and reflecting pool were disassembled and rebuilt at Meiji-mura in Nagoya, which I was lucky enough to visit during a recent business trip.

This is an amazing theme park with a variety of architecture mostly from the Meiji Era (1868-1912), and Read More


Sep 15

JAPAN STANDS WITH HOUSTON FUND Created by JAS Houston

 

             Posted by Cori M. Hallock (Hokkaido 2007-2008)

In response to the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, the Japan-America Society of Houston (JASH) established the JAPAN STANDS WITH HOUSTON FUND. Gifts to the Fund will be donated to local Houston charities supporting recovery efforts.

JASH created the fund in response to an outpouring of concern from Japan over the severity of flooding and damage caused by Hurricane Harvey. JASH’s website states:

Houston,

You were there for us in 2011 to assist people and communities affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. You also came to our aid in 2016 as we responded to the Kumamoto Earthquake.  

Now, we are here to support you. JAPAN STANDS WITH HOUSTON

The Fund will serve as the focal point of support received from Japan and from friends of the U.S.-Japan relationship. All contributions will be utilized to support trusted local Houston charities with five-star ratings on Charity Navigator.

You can donate by check, wire transfer, or credit card through the JAPAN STANDS WITH HOUSTON FUND page. More information is available in English and Japanese on the fund page.

Hurricane Harvey hit Houston on August 30th, 2017 causing severe flooding and damage to thousands of homes. For updates on JAPAN STANDS WITH HOUSTON relief efforts, follow the JASH Facebook page.


Aug 9

WIT Life #315: Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema

 

Written by professional Writer/Interpreter/Translator Stacy Smith (Kumamoto-ken CIR, 2000-03), WIT Life is a periodic series about aspects of Japanese culture such as film, food and language.  Stacy starts her day by watching Fujisankei’s newscast in Japanese, and here she shares some interesting tidbits and trends along with her own observations.

Last week the inaugural Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema began, and I’ve had the chance to catch a lot of great films at the two main venues of Kew Gardens Cinema and Queens Museum. Today they screened Persona Non Grata (杉原千畝 スギハラチウネ, 2015), a film about Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara (“Japanese Schindler”) who served as a consul in Lithuania from 1939-40 and saved the lives of thousands of Jewish refugees by issuing over 2000 transit visas to Japan. He famously continuing to sign visas even as his train pulled away from the station, and is estimated to have saved over 6,000 lives from the Nazis who invaded Lithuania in 1941. However, his diplomatic career was ruined because he had defied instructions from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs not to issue the visas. Sugihara didn’t know if they had made any difference until being found years later by someone he had helped. He is now considered a hero in Japan, and those he saved have more than 40,000 descendants.

The film stars the phenomenal Toshiaki Karasawa as Sugihara and the always stellar Read More


May 1

JETAA Chapter Beat for May 2017

Ryan Hata (Tottori-ken, 2014-Present) AJET National Council Director of Alumni RelationsRyan is in his second year on the AJET National Council and first as the Director of Alumni Relations. He works alongside Rachel Brisson (AJET National Council Director of Alumni Resources ) and members of JETAA International (JETAA-I) to strengthen the relationship between former JETs, current JETs, and Japan. Ryan helps to keep you up to date with JETAA events around the world. If you have a specific event that you would like promote, please do not hesitate to contact him by email at ryan.hata@ajet.net or his Linkedin profile. 

Japan is in the midst of Golden Week, so why not take some time to celebrate at an event with your local JETAA chapter.

JETAA Chicago

May Monthly Member Meeting

 

When: May 1st 6:30-8 pm CDT
Where: Japan Information Center 737 N Michigan Ave Ste 1000, Chicago, Illinois 60611

On Monday, May 1st, JETAA Chicago will have our monthly member meeting!
We will discuss past events, upcoming events and welcome new ideas. In particular we will be discussing the Survival Series 2017, fundraising ideas, and events for the upcoming year. If you have ideas and would like to share them, this is the meeting for you!

For those unable to attend in person, please email info@jetaachicago.com if you would like to call or video into the meeting. We have successfully had call-ins, google hangouts, and skype-ins in past meetings. Don’t hesitate to let us know if you would like to do that.

Our meetings are open to any and all JET alumni. Dinner is provided to all who attend. Let us know if you have any food allergies or avoidances.

Email info@jetaachicago.com with any questions or any items you would like to add to the agenda.

Photo from JETAA Chicago’s Facebook Event

2 JETAA Portland

J-Kaiwa

WHEN: Friday, May 5th, 7-9:00 p.m.

WHERE: Lucky Lab Brew Pub on Hawthorne (915 SE Hawthorne Blvd)

NIJIKAI: ??

WHO: JETAA members, JET Program returnees, Japanese friends and Nihongo speakers of all levels.

WHY: To catch up with old friends, make some new ones and maintain that connection to Japan

COST: It’s free to join! There will be some pitchers of beer, subsidized by JETAA, to help get the Nihongo flowing and if you wish to partake of these shared pitchers a $3 contribution is requested. All contributions will be applied to the cost of shared pitchers. Otherwise you may purchase your own food and/or beverages.

This is a great chance to catch up with old friends, meet new people, and keep up on your Japanese language. We hope you’ll join us and look forward to seeing you there! If you have any questions, email us at: jkaiwa@jetaaportland.com

J-Kaiwa de aimashou!

Photo from JETAA Portland’s Website

3 JETAA Singapore

Star Wars Hanami

When: May 6th 5-8 pm SGT
Where: Gardens by the Bay, Supertree Grove

Join us for the first event of the year – a hanami with a nod to a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

Date: May 6th 2017 (Saturday)
Venue: Gardens by the Bay, Supertree Grove
Time: 5pm to 8pm (Star Wars light show at 7:45pm)

Event is open to all members and friends, and will be a BYO.
Do bring some things to share!

More details here:
http://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/en/whats-on/calendar-of-events/star-wars-day-2017.html

4 JETAA Southeast

JETAASE Chapter Planning Meeting (Virtual)

When: May 7th 7-7:40 pm EDT
Where: Online

Join us for our chapter meeting as we plan for the upcoming fiscal year. This meeting is a virtual web meeting using the Zoom.US platform so all can attend – either using a computer, tablet, or phone.

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/232615887

Or iPhone one-tap (US Toll): +16465588656,232615887# or +14086380968,232615887#

Or Telephone:
Dial: +1 646 558 8656 (US Toll) or +1 408 638 0968 (US Toll)
Meeting ID: 232 615 887
International numbers available: https://zoom.us/zoomconference?m=qa5xN8r0juIKv88fYURVtuYg1Qr1xKHM

Photo from JETAASE’s Facebook Event

5 Music City JETAA

JABE Con

When: May 13th 11 am EDT
Where:Wilson County Expo Center in Lebanon, TN

We are looking for JET Alumni volunteers to speak about their JET experience at JABECon! (www.jabecon.com) on Saturday May 13 at the brand new Wilson County Expo Center in Lebanon, TN. Alumni will be a part of a one-hour Q&A panel titled “Teaching English in Japan: 30 Years of JET” that is scheduled for 11:30am. Panelists will receive a free pass to JABECon! Please contact John Gale at john@johnsensei.com if interested!

Photo from .jabecon.com

6 JETAA Monterey Bay

Japan Forum Omedetou Potluck

When: May 13th 6-9 pm PDT
Where:99 McGowan Building, MIIS Campus, 411 Pacific Street, Monterey, CA

apan Forum Omedetou Potluck May 13 (Sat) 6-9

Join us to celebrate the end school and start of summer with a potluck hosted by Japan Forum and JETAAMB. All those interested in Japan or the Japanese language are welcome. This is a potluck, so please bring food or drink to share.

SIGN UP for what food you will bring: https://tinyurl.com/gqne8am We want to have a good balance of foods and not end up with 20 desserts. If possible, please bring a serving utensil if you need one. :)

LOCATION: 99 McGowan Building, MIIS Campus, 411 Pacific Street, Monterey, CA (ENTRANCE on Franklin Street)

Photo from JETAA Monetery Bay’s Facebook Page

7 JETAANY

Japan Day

When: May 14th 8 am-5 pm EDT
Where: Central Park, New York, NY 10024, USA

On Sunday, May 14th (Mothers’ Day), JETAANY and the Japan Society will be hosting the Yo-Yo Balloon Tent at Japan Day in Central Park.

We’ll be helping visitors “fish” for Yo-yo Balloons and need volunteers to assist in many areas of the booth – including greeting the guests, explaining the game, prepping water balloons, and assisting children with the game.

All volunteers will get a delicious bento lunch, a drink and a free Japan Day t-shirt, plus meet tons of fun people and teach the NYC community a fun Japanese festival game.

Volunteers are needed for two shifts:
#1 Morning 8am-12:30 pm
#2 Afternoon 12 pm-5:00 pm
It’s a super fun day, so we’ll hope you’ll be able to join us!

Questions? Contact Monica Yuki, at Monica.Yuki (at) jetaausa.com

Photo from JETAANY’s Website

Music City JETAA

Fourth Annual Yakiniku BBQ

When: May 20th 3:30 pm EDT
Where: Shelby Park, Nashville, TN 37206, USA

The Music City JET Alumni Association is excited to host its fourth annual Yakiniku BBQ in Shelby Park on May 20th. We’ll gather at 3:30 and start grilling around 4PM. JETAA will arrange for plates, utensils, non-alcoholic beverages and food including high quality meats (beef and pork from Porter Road Butcher), chicken, rice, and vegetables (bell pepper, onion, garlic, kabocha, carrots, etc). In order to off-set costs, we will collect $10 from each guest at the start of the event. JET Alumni and children between 6 and 12 are discounted to $5 each.

This family friendly event is open to JET alumni, family and friends as well as members of the local Japanese community so feel free to spread the word. Please RSVP on our Facebook events page by May 17th so that we can get a solid headcount before purchasing food.

We’re looking for a few extra hands to run the event so please contact Tye Ebel at tyeebel@gmail.com if you can volunteer as a grill master or are able to help us out with food prep before the event.

9 JETAA Rocky Mountain

Monthly Networking Happy Hour

When: May 21st 2 pm MDT
Where: Akihabara Arcade 8901 Harlan st., Westminster, Colorado 80031

May’s Networking Nomikai is dedicated to the Otaku in all of us. So we will be checking out Akihabara (!) in Wesminister. Note that we are meeting up on the THIRD sunday of the month so that we aren’t in conflict with mother’s day.

There will also be a board meeting from 12-2 before the Nomikai to talk about the Q&A session and the Predeparture Session for the 2017 JETs. Want to be involved in seeing them off? Come and help out :-)

Photo via JETAA Rocky Mountain’s Facebook Page

10 Great Lakes JETAA

Gai Koto Jin koto (traditional Japanese instrument) performance

When: May 26th 7-9 pm EDT
Where: Herndon Gallery at Antioch College One Morgan Place, South Hall Morgan Pl, Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387

Gai Koto Jin ensemble brings a taste of real Japan to their audiences through the koto, the national instrument of Japan. The koto is similar to a Western harp or dulcimer. The aim of this educational event and performance is to introduce this beautiful and unique instrument and to show its diversity and versatilit. They will perform traditional Japanese compositions, folk songs, covers of familiar Western tunes, and modern koto compositions, including “Uruma” by Sawai Tadao. Audiences will have an opportunity to play the instrument and ask questions. Admission to this event is free.

About Gai Koto Jin:

Gai Koto Jin is Julie A. Palmer, Jessica Entis, and Lori Fannin, who have training from music schools in Japan as well as the United States and have the expertise to educate and entertain. Gai Koto Jin is a portmanteau of the Japanese word for foreigner, gai koku jin, and the name of their instrument, koto. The ensemble has performed at Columbus Asian Festival, Dawes Arboretum, Columbus Museum of Art, Lakeside Chautauqua, Ohayocon, and Midoricon.

Photo from Great Lakes JETAA Facebook Event


Apr 2

JETAA Chapter Beat for April 2017

Ryan Hata (Tottori-ken, 2014-Present) AJET National Council Director of Alumni RelationsRyan is in his second year on the AJET National Council and first as the Director of Alumni Relations. He works alongside Rachel Brisson (AJET National Council Director of Alumni Resources ) and members of JETAA International (JETAA-I) to strengthen the relationship between former JETs, current JETs, and Japan. Ryan helps to keep you up to date with JETAA events around the world. If you have a specific event that you would like promote, please do not hesitate to contact him by email at ryan.hata@ajet.net or his Linkedin profile. 

It’s almost spring time in the northern hemisphere and here in Japan, the sakura are starting to bloom. Check out if there are any hanami parties or other similar events from around the world!

1. JETAA Chicago

April Monthly Member Meeting

When: April 3rd 6:30-8 pm CDT
Where: Japan Information Center 737 N Michigan Ave Ste 1000, Chicago, Illinois 60611

On Monday, April 3, JETAA Chicago will have our monthly member meeting!

We will discuss past events, upcoming events and welcome new ideas. We will also continue planning our Outgoing JETs events, Japan Off the Beaten Path.

For those unable to attend in person, please email info@jetaachicago.com if you would like to call or video into the meeting. We have successfully had call-ins, Google Hangouts, and Skype-ins in past meetings. Don’t hesitate to let us know you’d like to do that.

Our meetings are open to any and all JET Alumni. Dinner is provided to all who attend. Let us know if you have any food allergies or avoidances.

Email info@jetaachicago.com with any questions or any items you would like to add to the agenda.

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Photo from JETAA Chicago’s Facebook event

2. JETAANSW

Shaberanaito

When: April 7th 6:30-8:30 pm DST
Where: Daruma Japanese Restaurant Level 1, Prince Centre 8 Quay Street, Haymarket, Sydney, Australia

Join JETAA and AJS for a casual dinner where you can eat delicious food and break out the Japanese-however limited or rusty.

Cost: $35 BUT say you are with JETAANSW and you will get a $5 discount! (This $30 includes tasty Japanese food for dinner.) There is a vegetarian option available and drinks are PAYG.

Register online: http://www.ajsnsw.org.au/event-2500537

If you are interested in an a nijikai please register your interest by posting below or contacting Elly Kate or Ashlie (myself).

See you there!

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Photo via JETAANSW’s Facebook event

3. JETAAMN

Cooking Class: Omurice

When: April 8th 11 am-2 pm CDT
Where: The Good Acre 1790 Larpenteur Ave W, Falcon Heights, Minnesota 55113

***All particpants must RSVP AND pay the class fee in advanced to be considered as registered for the event*** Please go to the JETAAMN website to reserve your spot and pay! https://jetaamn.org/

Join JETAAMN and friends for another cooking class. This year’s theme is Omurice. Learn about Japanese cooking and eat the delicious results of your work! From 11am to 2pm!

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Photo from JETAAMN’s Facebook event page

4. JETAASC

SPRING THINGS

When: April 8th 8:30 am PDT
Where: 3051 Canyon Drive, 90068

SPRING THINGS!

Let’s take a hike JETs! (Morning Hollywood Sign hike and breakfast – plus optional music festival!)
When: Saturday, April 8th, 8:30 A.M.
Who: JETAASC and friends
Where: Meet at 3051 Canyon Drive, 90068
What: We will enjoy a light morning hike up to the Hollywood Sign where photos will be taken, and Instagrams updated. Then hike back down to enjoy a local brunch spot, TBD.

If you are further away, and want to make a day trip out of coming, then please join Greg and fellow JET alum Cindy for Broke LA, a music festival for people who can’t afford Coachella! It’s a $25 music festival, going from 3pm to midnight! More info is available here: http://brokelafest.com/about

Don’t forget to RSVP for the hike and brunch! The concert is just a footnote for live music fans.

Questions? Comments? Feel free to email or text Greg at Social@jetaasc.org or 917.975.2067

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Photo via JETAASC’s Facebook event

5. JETAAWJ

Charity Networking Brunch in Honor of US Consul General and Mrs. Greenberg

When: April 9th 11:30 am-2:30 pm JST
Where: Trente Et Un 〒650-0046 Hyogo Prefecture, Kobe, Chuo Ward, Minatojima Nakamachi, 6−10−1, 神戸ポートピアホテル31F

¥3,000 per person, with a portion of the cost being donated to the Ashinaga Foundation.

Join us as we express our appreciation for Consul General and Mrs. Greenberg. Meet JET alum Jay Klaphake, founder of TEDx Kyoto and TED x Ambassador, and Jeff Anderson, brother of Taylor Anderson. Limited to 15.

To RSVP, please e-mail Rose at jetaawj(at)gmail(dot)com.

Due to the popularity of the event and limited spaces, pre-payment will be collected to secure your seat. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation!

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Photo taken from JETAAWJ’s Facebook event

6. GLJETAA

GLJETAA Board Meeting

When: April 9th 1 pm EDT
Where: The Detroit Bubble Tea Company 22821 Woodward Ave, Ferndale, Michigan 48220

Join us for great bubble tea and discussing the chapter!

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Photo from GLJETAA’s Facebook event

7. JETAAMB

Dake Coffee

When: April 16th 3-5 pm PDT
Where: Starbucks 316 Alvarado Monterey, CA

Come join us for some Japanese conversation practice and a free cup of coffee courtesy of the JETAA Monerey Bay Subchapter at the Starbucks on 316 Alvardo in Monterey, CA. The first 20 people to come will receive a $5 Starbucks gift card. Please arrive between 3:00 – 3:15 to receive your free card.

Everyone can get a drink and sit down to practice their conversational Japanese skills. We encourage people have conversations with several different people. Be sure to take and share pictures. All levels of Japanese are welcome. We will be holding this event from 3:00 -5:00.

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Photo from JETAAMB’s Facebook group

8. JETAASC

San Diego Karaoke

When: April 23rd 5-8 pm PDT
Where: Muzen Karaoke 7770 Vickers St, San Diego, California 92111

Let’s go Karaoke-ing!

Calling the tone-deaf, the anime-theme-song-obsessed, and Monster 80s lovers: Time to descend on San Diego and rock their socks off! MUZEN is a BYO-Food Japanese-Style joint with Sunday 5-8 happy hour deals on drinks AND room rates, so let’s keep the mics are glowing and Japanese pilsners flowing!

Bring a friend if you’re shy, and even if you can’t make it, please help spread the word by inviting your alumni friends to this event!

When: Sunday, April 23rd, 5:00 – 8:00PM
Where: Muzen Karaoke
7770 Vickers St, San Diego, California 92111

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Photo via JETAASC’s website

9. JETAA British Columbia

JETAABC Sun Run Team 2017!

When: April 23rd 9 am-12 pm PDT
Where: Vancouver, British Columbia

Calling all runners and walkers! Don’t miss one of Vancouver’s biggest annual races, the Sun Run!

*REGISTRATION ENDS ON MARCH 31ST – Register today!

Join the JETAABC Sun Run Team today and be a part of JET’s special 30th year anniversary! Simply follow this link, click “join existing team” and join JETAABC’s team* (by searching “jetaabc”).
https://register.vancouversunrun.com/#!/events/2017-vancouver-sun-run.

When you find the jetaabc team, the system will ask you for the passphrase.
jetaabc passphrase: jetaabc

As this is JET’s 30th anniversary, JETAABC will subsidize a portion of your registration. First 30 runners to sign up will receive a $15 subsidy!

To apply for your subsidy, please email your race registration receipt with a copy of your payment to external@jetaabc.ca and treasurer@jetaabc.ca. We will be sending out your subsidy in March. Look out for upcoming information about practice runs we will try to organize.
**Priority will go to JET alumni

There are a few community runs coming up! We won’t have official teams for these runs, but perhaps if there is enough interest, we can participate in these runs together!

Sunday, April 2nd in Coquitlam (5km, 10km) :
http://events.mec.ca/node/147171

Saturday, April 15th in Burnaby (10km, half-marathon):
http://events.mec.ca/node/146096

Easter Run, April 16th in Stanley park (5km, 10km):
http://www.easterrun.ca/home.html

*Please note that early bird registration ($49 + tax) ends on February 10th, and regular registration ($57 + tax) ends on March 31st.

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Photo from JETAABC’s Facebook event

10. NEJETAA

Calligraphy Exhibition and Workshop

When: April 28th 6 pm-8 pm EDT
Where: 420 Pond Street, Boston, MA 02130

Showa Boston will host a special Calligraphy exhibition and workshop on Friday, April 28th. A great way to kick off the Boston Japan Festival weekend! RSVP to Miyo Takahashi at mle@showaboston.edu by Friday, April 14.

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Photo from NEJETAA.com

11. JETAA Portland

Iron Chef 2017

When: April 29th 1 pm-4 pm PDT
Where: At Demaree’s home in SE Portland, RSVP for directions to Veronica Adversalo.

Iron Chef 2017: JETAA Portland’s 15th Annual Cooking Competition!

It’s time to sharpen those knives and dig up your best recipes as contestants, judges, and other hungry mouths gather for one of our most popular (and delicious) events of the year!

Date: Saturday, April 29th
Time: 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Location:  At Demaree’s home in SE Portland, RSVP for directions to Veronica Adversalo.

(Please respond by Thursday, April 27th and let us know what dish you plan to bring!) This is a BYOB event. Please plan on providing your own drinks.

There are three categories for Iron Chef entries:

  • Side Dish
  • Main Dish
  • Dessert

There will be prizes awarded to the 1st and 2nd place winners in each category.

In addition to the above categories, cooking teams from JETAA Portland and Pacific Northwest JETAA chapters will be facing off in our “Battle with Seattle” using this year’s secret ingredient: shokupan from Oyatsupan Bakers in Beaverton, Oregon.

We are inviting the Pacific Northwest JETAA chapter to join us for this event. This is a great opportunity to meet the members from the PNW chapter of JETAA.  They will be traveling from Seattle to attend our Iron Chef event and using the “Tatami Timeshare” program to stay with Portland-area members.

Hope to see you there!

Iron Chef FAQ

Q: Do I have to cook something to attend Iron Chef?

A: No, but please consider bringing a store bought food or beverage to share with the group. Please note that store bought items cannot be entered for prizes.

Q: Do I have to use the secret ingredient in my dish?

A: No, the secret ingredient is only required for the “Battle with Seattle” cook-off between Team JETAA Portland and Team Pacific Northwest JETAA.

Q: Can I prepare my dish during the event?

A: Possibly, but please be aware that the kitchen facilities will be reserved for the “Battle with Seattle” cook-off teams. We strongly encourage you to bring your side dishes, main dishes, and desserts ready to serve.

Q: Can I bring my significant other / kids / friends?

A: Of course! This is a family-friendly event and the more people that come the merrier! Please include any extra guests in your RSVP.

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Photo from JETAA Portland’s Website


Feb 28

JETAA Chapter Beat for March 2017

Ryan Hata (Tottori-ken, 2014-Present) AJET National Council Director of Alumni RelationsRyan is in his second year on the AJET National Council and first as the Director of Alumni Relations. He works alongside Rachel Brisson (AJET National Council Director of Alumni Resources ) and members of JETAA International (JETAA-I) to strengthen the relationship between former JETs, current JETs, and Japan. Ryan helps to keep you up to date with JETAA events around the world. If you have a specific event that you would like promote, please do not hesitate to contact him by email at ryan.hata@ajet.net or his Linkedin profile. 

Just got through with my 三年生 graduation. I’ve had them as students for the past two and a half years. I had a great time reminiscing with them during their slideshow. If you want to have some 懐かしい moments with fellow JET alumni, check out a JETAA event near you!

1. JETAANOLA

JETAA First Weds

When: March 1st 7:30-9 pm CST
Where: Rivershack Tavern 3449 River Rd, New Orleans, LA 70121, USA

Join your JETAA NOLA friends and help ring in the crawfish season at Rivershack Tavern! Whether you’re a familiar face or new to the JETAA NOLA community we’d love to catch up while picking and peeling some mudbugs. As always, Friends of JET and anyone with an interest in Japan is welcome to join. Come for the whole evening or just pop in to say “Hi”. See you there!

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Photo from JETAA Mid-South’s Facebook Event

2. JETAASC

Natsukashii Nomikai

When: March 2nd 5:30 pm PST
Where: 3rd Generation Sake Bar 808 W 7th St, Los Angeles, California 90017

Announcing Natsukashii Nomikai!

Starting March 2nd, this happy hour will focus on JET alumni gathering to wax nostalgic at a different Little Tokyo establishment, one Thursday, each month. Reminisce about the good times and reconnect with your fellow alums, while discovering new (old) Japanese bars in Little Tokyo, and help support these small businesses one drink at a time!

Don’t drink? Don’t worry! Whatever you put in your cup, all are welcome to join!

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Photo via JETAASC’s Facebook event page

3. JETAAUK

JLGC Seminar 2017: Local Growth, Global Links

When: March 3rd 14:00-17:30 pm GMT
Where: Harvey Goodwin Suite Church House Conference Centre Westminster London SW1P 3NZ United Kingdom

Japan Local Government Centre (CLAIR) London Event, Church House Conference Centre, London, United Kingdom, Friday, 3 March 2017 from 14:00 to 17:30

JETAA UK’s sponsors, Japan Local Government Centre (CLAIR) London, will hold their annual seminar for UK-Japan links at the regional level and would like to invite JET Alumni to the seminar comparing international strategies for place and reception following the event. Details as follows:

  • Embassy of Japan(TBC)
  • Department for International Trade (UK)– Martin Phelan (International Director, Northern Powerhouse Investment)
  • Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO)– Daisaku Yukita (Deputy Director General)
  • City of Yokohama, Frankfurt Representative Office– Takashi Yanagisawa (Chief Representative)
  • East Japan Railway Company– Kiyokata Kume (Deputy Director, London Office)
  • London & Partners– Jeff Cao (Head of Asia Pacific)
  • Toyota UK– Rob Gorton (Head of Corporate Planning)
  • Stockton on Tees Borough Council– Richard McGuckin (Director of Economic Growth and Development)

Chair: Jane Dudman, editor Guardian Public Leaders network

In the post-Brexit landscape, ahead of the full localisation of business rates and the election of new Metro Mayors in 2017, UK local authorities will need to find new ways to curate economic growth in order to support their local economies, jobs and local services. This will depend increasingly on their global positioning and competitive advantage as part of place-based industrial strategies.

In Japan local authorities have long been enabled to internationalise their efforts and engage globally through international strategies and connections.

Following on from our 2014 London Seminar on ‘Local Growth, Global Links’ which focused on Japanese investment links in the North of England, the next JLGC Seminar will examine the role of place-based international strategies and what UK local authorities can learn from Japan in order to develop international skillsets across their organisations.

The Japan Local Government Centre Seminar is the annual event in the UK supporting the engagement of Anglo-Japanese local authorities through joint learning and partnership. This free event is aimed at local leaders to share strategies for building partnerships outside the UK to prioritise and secure local growth. Using Japan as the case study, speakers will also share the benefits that have been brought by working with global business in the UK and building links with regions abroad.

It hopes to provide a timely opportunity for UK and Japanese partners to reflect and recalibrate their efforts towards providing long term partnerships and solutions. The event will conclude with a reception for supporting international exchanges of local authorities.

4. JETAANY

Late Shinnenkai Brunch

When: March 5th 12:30-2:30 pm EST
Where: Carroll Place 157 Bleecker St, New York, New York 10012

So what that it’s already a few months into 2017??

It’s never too late to have a new years party so let’s get together and celebrate the “start” of 2017 in style!

Join our annual JETAANY Shinnenkai (New Year Gathering) brunch at Carroll Place on Sunday, March 5th at 12:30 pm.

Eat, drink, be merry, make new friends, and get back in touch with old ones. (And plus everyone knows that Brunch doesn’t start before noon on Sunday)

Price: $25 for everything!

Brunch Menu: Shared appetizers (2) and main dishes (3). Vegetarian options available. Specifics are TBD, but this menu reflects the type of food we will be served. Also, unlimited drinks (mimosa, rose sangria, bloody mary, coffee, tea, juice, soda) for 2 hours.

Secure your spot by selecting either “Vegetarian” or “Non Vegetarian” via the PayPal button on our website and completing payment.

http://jetaany.org/2017/02/15/35-jetaany-shinnenkai-2017-brunch-edition/

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Photo from JETAANY’s Facebook event

5. JETAA Pittsburgh 

Nabe par-tay!

When: March 5th 3-10 pm EST
Where: TBD

Let’s nabe! Let’s have a potluck and hope the weather is cold enough to make it extra-cozy. :)

(ALLERGY FYI: I have a cat. And let me know if you have any food allergies!)

THINGS WE NEED:
– nabe pots
– any non-veg ingredients
– if possible, dishware/silverware/chopsticks for non-veg food (I’m a strict vegetarian, and I always have paper plates and plasticware for meat-eating guests, but if those won’t suffice…)
– feel free to bring board games or other fun stuff :)

FOOD:
– I’ll provide a number of different vegetarian things: likely kabocha croquets, onigiri, tenpura, and some kind of dessert.
– please bring whatever food/drink you want! (drink, particularly, as several of you are very discerning drinkers and I am very much not, hehe.)

Setting the start time very early so people can drift over and hang out at their leisure (did I mention that I have a kotatsu?), but nabe will be more dinner-ish. And +1s/family/friends are always welcome!

6. Texoma JETAA

JETAA Texoma Monthly Trivia – Houston

When: March 5th 5-6 pm CST
Where: Lowbrow Houston 1601 W Main St, Houston, Texas 77006

You thought it was over for good. You thought it was dead and buried. But next Sunday, 6 PM, at Lowbrow in Houston, JETAA monthly trivia is back from the dead.

Any and all are welcome. Bring your brain, bring a friend, bring your appetite for triv-victory!

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Photo via Texoma JETAA’s Facebook event

7. JETAADC

JET Talks Presents: Library of Congress, Japanese Collection

When: March 9th 4-5:30 pm EST
Where: The Library of Congress | 101 Independence Ave SE, Washington, DC 20540

Join JETAADC at the Asian Reading Room in the Library of Congress on Thursday, March 9 to explore its Japanese Collection, one of the most extensive collections of original Japanese language texts and research materials outside Japan. Through the guidance of a Research Librarian at the Asian Reading Room, participants will be introduced to the history of the Japanese language collection and learn how to access and utilize original Japanese language resources as well as English translations housed in the collection for research purposes.

This event is free, but space is limited to 20 participants, so please register here to let us know you are coming!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact jettalks@jetaadc.org


From the collection’s website:

The Japanese language collection […] has grown to over 1.15 million books and serial volumes, 10,100 reels of microfilm, and 15,000 sheets of microfiche. The Japanese collection covers research materials in virtually all subjects except clinical medicine and technical agriculture. The collections are strong in the humanities and social sciences, central and local government publications, and academic journals including the areas of science and technology.



Date: Thursday, March 9

Time: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Location: The Library of Congress | 101 Independence Ave SE, Washington, DC 20540 | Nearest Metro: Capitol South (Orange/Blue/Silver) | Union Station (Red)

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Photo from JETAADC.org

8. JETAA Rocky Mountains

JETAA Rocky Mountain Annual Meeting

When: March 11th 2-5 pm MST
Where: Gold Run Condominiums 2959 Shadow Creek Dr, Boulder, Colorado 80303

It’s time for the JETAARM annual meeting. We will be announcing the new board members for 2017-18 , and celebrating another year of JETAARM with a sukiyaki party. The meeting will be held at the current secretary’s apartment in Boulder, CO.

Please fill out the RSVP so that Adam can give you all his personal address and not put it out there for all the internet to see.

http://bit.ly/JETAARM2017-AnnualMeeting-RSVP

12-2:
The board will conduct business from 12-2 pm, and we welcome all members to join and discuss plans for the year.

2 onward:
we will be cooking Nabe and waxing nostalgic for Japan. A $5 dollar contribution to cover the cost of ingredients will be greatly appreciated. The event is BYOD, and you can likely expect a njikai.

Grab a board game as well!

FYI – The condo complex is where I (Adam) live, but I’ll still need to hand out my precise address.

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Photo via JETAA Rocky Mountain’s Facebook event

9. JETAA Manitoba/Saskatchewan

JETAA Ramen night!

When: March 11th 6-9 pm CST
Where: KAZOKU restaurant 30 – 2583 Pembina Hwy, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 2H5

Long overdue, it’s time for a ramen night! Join your fellow alumni for a evening to catch-up over a bowl of hot noodles at one of Winnipeg’s best ramen joinits.

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Photo from JETAAMBSK’s Facebook event

10. Great Lakes JETAA

GLJETAA Meetup Bowling

When: March 12th 3:30 pm EDT
Where: Cherry Hill Lanes North 6697 Dixie Hwy, Clarkston, Michigan 48346

Come and bowl with us!

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Photo from GLJETAA’s Facebook Event

11. JETAA Singapore

Beach Clean-Up

When: March 19th 9:30-11:45 am SGT
Where: Meet at Pasir Ris MRT, move to Pasir Ris Park

JETAA Sg will be holding a Beach Clean-Up activity! Join us for to do your part for the environment. Friends and family are welcomed too!

Date: 19 Mar, Sunday
Meeting time: 9:30am at Pasir Ris MRT (TBC – Pending NEA approval)

For more details & registration, please go to: https://goo.gl/forms/572WfB3ITAYGpXYk1

Please note that there is a limit on the number of participants, so do sign up early! Thank you and see yaaa!

JETAA Sg will be holding a Beach Clean-Up activity! Join us for to do your part for the environment. Friends and family are welcomed too!

Date: 19 Mar, Sunday
Meeting time: 9:30am at Pasir Ris MRT (TBC – Pending NEA approval)

For more details & registration, please go to: https://goo.gl/forms/572WfB3ITAYGpXYk1

Please note that there is a limit on the number of participants, so do sign up early! Thank you and see yaaa!

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Photo from JETAA Singapore’s Facebook Page

12. JETAA Ottawa

Board Game Night

When: March 25th 3-5 PM EDT
Where: 14 Waller St, Ottawa, ON K1N 9C4, Canada

Come join us for a fun afternoon of games, food and drink. Last year’s event was a blast and we’re hoping to have just as much fun this year. Don’t worry if you don’t know any games, as the staff are great at explaining everything. Just show up at 3pm at 14 Waller Street and head upstairs.

Date: March 25, 2017
Time: 3pm-5pm with possibility of a nijikai to follow
Location: The Loft Board Game Lounge, 14 Waller St, 2nd floor
Cost: $5.50/person ‘Stay and Play’ fee

You can also order food and drinks. Check out the The Loft website ‘http://www.theloftlounge.ca/‘ to see their menu and to get an idea of the games available (basically everything)

This event is open to everyone, please RSVP to give us an idea of numbers.

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Photo via JETAA Ottawa’s Facebook event

13. JETAAUK

JETAA London Chapter Book Club

When: March 26th TBA
Where: TBD

London Chapter of JETAA will be holding its second Book Club meeting. More details to follow next month.
When: Sun 26th Mar
Cost: FREE

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Photo from JETAAUK’s website


Jan 31

Ryan Hata (Tottori-ken, 2014-Present) AJET National Council Director of Alumni RelationsRyan is in his second year on the AJET National Council and first as the Director of Alumni Relations. He works alongside Rachel Brisson (AJET National Council Director of Alumni Resources ) and members of JETAA International (JETAA-I) to strengthen the relationship between former JETs, current JETs, and Japan. Ryan helps to keep you up to date with JETAA events around the world. If you have a specific event that you would like promote, please do not hesitate to contact him by email at ryan.hata@ajet.net or his Linkedin profile. 

The first month of 2017 flew by and with it, many chapters had or will have their elections or New Year’s Parties. Check out if your chapter is celebrating new officers or is having a get together!

1. JETAASE 

2017 JETAASE Shinnenkai

When: February 4th, 12:30 pm EST
Where: Taki Japanese Steakhouse 4711 Ashford Dunwoody Rd, Atlanta, Georgia 30338

Join JETAASE at our 2017 Shinnenkai! We will discuss future goals, events, and plans for our chapter. JETAASE has a private room reserved. Please RSVP here:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScg16bEO7KolaATE0wRlmARk0Z4PjdsBf8Qqbs4OryZftIOtA/viewform

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Photo from JETAASE’s Facebook Event

2. JETAANC 

JETAANC Shinnenkai New Year’s Party

When: February 4th, 5:30 pm PST
Where: Yamasho 1161 Post St, San Francisco, California 94109

** Must register via Eventbrite: https://jetaancshinnenkai2017.eventbrite.com/ **

Let’s start 2017 in full JET style by celebrating together at our annual JETAANC Shinnenkai New Year’s Party! Join us at YamaSho, in the heart of San Francisco.

Register here before tickets sell out!:
https://jetaancshinnenkai2017.eventbrite.com/

Gather with new and old friends to ring in the Year of the Rooster while enjoying a full-course Japanese meal, drinks, special presentations, and a raffle and games with prizes!

This year will be special. We are kicking off our celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the JET Programme. We are also pleased to present this year’s JETAANC Gary Mukai Service Award.

To start the evening off right, we are giving you a complimentary drink as part of your ticket price. You will need it for a special Kampai toast given by a representative of the Consulate General of Japan.

After dinner, you have the option of keeping the party going at our Nijikai Party in YamaSho’s private Japanese KARAOKE BOX! (Included in your ticket price.)

Deadline for ticket purchase is Wednesday, January 25. Tickets will sell out quickly, so get yours today!

Agenda
5:30pm – 5:45pm: Registration (Banquet Room)
5:45pm – 8:00pm: Dinner
8:00pm – 10:00pm: Nijikai Karaoke (optional)

Parking & Transportation
A parking garage is located across street from YamaSho at 1150 Post Street. Public transportation options available at 511.org

See you on February 4!

**Please drink responsibly.**

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Photo via JETAANC’s Facebook Event Page

3. JETAA Vic/Tas/SA

JETAA Vic/Tas/SA Annual General Meeting 2017

When: February 11th, 6:30-9:30 pm AEDT
Where: Gyoza Douraku 147 Bourke St, Melbourne, Australia 3000

A very belated New Years and a Happy 2017 to you all!

It’s now that time of the year again to gather for our Annual General Meeting (AGM) and start the year off right. Please come join us as we review the previous year, plan out the year ahead, and run the election for this year’s JETAA committee while eating 美味しい Japanese food!!

WHEN: Saturday, February 11th at 6:30pm

WHERE: Gyoza Doraku, 147 Bourke St., Melbourne 3000

COST: $18 for dinner. Drinks are not included in the price.

RSVP: Please send an email to rsvp@victassa.jetaa.org.au by Thursday February 9th, and don’t forget to include details of any dietary or allergy requirements. Please contact us again if you do not receive a reply within 48 hours.

SPECIAL ELECTION NOTE: Please send nominations as well to rsvp@victassa.jetaa.org.au. All positions are up for grabs! Please see details below regarding the JETAA committee and available positions. If you are unable to attend the AGM but still would like to nominate for a position, please email president@victassa.jetaa.org.au for our Proxy Voting Form.

AGM DETAILS:

We’re always on the lookout for new committee members, so if you’re interested in joining the committee, please let us know!

At our AGM, the existing committee is let go and a new committee is elected. All positions, including President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer, and general committee roles, are up for grabs.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is JETAA Vic/Tas/SA?
The Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme Alumni Association (JETAA) Victoria, Tasmania & South Australia chapter is made up of former JETs. There are five chapters across Australia. Our chapter receives support from the Consulate-General of Japan in Melbourne and Japan’s Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR) in Sydney. Each year we help new JETs prepare for their move to Japan, and support returning JETs when they come home. We also seek to promote knowledge and understanding of Japan, its people and its culture within Australia, and conversely, of Australia in Japan.

What does the Vic/Tas/SA committee do?
We organise events and activities throughout the year such as our annual stall at the Japan Festival in Box Hill, trivia nights, and quarterly dinners at Japanese restaurants. We also assist the Consulate with JET orientation each year, among other activities. We have sub-committees in Tasmania and South Australia that organise activities and events for members in those states.

What does the AGM involve?
The AGM involves a speech from our current President about the past year, and an update from our Treasurer, followed by the election of new committee members.

The following positions will be open for nomination during the AGM: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, PR and Webmaster, Events Coordinator, Employment Officer, Tasmania Rep, South Australia Rep, and General Committee members.
You can find more detailed information about the committee positions in our charter here: http://www.victassa.jetaa.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/CHARTER-2015.pdf

Why should I get involved?
Joining the committee is a great way to:
– Meet new people and make friends – The committee is made up of people just like you who participated on JET and have returned to Australia to work as teachers, public servants, translators, journalists, students… the list goes on. While some of the 2016/17 committee members finished JET in recent years, some committee members returned from Japan many years ago. Our past committees have always been made up of a diverse group of fantastic and friendly people.
– Give back to Japan and the JET Programme – You loved your time on JET so why not help promote the JET Programme?
= Travel – Each year two committee members attend the JETAA Oceania Conference, which is held in one of Australia or New Zealand’s capital cities. Last year’s conference was held in Canberra.

Will the committee take up much of my time?
It depends on your role on the committee. Executive positions such as President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary and Webmaster will take up a couple of hours of your time each week. Other positions, including General Committee members, will only require attendance at our monthly committee meetings and support throughout the year. Meetings are not compulsory.

If you have any questions about the AGM or for nominating for a committee position, please email president@victassa.jetaa.org.au

Looking forward to seeing you at the AGM!

— Emma Libbis, JETAA Vic/Tas/SA President

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Photo from JETAA Vic/Tas/SA’s Facebook Event

4. JETAAMC

Music City/Bluegrass JETAA Japan Trivia

When: February 11th, 5:30-8 pm EST
Where: West Sixth Brewing 501 W 6th St, Ste 100, Lexington, Kentucky 40508

Think you know Japan? Maybe not? It’s OK! This trivia event will have something for everyone!

Our trivia event is open to the public and will be held in West Sixth’s Barrel Room, which is an AWESOME venue!

Make your team of up to 4 people (or ask to be placed with others–we can do that for you!) and answer Japan-based trivia. There will be 5 rounds, and some amazing prizes (well, it might depend on your definition of amazing, but they will definitely be fun!). Best of all, it’s completely FREE. Bring your friends–anyone is welcome. You don’t have to be a Japan guru to win!

*It takes place at West Sixth Brewery, but anyone under 21 is totally welcome!

Hope to see you there!

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Photo via JETAAMC’s Facebook Event

5. JETAA Portland

SHINNENAKI 2017

When: February 11th, 6:30-9:30 pm PST
Where: The Melting Pot (1001 SW 5th Ave. #100)

JETAA Shinnenkai 2017

It isn’t really the new year until you’ve celebrated it with JETAA Portland! Ring in the year of the rooster by joining us for a four-course dinner at The Melting Pot, for only $20 for JET Alumni and $25 for Friends of JETAA – 50% off the regular price! Dinner will be followed by a nijikai at Ground Kontrol barcade. 明けましておめでとう!

Who: JETAA members, friends, and family!

Where: The Melting Pot (1001 SW 5th Ave. #100)

  • Four-course meal includes cheese and wine fondue with poultry, beef, shrimp, and fish.
  • Vegetarian option available, but fondue might come into contact with meat.
  • Chocolate dessert included!
  • All drinks are BYOB (cash only).

Nijikai: Ground Kontrol (511 NW Couch St.)

When: Saturday, February 11th

Time: Dinner: 6:30pm – 9:30pm ; Nijikai: 9:30pm ~

Cost: $20 for JET Alumni, $25 for Friends of JETAA
*All beverages are BYOB and cash only

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Photo from JETAA Portland’s Website

6. San Francisco Career Forum 2017

When: February 11th-12th
Where: San Francisco Marriott Marquis 780 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94103 

JET alumni with at least conversational Japanese language ability are invited to the upcoming San Francisco Career Forum 2017 on Saturday, February 11th and Sunday, February 12th at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about participating companies, submit resumes, interview, and even receive offers of employment during the two-day event. Register for the event and apply to participating companies on the forum’s website.

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Photo via the San Francisco Career Forum 2017’s Website

7. UK JETAA London

PUB SOCIAL WITH A TWIST!

When: February 16th, 19:00-21:00 GMT
Where: The Somers Town Coffee House 60 Chalton Street London, NW1 1HS United Kingdom

Presenting our first pub social of the year, with a twist!

To facilitate the networking aspect of the pub night, you will be encouraged to mingle and find out interesting facts about your fellow attendees.

Bring your best fun fact about yourself and put your networking hat on!

In case you need anymore incentives, there will also be prizes and of course fame and glory.

As always, JET and friends are all welcome so spread the word and bring along some friends.

8. JETAA Portland

Career Panel 2017

When: February 16th, 4:30-6:30 PM PST
Where: 221 NW 2nd Ave, Portland, 97209 (3rd Floor – Bamboo Room)

The hiring season is right around the corner and the 2017 JETAA Career Panel is a great way to help you get set and improve your chances to get to that final interview.

Whether you just returned from Japan or you are exploring the possibility of a change careers, your fellow JET Alumni want to help you with your job search.

Date: Thursday, February 16th, 2017

Time: 4:30p – 6:30p

Place: 221 NW 2nd Ave, Portland, 97209 (3rd Floor – Bamboo Room)

We recognize that finding a new job is stressful and very exhausting. If you want to stand out and cut through that competition, you’ll need help. Some job opening receive 250 resumes on average and having a game plan or adding to your strategy will definitely help you cut through the competition.

Some of the topics for the 2017 Career Panel:

– How to transition to your next job
– Options for continuing to teach
– How to leverage your JET experience
– How to expand your professional network

There will be two guest speakers and several JET Alumni to help navigate all your questions on your career search. We will also have an informal NETWORKING NIJIKAI immediately after so you can test our your new knowledge and ask further questions. We look forward to seeing you there!

Thank you,

Michael Richey
Jeffrey Houser

Print

 

Photo from JETAA Portland’s Website

9. JETAA Singapore

Dining in the Dark

When: February 18th, 12-2 PM SGT
Where: Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped 47 Toa Payoh Rise, Singapore 298104

Date: 18 February 2017 (Saturday)
Time: 12pm – 2pm
Meeting Venue: 1145am at Caldecott MRT
Participation fee: $15 for JETAA members, $25 for friends of JETAA
For more information and to sign up for the event: https://goo.gl/forms/f50XvrlEGP7kkPyJ3

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Photo via JETAA Singapore’s Facebook Event Page

10. JETAANSW

Beach BBQ

When: February 18th, 12:30-3:30 pm 
Where: Cronulla Beach, New South Wales, Australia

When: February 18th *TENTATIVE DATE*
Where: TBD
Please check the link above for further updates.

When: February 19th, 14:00-15:30 
Where: Daiwa Foundation Japan House 13/14 Cornwall Terrace, Outer Circle London, London NW1 4QP

Would you like to know more about how the London JETAA chapter is run?

Would you like to be part of the committee or to contribute to the future of JETAA?

If so then be sure to come along to our Annual General Meeting.

This is a great opportunity to find out what we did last year, our plans for the year ahead and to help us shape our plans for the year ahead and beyond.

After the AGM we will be heading to a nearby pub so do join us if you can.

13. JETAADC

Washington DC – JETAADC 10+ Reunion

When: February 25th, 1-3 PM EST
Where: Teaism Penn Quarter | 400 8th St NW, Washington DC 20004 |
The 10+ Reunion is a casual get-together for any JET alumni who departed for the JET Program in 2006 or earlier. Join fellow alumni to re-connect, reminisce, and learn about what’s in store for the JET Program’s 30th anniversary celebrations later this year.

Date: Saturday, February 25
Time: 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Location: Teaism Penn Quarter | 400 8th St NW, Washington DC 20004 | Nearest Metro: Archives-Navy Memorail | Green, Yellow Lines
Price: $15

Attendees have a choice of bento (fried chicken, salmon, or black bean cake) and each meal is accompanied by an exclusive Japanese green tea sampling. +1’s are welcome!

Please register and pay in advance by Wednesday, February 15. Payments are non-refundable after Tuesday, February 21.

10-Plus-Logo

 

Photo via JETAADC’s Website


Jan 31

Teshima: On Hearing Loss, My Son, and the Sea

Please take a look at this touching piece by JET alum Austin Gilkeson (Aichi-ken):

https://catapult.co/stories/teshima-on-hearing-loss-my-son-and-the-sea


Jan 2

JETAA Chapter Beat for January 2017

Ryan Hata (Tottori-ken, 2014-Present) AJET National Council Director of Alumni RelationsRyan is in his second year on the AJET National Council and first as the Director of Alumni Relations. He works alongside Rachel Brisson (AJET National Council Director of Alumni Resources ) and members of JETAA International (JETAA-I) to strengthen the relationship between former JETs, current JETs, and Japan. Ryan helps to keep you up to date with JETAA events around the world. If you have a specific event that you would like promote, please do not hesitate to contact him by email at ryan.hata@ajet.net or his Linkedin profile. 

明けましておめでとうございます! Happy 2017 from Hawai`i! Sorry this post is a bit late cause I stay on Hawaiian time. This issue will focus on 新年会(Shinnenkais) as well as some regular monthly events put on by various chapters.

1. JETAA Chicago

King Spa Day

When: January 2nd, 2 pm CST
Where: King Spa Sauna 809 Civic Center Dr, Niles, Illinois 60714

Join JETAA Chicago as we say “sayonara” to 2016 at King Spa on Monday, January 2.

King Spa is the closest thing to a Japanese hot spring you’ll find anywhere in the Midwest. Besides the hot & cold tubs and Japanese shower stalls (complete with little pink stools and scrubbing towels), King Spa has 8 different saunas available for you to sweat it out in. There is also a cafe which has some tastey Korean refreshments. If you liked the onsen and sento in Japan, you will feel right at home here. There isn’t a better way to kick off 2017!

We will meet at King Spa at 2:00 PM and plan to hang out for a few hours. H Mart, the Korean supermarket, is located next door, so we can hit that up after, do a little shopping and visit their food court.

Admission to King Spa is usually $35 but there is an e-coupon on their website (link below) for $22. Be sure to check that out in advance if you want to save some cash.

King Spa is located in Niles, north of Chicago. The #270 bus regularly departs from the Jefferson Park CTA station. If some people are driving, we may also be able to coordinate a car pool.

Hope to see you there!

http://www.kingspa.com/chicago/index.html

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PC: JETAA Chicago’s Facebook Event Page

2. JETAANC

JETAANC SF Networking Nomikai

When: January 5th, 6-7:30 pm PST
Where: Crystal Jade San Francisco 4 Embarcadero Ctr, San Francisco, California 94111

Help ring in the New Year with alumni and friends at our monthly San Francisco Networking Nomikai (happy hour)! Crystal Jade has great happy hour specials and if it’s nice out come find us on the back terrace with beautiful views of the Ferry Building and Bay Bridge!

Come out, make new friends, and catch up with old ones. This is a great chance to do some networking in a fun, casual setting. Everyone is welcome!

Look for alumni wearing red JETAANC lanyards. Or print out this mini JETAANC table sign so people can find you! Just fold in half and then fold the bottom of each side into a base to make a standing “triangle”:
http://bit.ly/Xedg5s

**Please drink responsibly.**

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PC: JETAANC’s Facebook Event Page

3. Great Lakes JETAA

Great Lakes JETAA Shinnenkai

When: January 7th, 6 pm EST
Where: New Cherry Blossom 43588 W Oaks Dr, Novi, MI 48377

新年会 Please save the date!

GLJETAA will be hosting a New Year’s celebration in the Detroit area. We will be in the Tatami Room @ New Cherry Blossom in Novi.
Of course there will be delicious food and we are planning some fun activities as well (we will try to have games, karaoke, and koto playing). All Great Lakes JETAA members are welcome.

We hope to see you!

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Photo from the Great Lakes JETAA’s Facebook Event Page

4. JETAASC

2017 Oshogatsu Family Festival – Year of the Rooster

When: January 8th, 11 am- 5pm PST
Where: Japanese American National Museum 100 N Central Ave, Los Angeles, California 90012

Ring in the Year of the Rooster with New Year-themed activities, performances, and crafts!

– Lucky zaru soba (cold buckwheat noodles) with Kidding Around the Kitchen

– Rooster candy sculptures by Shan the Candyman

– Mochi demonstration by Fugetsu-Do’s Brian Kito

– Traditional mochitsuki (Japanese rice pounding ritual) performance byKodama Taiko

– Japanese drumming performance by TaikoProject

…and so much more!

Visit for janm.org/oshogatsufest2017 for complete schedule.

5. JETAANC

JETAANC East Bay Networking Nomikai

When: January 12th, 6-7:30pm PST
Where: Itani Ramen 1736 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, California 94612

Join alumni and friends at our monthly East Bay Networking Nomikai (happy hour)! In January, we are heading back to Itani Ramen, a great Japanese ramen shop in Oakland with a nice selection of beer, sake, shochu, and soft drinks. Only a few steps away from 19th Street BART:

Come out, make new friends, and catch up with old ones. It’s a good chance to develop your network. Everyone is welcome!

Look for alumni wearing red JETAANC lanyards. Or print out this mini JETAANC table sign so people can find you! Just fold in half and then fold the bottom of each side into a base to make a standing “triangle”:
http://bit.ly/Xedg5s

JETAANC East Bay Networking Nomikai are held the second Thursday of every month, so mark your calendars!

**Please drink responsibly.**

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Photo from JETAANC’s Facebook Event Page

6. NEJETAA

2017 Shinnenkai New Years Party

When: January 14th, 5:30-8:30pm EST
Where: Shabu-Zen Allston 80 Brighton Ave, Allston, Massachusetts 02134

Happy New Years! 明けましておめでとうございます!

I hope everyone has a great start to the year! We would like to welcome this new year with our JET community by inviting you to our annual New Years Party 新年会. Come celebrate the New Years with everyone and play bingo, win prizes, and catch up with fellow JET alumni over delicious drinks and food!

Please RSVP to Eriko at social@nejetaa.com by January 11

When: Saturday, January 14 at 5:30pm

Where: Shabu Zen at 80 Brighton Ave, Allston
(parking: small parking lot on Reedsdale St. / parking lot in Super 88)
(train: 5 min walk from Packards Corner station on Green Line (B) )
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Shabu-Zen/@42.3521289,-71.1301791,1116m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x89e379c45883f00f:0xbe53eaeb46ab07c6!8m2!3d42.3524093!4d-71.1290887

Who: JETs

Price: $20 per person

Happy New Years and we hope to see you there!

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PC: From NEJETAA’s Facebook Event Page

7. JETAA Portland

JASO SHINNENKAI & TUNES OF JAPAN

When: January 19th, 5:30-8:30pm PST
Where: Montgomery Park (2701 NW Vaughn)

SHINNENKAI! Join us as we celebrate the Year of the Rooster with Japanese and American friends! JASO is having its annual traditional Japanese New Year’s celebration on Thursday, January 19th, 2017 . This year’s event will feature a delicious Japanese menu provided by Syun Izakaya and Koji Osakaya, beer and sake, traditional music, fukubukuro gift bags, kimono, and more!

TUNES OF JAPAN! JETAA Portland will be combining our annual Tunes of Japan music event with JASO’s 2017 Shinnenkai. Guests can enjoy a shamisen performance by Mitch Imori, a koto performance by Mitsuki Dazai, and a performance by Takohachi Taiko. Don’t miss this special chance to celebrate the new year with music, food, and friends. あけおめ、みんなさん!

When: Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Where: Montgomery Park (2701 NW Vaughn)

Time: 5:30pm – 8:30pm

Dress Code: Business and business casual attire

Tickets:

For JET Alumni and their guests, JETAA Portland is offering 20 tickets at a special reduced price, $25 per ticket – half the price of a regular ticket! Purchase your ticket through our Paypal link below. Please note that no physical ticket will be provided and you must check-in at the JASO reception desk on the day of the event.

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Photo from JETAA Portland’s Website

8. JETAA Chicago

14th Annual JETAA Shinnenkai

When: January 21st, 5-8 pm CST
Where: Japanese Culture Center – 日本文化会館 1016 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60657

14th Annual JETAA Chicago Shinnenkai
Buy tickets here: http://bit.ly/2hNDdG7

Want a taste of Japan this new year? Then come to the 14th Annual JETAA Chicago Shinnnenkai on January 21 (Saturday), from 5:00 to 8:00pm at the Japanese Culture Center – 日本文化会館.

What Japanese things can I experience while there you ask? Well…

-Calligraphy
-Ema Plaques
-Fukuwarai (Pin theTail on the Donkey)
-Karuta (PlayingCards)
-Kimono Dress-up
-Onigiri (RiceBall) Making
-Origami
-More!

Tickets

$20.00 – Adults (21+)
$10.00 – 12 and Older
Free – Under 1215625741_10102799026600379_5050598277508826154_o

 

Photo from Patrick Finn via JETAA Chicago’s Facebook Event Page

9. JETAA Mid-South

Shinnenkai New Years Party

When: January 21st, TBA
Where: TBD

Annual Shinnenkai New Years Party
When: Saturday, January 21, 2017
Who: JET Alumni, Friends and Family
Where: Details to be Finalized
Additional Info: An Officer Open House will be held 1 hour before the start of the Shinnenkai. Please see “Leadership Opportunities/Election Information” section below for further details.

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Photo from JETAANOLA’s Facebook Group

 

10. JETAA Quebec/Atlantic

Annual General Meeting

When: January 21st, 2-5 PM EST
Where: TBD

2:00 PM – Annual General Meeting

Location TBD
11. JETAA Rocky Mountain
JETAARM Shinnenkai 2017
When: January 21st, 5-8 PM MST
Where: TOKIO 2907 Huron St, Denver, Colorado 80202
It’s time to celebrate the year of the Rooster. Remenisce about the old times in Japan while celebrating the new year over a proper bowl of hot Ramen. Chat, network, befriend, and be merry. Bring your +1’s and kodomos. Space is limited to 30 (fire Marshal’s orders) – Reserve your spot by following the PayPal link below.https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=EY7SQZDNKLSGS

Dinner is just $15 and includes ramen and a beer (or a softdrink with free refills). If you haven’t been to Tokio, take a gander at their website and check out their amazing space: http://www.mytokio.com/

Looking forward to catching up with everyone.

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Photo from JETAARM’s Facebook Event Page
12. JETAA Toronto
JETAA Toronto Annual General Meeting 2017
When: January 21st, 4:30 PM EST
Where: Fox and Fiddle – Bloor 280 Bloor st west, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3B9
Calling all Southern Ontario JET Alums!Are you looking to try something new, develop skills, and support the JET community as part of a fun and げんき team? Or just interested in learning about your local JETAA chapter’s events and initiatives?
Then come on out to the JETAA Toronto AGM on January 28th!

– Get involved with the JETAA executive committee!
– We’re always looking for the best, brightest, and げんきest to join our team.
– Have a great idea for an event? New to Toronto? Looking for adventure? Let us know!

Available JETAA Executive Positions – 2017-2018:
• Co-Chairs
• Treasurer
• Secretary
• Events Coordinator
• Website Coordinator
• Conference Coordinator
• Communications Coordinator
• Membership Coordinator
• Community Liaison
• Senpai Liaison
• Senior Advisors
***Position details are posted on our website at: http://www.jetaatoronto.ca/about-jetaa-toronto/join-us-for-the-jetaa-annual-general-meeting-agm/

Available Support Positions – 2017-2018:
• Treasurer Support
• Events Support
• Communications Support
• Conference Support
• Membership Support

Details~
Date: Saturday, January 28th
Time: 4:30pm – 7:30pm (followed by nijikai)
Location: Fox & Fiddle – Bloor (280 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON)
Dinner: Provided
Nijikai: Post-meeting (8:00ish) – Location TBD
Cost: Free to join for JETAA members
RSVP: Not necessary, but if you have any questions you can e-mail Carl & Nick at chair@jetaatoronto.ca
Website: http://www.jetaatoronto.ca/about-jetaa-toronto/join-us-for-the-jetaa-annual-general-meeting-agm/

We’re all looking forward to seeing you there!

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PC: JETAA Toronto’s Facebook Event Page

Dec 25

Travel Book Review: ‘Japan by Rail’

Posted by Eden Law (Fukushima ALT 2010-2011, President of JETAANSW, Australian Country Representative, JETAAI Webmaster… I guess the very model of a modern Major-General?)

Japan by Rail

Not just for trainspotters

Travelling from one major city to another in Japan is a fantastic experience – the efficiency, the comfort, and for foreign travellers, the affordability, by way of the many available tourist travel passes. The extensive rail network and its famous and speedy bullet train (shinkansen) makes rail travel a viable choice to explore the country. And if you’ve ever thought about using this mode of transport for your next trip to Japan, then the recently published “Japan by Rail” travel guide would be a great way to start your planning.

Written by Ramsey Zarifeh (himself a former JET), Anna Udagawa, Andrew Picknell and James Hodgson, “Japan by Rail” is comprehensive – anywhere the rail network reaches, it will be covered in the book – except for the islands of Okinawa. Each chapter or part deals with the regions of Japan, such as Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku. Following along the major train route from either Tokyo or Osaka as a starting point, the chapters also detail and recommend many side-trips to lesser known destinations of towns, villages and noteworthy nature locations. Helpfully, it also lists the modes of transport and ticket prices where required, if needing to change between trains, buses or boat, and estimated travel times. While not extensive in every entry, accommodation, places to eat and shop are also included.

True to its specialisation, the book provides a generous amount of information on all things rail-related. Information on the various train passes are available – and there’s a quite a variety. There are even passes for short trips between just two destinations (for example, the Kawagoe Discount Pass between Ikebukuro and Kawagoe or “Little Edo”), which are described where applicable. Included are also train schedules for major rail routes by shinkansen, and suggested itinerary by rail. Note that the travel information is primarily based on the JR company, which dominates the country’s rail network infrastructure, though the text does include non-JR transport if needed to complete the journey. If you wish to use local travel routes that rely on non-JR lines, doing a self-guided tour by hired car, or choosing to base yourself from a place not covered in this book, “Japan by Rail” will be less useful, but can still provide some description of places and local sightseeing spots. Unusually, the guide book does not include JR’s railway maps, which would be useful (perhaps for future editions).

A great practical and detailed guide, “Japan by Rail” is highly recommended to start you off on your planning.

Japan by Rail 4th ed, Trailblazer Publications, and written by Ramsey Zarifeh, Anna Udagawa, Andrew Picknell and James Hodgson and available from the Trailblazer website


Dec 16

WIT Life is a periodic series written by professional Writer/Interpreter/Translator Stacy Smith (Kumamoto-ken CIR, 2000-03). She starts her day by watching Fujisankei’s newscast in Japanese, and here she shares some of the interesting tidbits and trends along with her own observations.

Last night I attended a screening of Martin Scorsese’s new film Silence, based on the 1966 novel 沈黙 (Chinmoku) by Shusaku Endo, himself a Japanese Catholic.  It is the story of a Jesuit missionary sent to 17th century Japan, who is played with great nuance by Andrew Garfield.  He and his followers endure horrible persecution during this period when 隠れキリシタン (Kakure Kirishitan or Hidden Christians) are targeted for their beliefs.  Having lived in Kyushu I had a vague sense of what had taken place in Nagasaki at that time, but not the extent of the barbaric ways Christians were killed and tortured. Read More


Dec 2

“Tsukiji Wonderland” – Film Review from the 20th JFF (Australia)

 

By Eden Law (Fukushima ALT 2010-2011, JETAANSW President, Australian Country Representative), writing from Sydney, Australia. The Japanese Film Festival in Australia is the one of the biggest Japanese film festival in the world.

Do not watch while hungry.

Do not watch while hungry.

The Tsukiji Fish Markets are a staple in every Tokyo tourist guidebook, promoted as the place for serious foodies (or at least, lovers of seafood) to visit, and to sample the myriad of restaurants and shops in the area, may of which are food-related (ever been in a knife-only shop? Simultaneously amazing and terrifying). With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics however, the area is slated for redevelopment, and this film may be the final recording, at least of this current incarnation, of the market that has lasted over 80 years.

Once you get past a slow start and the voiceover, the film settles confidently into its subject matter. The documentary is divided into several chapters that deal with various aspects of the marketplace, such as the rhythms of the marketplace, where normal trading hours happen at a time most of us would be sleeping, particularly to cope with time zones and overseas customers: such is the reputation of Tsukiji that fish here may even end up as far away as the west coast of America. Business practices are also examined – the auction markets (where tourists are briefly glimpsed – access to these early morning sessions for the best tuna are highly restricted in order not to impede normal operations), interaction of vendors and buyers, and perhaps potentially controversial, the brutal practicality of fish preparation and storage.

While there are definitely plenty of shots of sushi and dishes on hand (film advisory warning: do NOT watch if hungry, or even slightly peckish), it is the people interviewed, especially the intermediary wholesellers who provide the bulk of the dialogue, that make for riveting viewing. The wholesellers’ understanding of their product is unrivalled and complete – one wholesaler specialised only in conger eels, able to reliably differentiate between what looked like identical fish quickly and easily with a glance. The faith of their highly discerning clients are complete, but only because they have earned them through honesty, consistency and reliability, favouring and anticipating the needs of their devoted customer base. Everyone – customers, vendors and academics alike – can’t help but stray into mystical and poetic descriptions when talking about the work, or the skills and knowledge of the vendors. It’s a thoroughly Japanese quality, where the people find pride and honour in their vocation, and it’s hard not to feel respect for them, which they most certainly deserve.

‘Tsukiji Wonderland’ can only skim the surface of the complex relationships of Tsukiji, but you can already get a sense of the rich mercantile tradition and customs that bind the merry band of workers here, constantly competing, jostling and supporting each other. The long, measured long shots over the marketplace gives it an epic and majestic field, and the many little work vehicles move as if dancing to music. The film does discuss the future of the market, particularly in light of changing diet habits and fast food. While there is sadness about the uncertainty of Tsukiji’s future, the film stays on a celebratory and affectionate mood, about the cultural institution of the world’s most famous fish market.

Tsukiji Wonderland (Tsukiji Wandarando) by Shotaro Endo, released October 1, 2016.


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