May 1

JET Prefecture Round Up (May 2018)

JET Prefecture Round Up is a mosaic of events taking place in the AJET community in Japan. Compiled by Suzanne Bhagan (Tottori Prefecture alumni).

 

Over to Okishima!

When:  May 12

Where:  Shiga Prefecture

This is a perfect opportunity to see a very traditional Japanese community surrounded by unspoilt nature.

 

sport

Chiba AJET Sports day!

When:  May 12

Where:  Chiba Prefecture

Join Chiba AJET and friends in the beautiful Chiba Minato Park and enjoy sports and snacking!

 

AJET Shimanami Kaido 2018

When:  May 19

Where:  Hiroshima Prefecture

Don your neon helmet, reflective armbands, and your tightest biking Lycra to ride over 70 km with AJET.

bike

 

Block 11’s Out There On Okinawa

When:  May 19-20

Where:  Okinawa Prefecture

Block 11 is hitting the seas and bringing the party down to Okinawa!

 

 

21st Annual Oita AJET Charity Bike Ride

When:  May 26-27

Where:  Oita Prefecture

Oita AJET invites you to participate in the 21st Annual Oita Charity Bike Ride!

okinawa

 


Apr 1

JET Prefecture Round Up (April 2018)

 

JET Prefecture Round Up is a mosaic of events taking place in the AJET community in Japan. Compiled by Suzanne Bhagan (Tottori Prefecture alumni).

 

cherry blossom

Cherry Blossom Viewing & Potluck Party

When:  April 1

Where:  Shizuoka Prefecture

Enjoy Shizuoka Matsuri under the cherry blossoms. Entrance is free but please bring some nibbles or drinks to share.

 

The Ultimate Hanami and After Party of 2018

When:  April 7

Where:  Tokyo

Celebrate spring with JETs and ALTs in Japan. The event’s totally free, with free snacks and drinks (while they last!). There’s also an after-party once the sun sets.

 

Gumball Rally 2018!

When:  April 14

Where:  Okinawa Prefecture

Calling all OkiJETs! April is just around the corner and you know what that means: it’s Gumball Rally time!! It’s a super cool island-wide event similar to a scavenger hunt where you complete tasks for points.

 

race car

Amazing Race 2018

When:  April 14

Where:  Miyazaki Prefecture

This is one of Miyazaki AJET’s biggest events of the year, similar to the TV show. This year, the challenges and clues will be based on Harry Potter!

 

Regional JET and ALT Gathering

When:  April 20

Where:  Tokyo

Experience a night of elegance and receive special VIP treatment at one of the most acclaimed establishments in all of Tokyo! JETs, alumni, ALTs, or anyone who joins this page will be included as a VIP. Entrance fee is 2500 yen (3500 yen at the door).

 

AJET Hanami in Hirosaki

When: April 21

Where: Aomori Prefecture

This year is the 100th anniversary of the Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival and Aomori AJET’s Hanami will coincide with its opening day.

 

starting line

AJET Tokyo Scavenger Hunt 2018

When: April 21

This will be the 5th Block 4 Tokyo Scavenger Hunt! For this event, you and your team will complete a variety of different missions around the city of Tokyo!

 

Kumafest 2

When:  April 21

Where:  Kumamoto Prefecture

Once again, it’s music and party time on the side of the world’s largest caldera brought to you by Kuma AJET.  For those of you leaving Japan this summer, it’s a great last chance to see friends. Cost is 1000 yen.


Jan 31

JET Prefecture Round Up (February 2018)

 

JET Prefecture Round Up is a mosaic of events taking place in the AJET community in Japan. Compiled by Suzanne Bhagan (Tottori Prefecture). 

 

salad

13th Kyoto Vegans Buffet Meetup

When:  February 3

Where:  Kyoto Prefecture

Forget the snow! Join the vegan tribe at Vegans Cafe and make new friends!

 

Chizu Snow Festival

When:  February 3

Where:  Tottori Prefecture

Join in the 19th Chizu Inn Yuki Matsu in rural Tottori prefecture.

 

2018 Shimane AJET Ski Weekend

When:  February 3-4

Where:  Shimane Prefecture

Shimane and Hiroshima AJET welcome you to shred the slopes of Mizuho Highland with them.

snow trees

 

Niigata AJET’s Northern Snow Out

When:  February 10

Where:  Niigata Prefecture

Join Niigata AJET at the first annual Kaetsu region snow out.

 

Hokkaido AJET Snowcation

When:  February 10-13

Where:  Hokkaido Prefecture

Hokkaido AJET invites all JETs to take part in Snowcation, an annual event to encourage JETs from other prefectures to visit the northern island. This year, it coincides with the Sapporo Snow Festival.

 

Hadaka Matsuri

When:  February 17

Where:  Okayama Prefecture

Join Okayama AJET in celebrating the prefecture’s famous Saidaiji Naked Man Festival.

snow monkeys

 

Shizuoka AJET Strawberry Picking and Onsen Trip 2018

When:  February 17

Where:  Shizuoka Prefecture

Join Shizuoka AJET in beating winter with delicious strawberries on the prefecture’s famous strawberry road and a hot soak at the onsen.

 

Winter Formal: the Snowball

When:  February 24

Where:  Aomori Prefecture

Aomori AJET invites you to its final event for the school year, a Snowball inspired by Stranger Things.

lanterns

 

AJET Block 10 & The Nagazasshi Presents: Lantern Festival 2018

When:  February 24

Where:  Nagasaki Prefecture

Join AJET Block 10 to celebrate a festival started by the local Chinese community to celebrate Chinese New Year.

 


Jan 4

JET Prefecture Round Up (January 2018)

JET Prefecture Round Up is a mosaic of events taking place in the AJET community in Japan. Compiled by Suzanne Bhagan (Tottori Prefecture).

girl with sparkler

Happy 2018!

Regional JET and ALT New Year’s Gathering

When: 14 January

Where: Tokyo

For the first time ever, AJET is throwing a New Year’s party for all current and past participants of the JET Program as an effort to expand the network between JETs and representatives of various prefectures. Non-JETs are also welcome.

 

YETI Ski Trip Jan 2018 – Chiba Connection

When: 19-21 January

Where: Nagano Prefecture

This annual ski trip is hosted by YETI so feel free to invite your friends!

 

skier gives peace sign

The mountains await!

Block 2 Mt. Zao Ski Trip

When: 20-21 January

Where: Yamagata Prefecture

Yamagata AJET invites you to their Block 2 Winter Event, the Zao Onsen Ski Trip! Join them for a weekend of skiing, snowboarding, relaxing in onsens, snow-monster appreciation, and enkais!

 

Okayama AJET does Daisen

When: 27 January

Where: Tottori Prefecture

Okayama AJET will be holding a trip to Mount Daisen for some good old skiing/snowboarding.

 

BLOCK Event: Nara City Scavenger Hunt & Yamayaki!

When: 27 January

Where: Nara Prefecture

Nara AJET invites all members of Block 7 and beyond to a scavenger hunt in the city and a chance to witness fireworks and mountain burning at one of Nara’s oldest and biggest events, the Mount Wakakusa Yamayaki.

 

old books on shelf

Crack open a book for the new year!

HAJET Book Club: The Lies of Locke Lamora

When:  27 January

Where:  Hyogo Prefecture

Winter vacation is a good chance to catch up on books so join Hyogo AJET to discuss “The Lies of Locke Lamora” by Scott Lynch.


Dec 16

JET Prefecture Round up 12.16.17

JET Prefecture Round Up is a weekly mosaic of events taking place in the AJET community in Japan. Compiled by Suzanne Bhagan, (Tottori Prefecture). 

santa ornament

Happy Christmas!

 

Global Cafe: A Christmas Special

When: 17 December

Where: Kyoto Prefecture

Kameoka International Exchange Association is hosting a Christmas party this Sunday. It’s free for foreigners and includes snacks, games, presents, and a little craft workshop.

 

Shiga Christmas Day Party

When: 25 December

Where: Shiga Prefecture

For those of you who’re staying in Japan for Christmas, you’re invited along to a Christmas day get together and potluck dinner.

 

DIY Kadomatsu Workshop

When: 29 December

Where: Ishi-gun, Shimane Prefecture

Kadomatsu are traditional Japanese New Year decorations. Come visit Iinan and learn how to make your own, using real bamboo and decorations.


Dec 2

JET Prefecture Round Up 12.02.17

JET Prefecture Round Up is a weekly mosaic of events taking place in the AJET community in Japan. Compiled by Suzanne Bhagan, (Tottori Prefecture). 

 

Become a Samurai Warrior at Sengan-en!

When: 8 – 17 December

Where: Kagoshima, Kagoshima Prefecture

Visit Sengan-en, home of the Shimadzu clan, and become a samurai warrior for a small price! What better way can you create an unforgettable memory of your time in Japan?

samurai

Channel your inner warrior.

 

SAJET Christmas Party 2017

When: 9 December

Where: Izumo, Shimane Prefecture

Try something different this year and celebrate the season with Shimane AJET at Marine Thalasso’s heated indoor pool!

christmas lights

Light it up!

 

Shizuoka AJET Illuminations

When: 9 December

Where: Gotemba, Shizuoka Prefecture

It’s that time of year again! Catch the best holiday illuminations in Shizuoka and enjoy a meal buffet style with Shizuoka AJET.

 

A Merry Shiga Christmas

When: 9 December

Where: Shiga Prefecture

Wear your ugliest Christmas sweater, bring a pressie, and come share in Shiga AJET’s festivities for one night only.

people sharing japanese food

Bonenkai time!

 

Oita AJET Bonenkai 2017

When: 9 December

Where: Beppu, Oita Prefecture

RSVP if you’d like to partake in this annual all you eat and drink event hosted by Oita AJET.


Oct 16

JET Prefecture Round up! 10.16.17

By Suzanne Bhagan (Tottori Prefecture) 

Hey JETs, past and present! October’s not even over yet and there’s still a lot going on! Read on to find out how you can get in on all the action!

Are you ready for a Halloween-themed pub quiz?

 

Journey to the end of the night

When: 21 October

Where: Toyama Park (West), Children’s Square, Tokyo

Join in a massive (and free!) game of tag that spans six parks and about 9 km across the city!

 

Hocus Pocus Pub Quiz Night

When: 21 October

Where: Tajima, Hyogo Prefecture

If you like answering Halloween-inspired trivia questions, drinking, and just plain having fun, this one’s for you!

 

Get your kit on!

Fukui FA Cup

When: 21 October

Where: Fukui Prefecture

Block 5, get ready for the biggest and best co-ed 5-a-side football tournament this side of Japan. No team required!

 

Space World Trip

When: 21 October

Where: Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture

Think fast! All JETs are welcome to visit Kyushu’s famous theme park that’s closing at the end of the year.

 

Space World

Mount Ishizuchi Hike

When: 21 October

Where: Ehime Prefecture

Hike up the highest mountain peak (1982 m) in western Japan with Ehime AJET!

 

Halloween Costume Contest

When: 22 October

Where: Kanoya, Kagoshima Prefecture

Get in on the Halloween action early with a costume contest and pumpkin weight guessing contest at the Ryujin Taisai Festival!

 

Explore Toyama city and help a worthy cause!

AJET Charity Toyama Scavenger Hunt

When: 22 October

Where: Toyama-shi, Toyama Prefecture

Explore the city, make new friends, and raise money for a good cause! Proceeds will go to the Bridge For Smile charity.

 

Outdoor Climbing Day at Zakkokutani

When: 22 October

Where: Toyama Prefecture

Beginner and experienced climbers, grab your harnesses and let’s go outside!


Sep 25

JET Prefecture Round up! 09.25.17

By Suzanne Bhagan (Tottori Prefecture)

Konnichiwa past and present JETs! This autumn’s already steaming up with a host of events to keep you occupied. Here are some highlights you shouldn’t miss!

sumo

Bull sumo wrestling

Bull Sumo Wrestling in Ojiya

When: 1 October

Where: Ojiya, Niigata Prefecture

Forget human sumo wrestlers! Head to Tsunotsuki or bull versus bull wrestling in Ojiya to see which beast comes out on top!

 

mountain

Mount Daisen

Tottori AJET Daisen hike

When: 30 September

Where: Saihaku, Tottori Prefecture

It’s already fall so you know what time that is: time to tackle Daisensan, the tallest mountain in the Chugoku region!

 

bonfire

Bonfire

Block 4 Welcome Party: Odo Beach Bonfire

When: 29 September

Where: Itoman, Okinawa Prefecture

Calling all Block 4 peeps! Bring some booze and marshmallows and get to know one another!

 

Kamasube! Masaka Rhythm 2017

When: 30 September

Where: Mutsu, Aomori Prefecture

Cozy up with live music from over 20 local artists and groups and nosh some tasty food at this music festival.

 

float

Nebuta parade

Goto Island Festival

When: 29 September – 1 October

Where: Fukue, Nagasaki Prefecture

Head to one of the main Goto islands for Nebuta parades, fireworks, dances, and a whole lotta fun!

 

Kanda Float Festival

When: 24 September – 1 October

Where: Miyako, Fukuoka Prefecture

Join in one of Kyushu’s three major float festivals that’s famous for its “fighting floats” where competing floats hit one other!

 


May 26

Japan Local: Omagari All-Japan National Fireworks Competition 2016

Mel T (Aomori-ken, 2007-2012) is a Canadian living and working in Towada City, Aomori. For more information about events, sightseeing, restaurants, etc. in Towada City, and around Aomori Prefecture & Japan, visit her blog at http://towada-city.blogspot.com.

90th Anniversary All-Japan National Fireworks Competition 2016Every August, fireworks masters from across Japan compete in an impressive music and pyrotechnics show at the All-Japan National Fireworks Competition (Omagari Fireworks) along the Omono River in Daisen City, Akita Prefecture. This year marks the 90th anniversary of the event. Click HERE to read MORE.


May 26

Japan Local: Tohoku Rokkon (Six Souls) Festival

Mel T (Aomori-ken, 2007-2012) is a Canadian living and working in Towada City, Aomori. For more information about events, sightseeing, restaurants, etc. in Towada City, and around Aomori Prefecture & Japan, visit her blog at http://towada-city.blogspot.com.

Tohoku Rokkon Six Souls Festival 2016The Tohoku Rokkon (“Six Souls”) Festival is a two-day event where you can see six major Tohoku area summer festivals (one from each prefecture) all in one place!

It was created to encourage the revival of the Tohoku area after the Great East Japan Earthquake & Tsunami of 2011. This year marks the sixth and final year of the event. It will be held in Aomori City from June 25-26, 2016.

Click HERE to read MORE.


Jan 24

Winter Rice Field Art

Mel T (Aomori-ken, 2007-2012) is a Canadian living and working in Towada City, Aomori. For more information about events, sightseeing, restaurants, etc. in Towada City, and around Aomori Prefecture & Japan, visit her blog at http://towada-city.blogspot.com.

Inakadate Winter Rice Field Art flyer

Inakadate Village (Aomori Prefecture), the pioneer of rice field art, will be holding a Winter Rice Field Art event this February 2016 in collaboration with internationally renowned snow artist Simon Beck, who creates geometrical artworks by walking across/around fields of snow in snow shoes.  He has traveled all over the world creating snow art works, but this will be his first work in Japan.

Click HERE to read MORE.


Aug 25

Japan Local: B-1 Grand Prix in Towada

Mel T (Aomori-ken, 2007-2012) is a Canadian living and working in Towada City, Aomori. For more information about events, sightseeing, restaurants, etc. in Towada City, and around Aomori Prefecture & Japan, visit her blog at http://towada-city.blogspot.com.

B-1 Grand Prix in Towada Flyer Interested in trying out local “soul foods” from all over Japan?

Then the 10th B-1 Grand Prix in Towada is the event for you!

From October 3rd-4th, 2015, sixty-two groups from across Japan will gather in Towada (Aomori Prefecture) to promote their respective cities and local “soul foods”. Enjoy soba, udon, ramen, rice bowls, curry, fried foods, grilled meats, and various other dishes originating from Hokkaido to Kyushuu and vote for your favourite group. At the end of the second day, the most popular group–as selected by attendees–will be awarded the Gold Grand Prix Prize (symbolized by giant golden chopsticks :P).

Often misunderstood as standing for “B-grade” (“B級” B-kyuu in Japanese), the “B” in “B-1” actually stands for “brand.” The goal of the B-1 Grand Prix is to revitalize cities and towns through the promotion of their respective local brands. Apart from serving delicious food, participating groups also try to demonstrate their own unique brand of hospitality through performances, etc. This is why attendees of the B-1 Grand Prix are encouraged to vote for their favourite group and not just the best dish.

So if you want to get a taste of many different cities from around Japan, come to Towada for the B-1 Grand Prix.

十和田に愛に行こう!Towada ni ai ni ikou! Come to love Towada!

Official Website (Japanese): http://b-1towada.com/

Click HERE to learn MORE (English)


May 25

Japan Local: Inakadate Rice Field Art

Mel T (Aomori-ken, 2007-2012) is a Canadian living and working in Towada City, Aomori. For more information about events, sightseeing, restaurants, etc. in Towada City, and around Aomori Prefecture & Japan, visit her blog at http://towada-city.blogspot.com.

Hagoromo Legend

2014 Inakadate Rice Field Art

Inakadate Village (Aomori Prefecture) has a long history relating to rice. The site of an ancient rice field dating back to the mid-Yayoi Period (300 B.C.~300 A.D.), the Tareyanagi Iseki was discovered in Inakadate in 1981. This was a significant find as until its discovery, it had been believed that rice fields were not cultivated in Tohoku during the Yayoi Period. The Tareyanagi Iseki was designated a National Historic Site on April 11, 2000.

To celebrate and promote its history of rice production, Inakadate began offering rice planting experience tours. In order to make the experience more interesting, they decided to use different coloured rices to draw a picture of Mt. Iwaki with the words 弥生の里いなかだて (Yayoi no sato Inakadate) meaning “Yayoi Village Inakadate.” This was the humble beginning of rice field art–although at the time it was not referred to as “art” but simply as “rice characters” (稲文字 ine moji).

Since its beginnings as “rice characters,” the drastic improvement in technological and artistic levels have made Inakadate’s rice art an increasingly popular site for both domestic and international tourists. It has proved so popular that in 2012, a second rice field art site was started at the Michi no Eki (Roadside Station) Inakadate “Yayoi no Sato.”

The theme for 2015’s rice field art is “Gone with the Wind” for the main site and “Star Wars” for the second site (Michi no Eki Inakadate “Yayoi no Sato”).

Click HERE to read MORE


Sep 25

Posted by Benjamin Martin, a JET from 2008-2013 in Okinawa, publisher of the blog MoreThingsJapanese.com and author of the award-winning YA fantasy series Samurai Awakening (Tuttle).

IMG_0710Yes. This past week on Kume Island, children were sent screaming as a single wild lion went rampaging through a peaceful neighborhood. Well, it was mostly peaceful. Since it was the full moon and August 15th of the Kyureki calendar, there were also a bunch of people around banging gongs and playing music. There were also some creepy Hacaburo running around egging the lion on. Warned in advance that something might be going on, I showed up with some local friends just after sunset with my camera ready. What I saw shocked me, and soon my former students were running for cover… behind me.

By the end of the night no less than 5 children had been bitten. When asked, parents responded that they were overjoyed. One parent, while holding a screaming infant, smiled widely and talked about how smart he would be while neglecting to stop the lion from continuing its rampage.

For more on this story, visit MoreThingsJapanese.com for pictures and video.


Sep 11

Posted by Benjamin Martin, a JET from 2008-2013 in Okinawa, publisher of the blog MoreThingsJapanese.com and author of the award-winning YA fantasy series Samurai Awakening (Tuttle).

IMG_8043The Ha-ri- races are a yearly event on Kume Island. This year they took place on June 12 at three locations around the island.  This year I stuck to the Maja area where locals and students gathered together for a day of races and fun in the water.

While the races are the primary attraction, there is also generally a ball-toss game for the nursery school children and a tug-of-war.  There are numerous races from both locals and school participants.  At the Maja area, students from the local Nakazato Junior High, Misaki and Nakazato elementary schools, and students from Kumeshima High School all joined together in mixed and separate races.

IMG_8164

IMG_8525This year I broke out my gopro to give you a closer look at participating in the Ha-ri- races.  Thanks to a few friends and students who wore the camera along the way.  Of course with plenty of water a few bucket wars broke out among the high school students, and not all of the boats made it back without a little extra water.  Check out the video and pictures below, then come join us next year for this great event.

For more photos and video from this special event visit MoreThingsJapanese.com


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