I’ve Been Placed! 場所が決まりました!

I woke up one fine spring morning and found a JET email in my inbox. As I get closer and closer to my departure date, August 1st, I’ve started periodically receiving emails from JET about various things. Reminders about paperwork deadlines, pdfs about tips and to do lists before, during and after JET, handbooks, etc. Though this latest one was the one me and all the other JETs were waiting for. I received my placement! The place I am going to is *drum roll* (You must do a drum roll as you read this!)

あるすばらしい朝に起きて受信箱にJETからのメールを見つけました。出発の日の八月一日に近づきながら、時々いろいろなことについてJETからメールをもらいます。用紙の締め切りのリマインダーとか、JETの前、間、あとに関するヒントとタスクリストのPDFなど。でも、最近のメールはJETの皆さんが待っていたメールです。場所が決まりました!行くことになった場所は*ドラムロール*(これを読みながら、ドラムロールしなければなりませんよ!)

Are you drum rolling?

ドラムロールしていますか?

mie-ken

Suzuka City, Mie Prefecture! I actually didn’t put much of a preference in my application for where I wanted to be placed, but I am right where I want to be! It’s far away enough from Tokyo that it will be outside of Tokyo’s cultural influence, so I can see another side of Japanese culture (I love you Tokyo!) But at the same time, it’s close enough to Tokyo that I can go to visit my friends there (3 hours by train). So I’m pretty excited about this placement!

三重県鈴鹿市!実際に、応募に行きたい選好はあまり書かなかったけど、ちょうど行きたい場所ですよ!ほかの日本文化を経験することが出来るように、東京の文化影響範囲のそとほど東京から離れているけれども(大好きですよ、東京!)、同時に、東京の友達に尋ねることが出来るほど東京に近いです(新幹線で3時間ぐらい)。それで、この場所はけっこう楽しみにしています!

suzuka mie

I’ve done a little research on Suzuka, Mie, and found out a few things. It’s a small city (town?) of 200,000 people. Compared to Tokyo, which has nearly 30 million, it will definitely be a big change from my last time in Japan. There are a few rail stations, so between that and a bicycle, getting around should be easy enough.

三重県鈴鹿市についてちょっと研究していくつか面白いことを発見しました。小さい市(町?)で人口が20万人です。前に行ったときの人口が3千万人の東京と比較して、絶対に違うはずでしょう。そして、電車はあるようなので、電車と自転車だけで済ませるはずです。

img_main74_12

Regarding attractions, it seems Suzuka’s big claim to fame is the Suzuka Circuit, a race track that hosts the Japanese Grand Prix! There’s also an amusement park attached to it. I’m guessing I’ll get more than one opportunity to visit it during my time there. Another attraction in a nearby town I want to see is the Ise Grand Shrine. It is one of the oldest and most significant Shinto shrines in Japan, and supposedly has a few connections, or at least things in common with Jewish temples! Really looking forward to seeing in person how that works!

魅力といえば、鈴鹿市の一番有名なのは日本グランプリを行う鈴鹿サーキットです!遊園地も付いているようです。人気がある場所で、みなさんがよく行くかなあと思っています。ほかの近い市にある見たい魅力の一つは、伊勢神宮です。神道の中で古くて大切で、そして、ユダヤ教とつながりがあるそう、または、ユダヤ教の寺と共通することがあります!とても面白そうで本人にそんなことを見るのは楽しみにしています!

And Suzuka has a beach! Mie being a prefecture along Japan’s coast, and Suzuka being one of the cities on that coast, the beach will be pretty close by. My memories of beaches are going to Myrtle Beach with my family every year. It was fun, and it was our vacation spot growing up. From time to time I would wonder what it would be like to live by the beach. And having blonde hair, people have sometimes mistaken me as a California beach boy : P And I’ve never experienced a Japanese beach before–actually, I take that back. Once, I walked to the edge of Chiba with a few friends, though we didn’t stay there long. I’ve also seen surreal snowy coast of Hokkaido in winter. But I’ve never really gone to the beach to actually ‘go to the beach’ in Japan. This will be a first for that.

そして、鈴鹿は岸があります!日本の海岸にある三重県の中でその海岸の市の一つとして、岸はけっこう近いはずです。私の岸の思い出は毎年家族と一緒に休み旅にマートルビーチに行くことです。楽しくて、成育に私達の休み旅の所でした。時々、岸に近く住むことはどんな感じか考えます。それから、金髪な髪の毛があるので、カリフォルニアビーチボイと考え違われたことがあります:P それうえ、日本の岸を経験したことはありません――実際に、たぶんすこしあります。一回、友達と一緒に千葉の端までに歩いたけど、長く残りませんでした。そして、冬に北海道の雪岸を見たことがあります。でも、本当に岸で遊ぶために岸に行ったことはまだです。これは初めてになるでしょう。

I’m sure there’s so much more than this waiting for me in Suzuka, Mie. Teachers, students, friends, food, new experiences, a home–more than I can wrap my head and heart around right now. Right now, the clock is ticking. Between deadlines and paperwork, work, family and friends and goodbyes, and selling stuff! Boy have I got some stuff to sell! A bicycle, a box of books, a Warcraft 3 poster, and an old Gameboy. All this and more, in 2 months. 60 days can be a long time depending on what one is talking about, but in my case, it feels like a single tall candle burning closer and closer to the bottom, each day an hour. It’s weird too, because I’ve been wanting to go to Japan so much that I could leave tomorrow. But at the same time, I really want to be fully ready when it is time to go. I’m not fully ready yet.

すべてこれよりも、三重県鈴鹿市にいろいろなものごとが私を待っていると分かっています。先生や学生や友達、たべもの、新しい経験、うち――私の頭も心も今分かることが出来るよりももっとあるでしょう。今、時計はがちんがちんとしています。締め切りと用紙、仕事と家族と友達と「さようなら」と、売り物!わあ、どうも売り物がありますねえ!自転車や本でいっぱいの箱やビデオゲームポスターや、古いゲームボイなど。すべてこれ、2ヶ月間に。60日間は場合によって長い間かもしれないけれど、私の場合には、高いろうそくの一本がだんだんそこまで燃えている感じです。一日は一時間です。変ですよ。なぜなら、明日出かけることが出来るほどとても日本に行きたいです。でも、同時に、出発のときに準備が絶対によくてほしいです。今、準備はまだそんなによくないんです。

 

The pictures from the post are not my own; they were taken from the following three websites, respectively:

http://www.mie.portalmie.com/en/exploring-mie/knowing-the-mie-prefecture/index.html

http://www.iatssforum.jp/english/program/facility.html

http://www.suzukacircuit.jp/

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About Stephen

My name is Stephen Gabriel Falke, and I am passionate for all things Japanese. I have been accepted to teach for the JET Program starting 2015. In the past, during my time in college, I also had the chance to participate in a study abroad at Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan, for Japan's 2012 school year. On my blog I write about my love for Japan, my journey to get there and stay there, and my adventures studying and teaching there.
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2 Responses to I’ve Been Placed! 場所が決まりました!

  1. Congrats on such a perfect placement. When it comes to bonding, being primed to love your place perhaps even more important than the place itself. Sounds like you are off to a great start. 🙂 Best wishes during the next two months of lining up ducks. I remember that as soon as I got my placement, my focus shifted from Japan to VA. As you hinted at with the candle comparison, these last few weeks are special and fleeting. Soon enough, Mie awaits…

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