Less than 24 hours after I made my last post about patience, I saw people posting on Facebook about getting their placements. I checked my email to make sure I wasn’t missing anything, and then I remembered: my coordinator was out of the office for the week. Talk about bad timing.
Luckily, he notified us that he’d be sending out the emails when he got back, and sure enough I saw an email pop up while I was on my break at work.
At the very top of the email I saw my prefecture: Iwate. I was so glad to be placed in northern Japan. The city is called Hirono, and I could barely find it on a map. Turns out I’ll be on the coast, right near the Aomori border.
My first impression is excitement. I’m almost as excited as I was when I first got the news that I’d be going to Japan in the first place.
My worries of being placed in a big city go right out the window. Something tells me that I’m not going to be dealing with fast-paced city living. We’re about as inaka is inaka can be, and I’m glad that I’ll be able to have a unique opportunity.
I was honestly getting afraid of not being placed in Tohoku. For some reason I had a feeling that it would be where I ended up, but I was really concerned about going back to Japan and just ending up in a region that I had already visited a bunch. I wanted to be in a brand new place and explore a side of Japan that I had never seen before. This is definitely a brand new place for me.
Already, I can see some complications. It’s almost a guaranteed that I’ll have to have a car, as the tiny train stations in the city seem to be pretty far from everything. I doubt that I’ll be able to get my internet set up in a reasonable amount of time, and something tells me there won’t be any local places with wifi. After a brief search, I wasn’t able to find any chain restaurants. Maybe I just missed it but I wasn’t even able to find a Kappa Sushi or Cafe Gusto. So I probably won’t have many options for food. And my biggest concern is not being able to find a gym with freeweights, and I’ve got a bad feeling that this is just going to be nonexistent out that way.
But that being said, right now I just know the name of the city at this point. It’s a pretty spread out city, so there is no sense in guessing where I’ll be. There seems to be several different locations with high schools, and it’s anywhere from right on the ocean to up into the mountains. It’s anyone’s guess at this point, or at least until I get contacted by my organization.
This will definitely give me plenty of opportunities to practice my Japanese, as well as work on my hobbies. It will give me a chance to get involved with my community and learn a side to Japan I don’t know much about at all.
I don’t have much information as of right now, so I’m sure I’ll learn more going forward. All I know is that I’m excited to learn more and have this opportunity.