16 March 2011

Kumamoto City here I come!

After much waiting myself and the other teachers have final been told our tentative placement locations. Because of the recent events in Japan we were told that all over our placements had to be re-jigged and so we were either placed in the Chūbu Region or further west in the Kyushu Region.

My location is Kumamoto City in Kumamoto Prefecture which is on the island of Kyushu. Riaz and Loren who are two of the other teachers that are attending the same training session as me were placed in Gifu Prefecture and Aichi Prefecture which are both in the Chūbu Region. Helen another teacher was placed in Wakayama Prefecture which is in the Kansai Region. The last teacher Peter was placed in Ehime Prefecture on the island of Shikoku. So as you can see we have all been spread out across the country.

When I first heard about my location I was a little disappointed because I had hoped to at least be placed somewhere near my 2nd choice which was Osaka in the Kansai Region. Or at least somewhere that I was more familiar with. But after doing some research about the area and watching some videos it seems that Kumamoto City may not be such a bad place after all. Originally I thought about asking to be moved somewhere else based on the fact that the city is situated fairly close to two active volcanoes. But later I realised if they did move me somewhere else I could end up in a place that is better or a lot worse! So I decided to just stick with this placement.

Micaela riding around Kumamoto City with her bike

From looking up Kumamoto City on WikiTravel there seems to be quite a few interesting things to do. I will be able to see the Kumamoto Castle, Suizen-ji Gardens and visit Mt. Aso which is about 1hr40mins from Kumamoto City by local train. There is also an amusement park in Arao City called Mitsui Greenland which is not too far from Kumamoto City.

One of the many festivals in Kumamoto City

There also seems to be quite a few places to shop as well as nice places to eat in the city. One of the traditional foods in Kumamoto City is Basashi which is actually raw horse meat!!! I am fairly adventurous when it comes to food but the idea of eating raw horse meat does not appeal to me at all! But depending on how long I am in Kumamoto City I may end up trying it!

Lucky for me Kumamoto City is about 2hrs away from Fukuoka by train or bus both costing around 2,000yen one way. So if I can't find something interesting to do in Kumamoto City i'm sure I will find something to do in Fukuoka. Also during my investigation I found a couple clubs in Kumamoto City that play Reggae. So some Reggae is better than no Reggae at all so I can at least get my fix. If not I can always go to Fukuoka because they have a lot more going on there. I am a bit disappointed there doesn't seem to be any type of sports team in Kumamoto because I would have liked to have gone to a Baseball game. But again I can always visit Fukuoka for that type of entertainment.

I have just a few weeks left before I am supposed to fly out. Luckily I received my suitcases and all the other stuff I ordered. All that is left is really to buy my travel insurance and also some new clothes/shoes for my new job. Luckily for me I can wear casual clothes in the classroom so I do not need to bring many shirts and ties. It looks like my suitcase is going to be fairly light...I hope!


Patrick said...

Don't worry, Kyushu has its own charm... and some of the tastiest food in Japan. You are also well positioned to visit Fukuoka to the North, Kagoshima to the south, and Oita to the east (renown for it's multitude of onsen).

Plus if you pick up some Kyushu-ben, it will add character to your Japanese.

Make sure to try the yuzukosho if you haven't already.

Plus with all the chaos right now... kyushu is probably the safest place to be in Japan.

twitter @patrickinjapan

Dorian said...

Thanks for your comment. I agree too that the people in Kyushu have the least to worry about. But what worries me is the fact that I will be in Nagoya or Osaka for at least 2 weeks training before I am moved to Kumamoto.

But yea being able to pick up some of Kyushu-ben would be pretty cool. I read that many people from Honshu find it difficult to understand their dialect at times.