So, who likes lakes?

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Take a look at my new city folks! That’s right, I finally found out where I am heading to in Japan. Actually, I’ve found out twice because they have moved my placement once already about a week after I first found out. So this might not actually be set in stone but I’ll post this anyways because I have less than three weeks until I am in Japan!

Where am I going do you ask? Well in the last post I mentioned that I was narrowed down to three prefectures: Shizuoka, Shiga, and Kyoto. Well, I was placed in the capital city of the Shiga Prefecture, Otsu.

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As you can see it is very, very close to Kyoto and not very far from Osaka either. My earlier placement was a city only a little ways away on the other side of the lake so I’m not to concerned about the change.

Since getting my placement I have done a little, or a lot I suppose, of research on the prefecture and city that I am heading to. Shiga as you might notice from the picture is home to the largest freshwater lake in Japan, Lake Biwa. The lake itself is actually one of the twenty oldest lakes on the planet, something like 4 million years old. Because of it’s close proximity to Kyoto, Shiga is full of historical sites and things like that. The city that I am heading to, Otsu, is the capital of the prefecture and was at one point the capital of Japan for a very brief period. It’s maybe about 15 minutes away from Kyoto and it is full of some very famous shrines and temples.

I don’t know much else about my placement yet, besides that I will be working at a couple of elementary schools and that I won’t have to drive, but hopefully I will be hearing more soon. The countdown to Japan is officially in high gear though as I have 19 days before I get on a plane and get this adventure started!

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Narrowing the Possibilities

As I talked about in my last post, patience is definitely a virtue when it comes to applying to live in Japan. That being said it seems like Interac is doing some new things this year which means that people like me, who were hired quite a few months ago, are getting a bit more info on where we will be earlier.

I got a phone call last night from the Tokyo office about a branch placement! So a branch of Interac is generally in charge of the contracts in a particular area in Japan. There are quite a few branches in Interac since they cover most of the country.

Anyways, I was offered a placement in the Hamamatsu Branch! (Which I accepted, obviously.) The Hamamatsu Branch works in the prefectures of Shizuoka and Shiga, as well as Kyoto (I’m not entirely clear on whether it’s the city or the prefecture for that one). I was really pleased to hear about this because it’s right around where I wanted to be. I really wanted some place that was in central Japan so that it would be easy to get around and travel.japan2

I have been spending my time (and abounding excitement) doing a little research on the areas Hamamatsu covers. Shiga is a prefecture right next to Kyoto and is home to Japan’s largest freshwater lake. It also seems to be pretty connected to Kyoto and rich with a lot of history. Shizuoka is on the other side of Japan and is home to Mt. Fuji.

I won’t find out an exact placement until sometime in January probably but at least I can kind of narrow it down now. I can’t wait to find out exactly where I will be. This blog might still be quiet for this month but once I start getting more information I plan to post more. I also want to talk about things like packing and purging a lot of my things and all. Also, you may find some really geeky translations of songs or cd dramas on here occasionally because I like to translate things to improve my Japanese.

Until next time!