Hello! Did you miss me? I sure hope so! This will be another rant/kinda rant. This is about my placement.
I love where I am placed. Despite it being one of the hottest areas of Japan (according to my teachers) and the train station is a 20 minute walk away (which I wouldn’t complain about normally if it wasn’t for reason #1 of heat), I like where I am. Koga is rich with history that I have learned from my teachers who have lived here for a long time. Although Ibaraki is not as “charming” as the other prefectures since we do not have much going for us, it’s still a great place. I don’t care if people don’t know where it is or know about it or want to visit it. It is my home for two years so I love it.
Here’s what I don’t love: being all the way west of Ibaraki. If you take a look at a map of Ibaraki, you will see that Koga is on the west most point of Ibaraki, right next to Yuki and Goka, which are pretty close west too. Koga shares a border with Tochigi, and Saitama and is suuuuuper close to Gunma. So all in all, Koga is the closest to three other prefectures. Oh and is an hour away from Tokyo and pretty darn close to the Chiba prefecture as well. Doesn’t sound too bad, now does it? Here’s where it kinda sucks. Most of the other Ibaraki JETs…are surrounding the capital of Ibaraki, Mito, including my close friend H. Mito is actually farther away from Koga than Tokyo is (two hours vs. one hour) and it costs a bit to get there by train (1400 yen one way…so that’s about 30 bucks to get back home, according to Google Maps). Because most of the JETs are around that area, when they schedule meet ups and hangouts, it’s primarily in Mito. It makes sense since Mito is the capital so there are lots to do there. But making the trek back and forth will start to drain my wallet. I want to hang out with them, I really do. But I can’t do it often, or at least as often as I would like.
Instead, I will be trying to make friends with the JETs/other ALTs close to me so we can all bond. Either that, or find people in Tochigi and Saitama. I just want to get rid of my slight cabin fever…
That’s all for now. If you want to see pictures of my life here in Japan, follow both of my Instagrams at @lucyniess and @theibarakianlife . I post some random stuff occasionally, mostly about food.