Tokyo has 2 supersized airports so we headed off in a bus to one 45min from the Hotel and our flight was 1.5hrs to Oita airport. After landing and collecting our baggage we were met by our employers; for Megan that was a man from the Kitsuki -shi (Kitsuki city) Board of Education and her sister (obviously not the employer) and her kids. And mine had actually been on the flight down so i had no 'nervous and exciting' suprise waiting!
As we are employed by different Board of educations I was shipped of in a bus with 4 others to Oita city (same size as chch) and Megan headed for Yamaga (8,000ppl and the town that Jo, her sister, lives in). On arriving in Oita we had an afternoon of free time so the 5 of us explored the central city. We stumbled across a water throwing ceremony which seems to be done on very hot days and a small mandaline orchestra playing at the community/cultural centre. A meal that night gave me my first taste of raw horse meat (so good!), chicken cartildge, cows tongue and of course more of the great japanese beer! The next day was about going over our contracts, meeting staff (who i'll never see again), orientation stuff and a small but super formal ceremony with the B.O.E superintendent. You should all be aware Japan is the home of ceremonies and there seems to be one for everything, basically a lot (and i mean a lot) of bowing to people. Quite fun really!
I also visited my school for the first time and met my main teacher, the vice principal and principal. Found my desk and my shoe cubby (shoe blog will come later!). They kindly gave me Friday off to get settled but poor megs had to work till midday!
To top it all off the whole experience was considered a business trip meaning i actually got paid 5000 yen to eat amazing food, stay in a hotel and explore the city! Awesome.
Now we are in Yamaga which is about 30mins from where we will live, Hiji. Being an 'alien' in Japan means we need to get an alien registration card and once we have this we can do everything else we need to do....cell phones, car insurance, bank accounts etc. So until those come through we will stay here.
Yamaga is a small town where Jo lives. It's in the mountains and has rice fields everywhere, i've never seen a place so green. The hills are covered in forest, the rice is green, green green green. And the traditional Japanese homes make it a sight from a movie. A world away from Tokyo but just the Japan we wanted.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Posted by Megan and Nathan at 5:34 PM