I’ve gotten really behind with posting again, and I apologise for that. I’ve never been good at sticking to a routine, no matter how hard I try. But I’ve been wanting to make a post for a while about how I’ve now completed my first year in Japan!
I arrived in Beppu for the first time in August 2018, having never heard of it or visited it before. I was a little nervous, but mostly just excited to start living here, and relieved I got here at all (since initially I didn’t get accepted).
As of last month, it’s been a year since I arrived here and a year that I’ve been working at Beppu City Hall.
So what’s happened in that year?
- I helped MC some exchange events between Beppu and its sister cities – Bath in the UK and Rotorua in New Zealand
- I attended to various guests to Beppu including a Maori dance group, multiple journalists, Rugby Union members, rugby players, rugby equipment providers, a sculptor, and more
- I translated numerous forms that foreigners have to complete for procedures as City Hall, and helped out with interpreting for different procedures, providing a reassuring presence to people who couldn’t speak Japanese
- I made English versions of event information and maps so that foreign residents in Beppu could take part in local life and experience Japanese traditions
- I native-checked articles for a local magazine
- I did English announcements for a firework festival
- I travelled to Tokyo, Osaka, Shiga and Nagasaki
- I went to a sakura-viewing party for the first time
- I taught two English courses (once a week for 10 weeks) for City Hall employees – one beginner and one intermediate level
- I tried an onsen for the first time
- I went to an onsen festival and got (intentionally) drenched in onsen water with a bunch of people
- I appeared in and was interviewed for multiple local newspaper articles, did a recording for NHK Radio (which’ll be broadcast this Sunday and available to listen to on their website afterwards along with recordings by many other CIRs all over Japan – please give them all a listen, and find out some hidden gems to visit!) to promote Beppu in English to people from Western countries, wrote an article for the CLAIR (the company that runs JET Programme) newsletter, wrote an article for Yomiuri Shinbun’s TSUMUGU Project (it’s not up there yet but it will be soon!) and got invited to and did a live one-on-one interview for a local TV channel
- I designed characters based on local sightseeing areas and dressed up as them with friends for Halloween
- I fed a lion (yes, really)
- I joined the local AJET (kinda like a student committee for JETs in each area, we arrange fun events and provide information about local life etc.) Council and became the Website Manager
- I took and passed JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) N2 – the second highest level
It was a great year, and I experienced so many things and have improved and grown so much, I can only hope that the next year brings even more awesome experiences and fun times!