Culture Shock

Culture Shock

“You will feel tired and frustrated, and small things like working out whether a bottle of liquid at the supermarket is soy sauce or fish sauce will start to seem like big problems.” Many explanations of culture shock are somewhat lacking in terms of understanding why it happens, so, for those of you who haven’t gone through it before or don’t understand what causes it, here is a good analogy that provides some degree of clarity. The Cultural Iceberg Model Think of culture as an iceberg which is  divided into three major sections. Level 1 The small bit that sticks Read more »

Autumn in Niigata: Where to fall in love with Fall

Autumn in Niigata:  Where to fall in love with Fall

The leaves on numerous trees, spectacular shades of yellow, orange, and red, are whipped up by the seasonal winds into great flickering clouds before finally forming a firey mosaic at our feet. Momijigari or “autumn leaf hunting” has been a popular pastime in Japan since the 8th Century, featuring in Murosaki Shikibu’s famous 11th Century novel Genji Monogatari (The Tale Of Genji) and colouring the pages of numerous collections of poetry.  Nowadays both locals and tourists alike take time to seek out and enjoy the changing leaves all over the country. While Niigata Prefecture is famous for being green, our Read more »

Summer Festivals

Summer Festivals

Summer in Niigata is awash with hundreds of festivals all over the prefecture.   For new JETs these are a great way to experience  the very heart of your communities and this amazing prefecture before you have to knuckle down into the teaching role. Below is information on some if the events that may be happening near you.         Murami , Shibata Serpent Matsuri August 24th  ( Mini snake carried by local children) August 25th  ( Fireworks) August 26th  (Giant Snake!!) A festival connected with a local legend about a man who fought a giant snake. On Sunday 26th  Read more »

Summer Fireworks 2018

Summer Fireworks 2018

Photo by: Penelope Woznicki Is that summer we smell in the air? Clearly it is! And in Japan, summer means FIREWORKS! As a result, here at AJET we’ve compiled a list of the main upcoming fireworks festivals this summer. It’s time to get that evening picnic gear ready!   Gion Kashiwazaki Matsuri This festival over the sea is one of the most popular in Niigata Prefecture, and with good reason – it’s absolutely stunning! Date: Thursday, 26th July 2018 Time: 7:30pm – 9:10pm Location: Kashiwazaki Central Beach, Minatomachi Seaside Park area   Nagaoka Fireworks    The biggest fireworks in the Read more »

2018 AJET Outland Farewell Party!

2018 AJET Outland Farewell Party!

  Another year out with a Banging Outland Party. ALTs, CIRs,  friends and people within the local communities all came together for a one last “hopefully not goodbye , but see you later”. It was a night filled with fun ,laughter, music and a few tears as we celebrated on a June Summer night.  All the JETs leaving us this year will be sorely missed, and we  all wish you the best of luck with your next adventure.  Hopefully the friends made here in Niigata will stay with you for many years. Special  thanks is needed for Sam Haley, the amazing Read more »

Calling all Artists: Musical Poster Competition

Calling all Artists: Musical Poster Competition

Would you like to be involved in this year’s musical? How about helping us raise interest and money for charity? We‘re looking for people who are willing to volunteer poster designs for this year’s musical poster: The Three Musketeers! Your ideas need to be created for use on flyers and larger posters and will need space for information about the musical venue, times, etc. Feel free to use our wonderful past posters as an example! Design ideas can be sent to us in any format (a phone photo of pencil on paper is fine!) But the finished format will need Read more »

Niigata AJET Skills-giving!

Niigata AJET Skills-giving!

Saturday, November 25th, 6pm, Joetsu Workpal (ワークパル) It’s that time again. The leaves are changing, the temperature is dropping, and pumpkin spice is back on the Starbucks menu. We will be celebrating the coming of autumn with the annual Thanksgiving Feast in Joetsu City. Its a great chance to ward off the homesick blues, and give thanks with your new JET family. You can either cook your favorite dish from home, or gorge yourself on the glorious feast. Cookers – ¥500 + a dish to serve at least four people. Eaters – ¥1500 To sign up to be a chef, Read more »

Summer Fireworks 2017

Summer Fireworks 2017

Photo By: Penny Woznicki Summer in Japan is synonymous with festivals, and with that comes fireworks! You’ll no doubt have heard of fireworks going on all over the prefecture, so we’ve compiled a list of some of the best displays around. Gion Kashiwazaki Matsuri Launched over the ocean, these unique fireworks glisten off the sea in one of the larger displays in the south end of the prefecture. Date: Wednesday, July 26th Time: 7:30 pm – 9:10 pm Location: Minato Tomachi Beach Park Area Nagaoka Fireworks These fireworks memorialize the war efforts during WWII and are a massive display that Read more »