The end of this year's contract is approaching:
*Check the above dates against the official contract given to you by your CO
The last week of April to the first week of May, commonly referred to as "Golden Week", is a group of several holidays lined up back to back to give people some time off during Spring (though not the entire week, many Japanese people take time off if their job allows during this time. If you plan to travel in Japan, be prepared for large crowds).
The individual holidays are:
April 29 (April 30, 2018 observed), Showa Day
(昭和の日 － しょうわのひ)
The birthday of the previous Japanese emperor, Emperor Hirohito, who reigned from 1926-1989. During his life, it was celebrated as the Emperors Birthday, and after his death it was changed Greenery day at first, and then in 2007 to Showa Day.
May 3, Constitution Memorial Day:
(憲法記念日 － けんぽうきねんび）
The current Japanese constitution was set as law on May 3rd, 1947. Though there isn't a specific way people celebrate this day, newspapers will often run pieces about the Constitution, especially the controversial and increasingly discussed Article 9 added due to World War II, which renounces war and maintains that Japan will not have an army.
May 4, Greenery Day
(みどりの日 ー みどりのひ)
Japanese law says that if there is a day between two holidays, it is also a day off of work, so this day originally started as simply a day off between Constitution Memorial Day and Children's Day. It wasn't until 2007 when this day was named Greenery Day to celebrate nature.
May 5, Children Day:
(こどもの日 － こどものひ）
The holiday began in 1948, though up until recently it was celebrated as Boys Day (With Girls Day celebrated on March 3rd). The holiday is a celebration of children's happiness. You will likely see many carp streamers (鯉のぼりーこいのぼり）hung. Traditionally a black carp represents the father, a red carp represents the mother, and with a carp for each of the children in a family.
Gifu AJET Wagashi Cooking Class
Learn how to make Japanese traditional sweets (wagashi)
When: Saturday, May 12th
RSVP by May 9th
Where: Gifu city
For more details check out the Facebook event (if you do not have a facebook, feel free to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we will pass on all the information):
Applications are now open for the grant provided by CLAIR for re-contracting JETs (both ALTs and CIRs are eligible) who wish to improve their English teaching skills by taking an online course to get certified in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or TESOL (Teaching English to Students of Other Languages).
The grant is ￥15,000 towards the course.
Application deadline: May 25
For the application and more details about eligibility and the grant can be found here
We highly recommend JETs take advantage of this opportunity, especially those who are interested in teaching English after JET as many other companies/countries desire a TEFL or TESOL certification.
If you are a first year JET currently using an International Drivers Permit (IDP) but planning on driving next year, we recommend starting the process of getting your Japanese Drivers License now (if you haven't already!).
During July, driving centers get very crowded and it often takes up to six weeks until the next available appointment. People will also find that they may have to take the driving test 1-2 times before they pass, so you don't want to be stuck with an expired IDP and have to take a taxi to work (it has happened to JETs before).
You can find detailed information about the process at this page of the website (Shout out to Sarah D. for compiling such a complete guide to the process!).
CLAIR usually releases the JET Placements for the 2018 Arrivals in Mid-Late May. This means there will be the annual wave of new people posting on the Gifu AJET Facebook page, other Facebook pages and websites.
Departing JETs- if you happen to find your successor on Facebook, please be aware you are not supposed to contact them until you receive BoE approval, so please wait until you receive the go-ahead from your supervisor. This delay between when your successors find out their placements and when you can contact them due to CLAIR asking all CO's to wait to contact new JETs until we have all the reply forms collected and placements finalized. Thanks for your understanding!