Saga Love

What will you miss most about Saga?

  • Definitely the people both Japanese and foreign, but also living in such a picturesque and interesting town. Lots of little local places to eat, bars, etc. Karatsu ALT 2011-2014.
  • The people! My students, coworkers, and the amazing friends I’ve made on JET. Omachi ALT 2012-2014.
  • I was talking with one of the new ALT’s this year and they asked what my ideal placement would be and as I described it, I realized it basically fit Karatsu to a “t”: not in a big city but about an hour away from one, decent-sized local area with supermarkets, a few good bars/restaurants, an apartment not far from nature-y stuff out in the countryside, and in Kyushu (not much snow). Karatsu ALT 2011-2014.
  • I will miss the relaxed pace and small town atmosphere of Saga. The natural beauty and geographical variance between cities is so beautiful and gives you a lot of opportunity to travel around. Arita Town ALT 2013-now.
  • The great food and outdoors. Peoples friendliness. Saga City ALT 2010-2014.
  • My job and by implication, the people I work with both inside and outside of the office. As CIR and also as PA no two days at work were the same. From day one, there was always a new challenge for me to learn from. Whether it was a technical translation that required half a day of research, an interpretation gig where I onsen-ed with three Pakistani women in their towels, a school visit in the mountains with just 15 students age 10-15 (one of them announcing to the surprise of his peers and teachers at the end that he wants to study 4 years at a foreign university) or an “emergency” meeting with the DRs to put together the Saga JET Programme website, I was always pushed to exercise a variety of skills, some of which came easier than others. Really, I’ve been very lucky to have great co-workers and bosses who both respected me and guided me. I would totally have stayed another year! Saga City CIR 2012-2014.
  • I will miss the amazing Saga JET community, made up of current and past JETs, other foreigners, and the local Japanese people. I have met and made so many amazing friends here. Other things I will miss: being so close to beautiful nature, my students and the conversations I have with them, having an extremely active social life, the ease of getting places and all the opportunities to get involved with things or get out and explore. Saga City ALT 2011-2014.
  • The tight-knit JET (+friends) community! Of course there are many other things, but I think this experience would have been way less enjoyable if I lived in one of the many prefectures where people don’t know each other half as well or hang out at events half as much. I think we kind of take this for granted in Saga, but I was really surprised once I joined the AJET National Council to hear that most prefectures are not like this. I think we are super lucky, because it really enhanced my experience and helped to feel less lonely and homesick. Shiroishi ALT 2009-2014.
  • I will also miss (in no particular order)
    • having my neighbors randomly bring me fresh vege
    • kaiten sushi
    • seeing all my friends and colleagues naked…. I mean… ONSEN TRIPS
    • the convenience of convenience stores, and the ability to buy reasonable food at a cheap price there
    • hanami parties
    • nomi/tabe-houdai (though my waistline will be grateful when I leave these behind)
    • working at my own vege patch
    • speaking Japanese. Shiroishi ALT 2009-2014.
  • People you meet will inevitably ask you “Saga is a really easy place to live isn’t it?” and I have gotten so used to saying yes that I start to forget how truly easy it is to live in Saga. My apartment is really close to the train station and bus station, and my office. I live close to a 24 hour full grocery store, a convenience store, a laundromat, and within a 10 minute bike ride of one mall and a 15 minute bike ride of another. Taking care of daily life has been pretty easy but the thing I will miss the most will be all of the experiences I’ve had tied to specific locations. The time I went to such and such restaurant with so and so, the time I stumbled into a random bar with a great friend and a tremendous heart to heart. For me, Saga and my time here has been a great combination of great friends and great places to explore with them. Saga City CIR 2011-2014.