Welcome to Saga Prefecture!
We want to celebrate the things that make living and working in Saga a fantastic and fulfilling experience for JETs and visitors alike. We don’t buy into the New York Times’ description of Saga as “an obscure southern prefecture” and a “bucolic corner of southern Japan“. Even though 90% of Japanese people couldn’t point to Saga on a map, all of us happily call Saga home!
Where are we?
Saga is located in the northwest of Kyushu neighboring Fukuoka, Nagasaki, and Oita Prectures. It covers about 2500 square kilometers and has a population of around 810,000. It’s what the Japanese call 田舎 (inaka = rural), a sprawl of mountains and beautiful rice fields interspersed with cities and towns. It has also been a major trading port throughout Japanese history.
Saga is lucky to be easily connected to major transport hubs like Fukuoka Airport, the Kyushu shinkansen, and many trains and buses allowing us to travel widely and freely. Saga is a beautiful prefecture and everyone who visits falls in love with it!
Saga is divided into three districts: Kito District, Sajo District, and Karamatsu District. Each district is its own smaller community within the larger community of Saga Prefecture. Within each district, there are sempai (senior) JETs who act as District Representatives and assist other JETs living within that district. You can find more information on each of the districts on their individual district pages linked above, or under the ‘Welcome’ tab.
Each district comprises a number of different cities and towns, which may or may not contain JET Programme ALTs. Note that some cities or towns may not have any JETs listed. These towns/cities most likely employ ALTs, but via private contracting companies (such as Interac or KBS), rather than through the JET Programme. The map below shows the location and numbers of JETs within each district. Since Karatsu City covers such a large area, we have chosen to show the approximate town locations of JETs in that region. The distribution of JETs in terms of both numbers and locations may vary over time.
Who are we?
Saga JETs are well known in Saga and the surrounding prefectures as a very socially active group, with many opportunities to get out and do things (see the events and volunteer pages). It’s an inclusive community among which you can certainly find friends from the start.
Coming to Saga not only gives you the opportunity to experience and learn about Japan, but also other countries, cultures, languages and life styles. In total, the JET community is composed of 30 ALTs and 7 CIRs, from around 11 countries such as America, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Vietnam, England, Germany, Korea, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, and the Netherlands.
The pages on this website are full with the great things Saga has to offer. The Three Minute Trip To Saga video below gives you more of an insight, including:
- Karatsu Kunchi
- Saga International Balloon Fiesta
- Sagan Tosu (local soccer team)
- Saga Ballooners (local basketball team)
- Yutoku Inari Shrine
- Karatsu Castle
- Yoshinogari Historial Park
- Porcelain (Arita, Imari, Karatsu)
- Saga Prefecture Space and Science center
- Niji-no-matsubara (historic pine forest)
- Nanatsugama Caves
Check out this one-page overview that highlights some of the great things about about Saga, or try the events, districts and exploring and travel pages for more detailed information.