When I was accepted to JET in April of 2009, I had to wait to find out where I was going to be placed. I thought it was a once-in-a-lifetime event, taking a job without knowing where you were going to be going.
Fast forward 5 years and a few months, and here I am again. My new employer covers a much smaller area than JET, but I still don't know where I will be living next month.
The two possible places where I could work and live are Tokyo and its surrounding areas or Nagoya and maybe its surrounding areas. Half the people I talk to think Tokyo sounds better, and the other half cheer for Nagoya.
Tokyo. The pulse of the nation. 35 million people in the Greater Tokyo Area (Tokyo + surrounding areas). That’s more people than the entire state of New York. More than Texas. More than Florida. Only the population of the state of California beats it.
Tokyo has tons of free things to do. Exciting things are happening everywhere. There are all kinds of people to watch, places to go, and parks in which to picnic.
Living in Tokyo would be exciting and crammed full of people.
Nagoya. I knew Nagoya was south of Tokyo, but I couldn’t place it in my mind for a while. It is about 4 hours southwest of Tokyo, which makes it closer to Osaka – about 2 hours away. By the way, when I just search for Nagoya, the first three listings are for the sushi restaurant in Ridgeland with the same name. There are 8.7 million people in the area, which would make it our 12th largest state if we transferred it over here. Population-wise, it’s about the equivalent of the DC-Baltimore-Northern Virginia area.
Nagoya has several festivals in the autumn that sound fascinating. But we all know my attraction to festivals! The Nagoya Festival happens in October and includes a huge parade with people costumed as historical characters. Also in October is a festival of street performances, including monkey tricks and something with gold dust.
At first, I really thought that I just wanted to live in Tokyo for the next three months. It would be completely different from my life on the northern coast. But then I found out about Nagoya’s festivals…
I think I can safely say now that no matter what my assignment says, I won’t be disappointed. There will be new and exciting things to discover in all locations.
Now, it’s just about time to go open up my assignment and see what it says. Oh, I didn’t mention that it arrived this morning?
I can’t wait to find out!