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  • By Editor | 17th July 2018 | No Comments

    With summer in full swing, we are once again approaching matsuri (festival) season. Within Gunma, the Takasaki matsuri is always a popular attration. This year, the festival will fall on August 4th and 5th. There’s no better way to enjoy the festival than with your fellow JETs. So let’s put on our yukatas, grab some delicious street food, and enjoy the fireworks!
    If you would like to experience this event with your fellow JETs, please come out on August 4th to Takasaki Park (specific meeting spot TBD). Takasaki matsuri is usually …

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  • By Charlie Hayes | 2nd July 2018 | No Comments

    Before I got here, I sent a lot of emails and Facebook messages about ultimate frisbee. I asked in Gunma ALTs and I bothered the people in Tokyo. I was informed that there was no such thing as ultimate frisbee in Gunma. A lot of people said they had tried, but they ended up shrugging their shoulders and saying, “shoganai, ne?”
    “Shoganai” is not a word that I take kindly to.
    At Gunma Games, I brought out a disc and found that a few others had, too. Tossing around, we talked about …

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  • By Editor | 1st July 2018 | No Comments

    Introducing the 2018-2019 GAJET committee! Thanks to everyone who voted.

    Devyn Couch, President
    Greetings! My name is Devyn Couch, and I’m your friendly neighborhood GAJET president this year. Originally hailing from one of New Jersey’s many shore towns, I’m now entering my third year as a JHS JET in Tamamura. Before moving to Japan, I spent several amazing years teaching both general and special education at the elementary school level, so the jump to junior high was admittedly a little scary! However, I wouldn’t trade the connections I’ve made with my students …

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  • By Rachael Lynn Howard | 15th February 2018 | 1 Comment

    Hello! Seeing as this is my first post, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Rachael, and I am a first-year ALT living in Nakanojo, a small town with mountains on all sides. My hobbies are reading, writing, drawing, and eating; things that can all be conducted at my favorite sort of place in the world: a cafe. I love the productive atmosphere and the versatility of being alone or in a group. Furthermore, sitting down for a drink and a snack at a cafe provides a respite …

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  • By Charlie Hayes | 1st February 2018 | 1 Comment

    So you need to get a background check, huh?
    Maybe you’re moving out of the country, or maybe you just want a change of pace here when your contract is up, but either way, this is the place you need to go:
    群馬県警察鑑識科学センター
    〒371-0846 Gunma-ken, Maebashi-shi, Motosōjamachi, 535−1
     
    They’re open from 8:30 to 5.
    It’s 1.4 km from Shim-Maebashi station, so you might want to take a cab. If not, there’s an underground walkway, but it’s kinda hard to get to from the station. Go straight out the main exit, turn right at the main …

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Travel

Travel recommendations and tips.

Teaching

Ideas for the classroom.

Food and Drink

Highlights from Gunma’s dining scene.

Guides

“How-to” guides for living in Gunma and Japan.

日本 in General

General Japan-related topics.

Food and Drink »

By BY TAMARA SCHOENBERGER | 3rd April 2017 | No Comments

~Osusume Café Series~
written by Tamara Schoenberger
___________________________________________________
This week’s café review is for anyone who appreciates a hot coffee paired with some cool jazz.
Concert Café in Takasaki
I almost didn’t notice this café as I walked past. But from the inside, deep and earthy tones of a double bass found their way through seams and glass panes and leaked into the streets. The low, inviting rhythm caught my attention and I had to stop and listen.

By the entrance there is a menu board listing all the artists to play over during the current month. I …

Food and Drink »

By BY TAMARA SCHOENBERGER | 13th March 2017 | No Comments

~Osusume Café Series~
written by Tamara Schoenberger
___________________________________________________
Warming your hands with a steamy mug of house coffee as you look around in awe of the cozy, contemporary and themed atmospheres of Japan’s coolest cafes doesn’t have to be limited to weekend ventures to Tokyo! With these articles, I aim to bring the spotlight to the more than deserving cafes of Gunma. Even in the inaka (and surprisingly enough, especially in the inaka) there are hidden gems scattered all around the prefecture just waiting to be unearthed. As I find these, I want to …

Guides, 日本 in General »

By BY NEAL BEAVER | 27th January 2017 | 1 Comment

Finding music gear in Gunma
by Neal Beaver
 
New Year’s resolution is to get a new hobby? If you’ve set your heart on learning a musical instrument, but don’t know where to get one, this guide is for you! I used to trek all the way to Tokyo, thinking the big city would have the best deals, but I learned that Gunma has hidden gems of its own. There are plenty of music stores in Gunma that didn’t make this list. If you had a great experience somewhere, please share in the …

Guides, 日本 in General »

By Sabrina Cramer | 25th July 2016 | 1 Comment

So you’ve decided that you want to keep your original phone from your country and only get a sim card in Japan. Use this handy guide to get yourself set up!

Guides, 日本 in General »

By Rodney Sloan | 22nd January 2016 | No Comments
Snow – A Beginner’s Guide

It starts snowing and my brain goes into survival mode. My t-shirt reads “I survived Snowmageddon”, but snow is as alien to me as a South African in an izakaya. We don’t get snow in South Africa—at least that’s what I tell people—but speaking for myself, it’s more that we don’t “get” snow.

Guides, 日本 in General »

By Cece Chu | 13th January 2016 | No Comments
Leaving JET?

It’s been about four months since I’ve left Gunma after my year on JET. I’m currently working full-time at a private school teaching third grade as an aide, while also actively looking for the next step in my career. Finding a job is on everyone’s minds as they end their tenure in Gunma. I think about Japan pretty often, and came up with a list of things I wish I knew (and wish I did) while I was in Japan. Hopefully, this can help you in preparing to go back …

Guides »

By Greg Morrison | 1st December 2015 | 2 Comments
Not Recontracting? What to Do After JET

You’ve run out of ideas for warm up activities and you no longer get excited by 24-hour combinis. JTE small talk still isn’t getting any easier and, worryingly, you’re actually starting to like melonpan. Despite Japan feeling like a second home, you’re edging towards the dramatic conclusion that is “Stage 4.” It’s time to awkwardly decline that offer to recontract because, if you’re honest with yourself, you know it’s time to move on. Only one issue remains: what next?

Food and Drink, Guides »

By Mitch Goddard | 27th November 2015 | No Comments
Tokyo’s Top Five Cafés

As I sit in the staffroom sipping my lukewarm, bitter, flavorless school drip coffee (because I’ve run out of the next best thing, Blendy sticks) I cast my mind back to my weekend in Tokyo… visiting amazing cafés, stylishly drinking macchiatos as if I was Kim Kardashian buying shoes at Louis Vuitton. If you’re feeling like me and (constantly) craving a decent coffee then here is my top five cafés to visit in Tokyo for a bloody decent coffee.

Food and Drink, Guides »

By Pat Penny | 13th November 2015 | 1 Comment
Takasaki’s Top Three Ramen Shops

The temperature is steadily dropping here in Takasaki. As the crisp night air of fall makes way for the dreaded karakaze of winter only one thing can drag me from the warm confines of my apartment (or my kotatsu). Ramen.

Guides, 日本 in General »

By Joshua Andrews | 19th August 2015 | 1 Comment
Rugby in Japan

World Cup rugby is just around the corner and warm-up games are already being played. As this year’s World Cup is being held in my home country (England) I thought it was high time that my friends in Gunma get a lesson on rugby.