November 25, 2019
November 5, 2019
October 11, 2019
A very warm welcome to the GAJET team of 2019 – 2020! Some faces are familiar and some of them are new! We look forward to hosting some awesome events for you in the next year together!
Ciara Lily Malone, President. Contact Ciara at [email protected]
Hello everyone! I’m Ciara and I’m a third year, Elementary School
JET in Yoshii, Takasaki. I had an incredible time being Seibu Rep last year, and am excited to continue on my GAJET journey as your shiny, new President! Our prefecture would be nothing without your participation and sense of community, so come out and join us at our various events throughout the year! From canyoning in Minakami to camping in the woods of Akagi Mountain, from skiing at the Kusatsu Resort to some healthy rivalry at this year`s Gunma Games, there is always something to do in our amazing prefecture. Japan is an opportunity to get involved in a totally new environment, so take every moment that you can!
Try new things, travel new distances, learn a new language, and feel free to contact any of us at GAJET on the way. We`re here to help!
Camilla Webber, Vice-President. Contact Camilla at [email protected]
Howdily doodily neighbourinos! My name is Camilla and I`m from Glastonbury in the UK. I currently live in Fujioka City and I`m entering into my second year on JET. Gunma has its fair share of urban and rural, which provides the perfect
variety of places to visit and things to do.
In my spare time, I enjoy living an active lifestyle (whether that be running, swimming, hiking, or gym), travelling both inside and outside of Japan, and going to festivals (both music and Japanese matsuri). I also enjoy making the perfect cup of tea, ordering marmite off the internet, and practicing Ariana Grande ft. Nicki Minaj`s Side to Side at hitori karaoke.I always need help cleaning my royal family memorabilia, so please don`t hesitate to get in touch! I`m looking forward to seeing faces old and new at our events this year. Come join us for a cold beer at RUF Fridays!
Alex Krause, Secretary. Contact Alex at [email protected]
Hello! My name is Alex. I’m from a small town in Pennsylvania, USA, but I’ve been living in Takasaki for 2 years now. This is also my second year as secretary for GAJET.
I’m the unofficial official Gunma hype girl. I spend a lot of free time exploring our prefecture and highlighting its various gems on social media. If you ever need some tips on where to go, or would want to go on an adventure together, hit me up! I still have some Jomo Karuta spots I haven’t been to yet!
When I’m not running around Gunma, you might find me studying Japanese, playing badminton, or going on mild hikes. Oh, and don’t forget eating yummy treats!
I’m looking forward to meeting you all soon. Best of luck as you settle into the cabbage patch, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you need help with anything!
Mathew Masters, Treasurer. Contact Mathew at [email protected]
Good Morning people. Im Mathew Masters, your Treasurer/ Money Man for GAJET. I expect you all to be paying up this year to save me time sending the debt collectors. I’m a Kiwi (from New Zealand) and just another Takasaki JET in my 3rd year.
My hobbies are mostly comprised of Magic and occasional bowling. If you’re keen to join for Magic let me know. I do enjoy hiking but I wont do that until the Autumn, Summer isn’t fair. Then comes winter when I’m really keen! I enjoy snowboarding and eating hot soups. However any season is a good season for beer, so lets enjoy Japan. I look forward to seeing familiar faces and new faces at events. This should be another good year for Gunma ALTs with some good people on the GAJET team.
Paige Adrian, Editor. Contact Paige at [email protected]
Hello! My name’s Paige and I come from a place that I love to make people pronounce: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. This is my second year in Japan and my first year as your GAJET Editor. I’m excited to work with both old and new ALTs to share our best Gunma stories!
Feel free to send me your writing, photography, poetry, or art at any time. When I’m not bothering my junior high school students in Haruna, I’m usually playing badminton, eating too much ramen, or blasting music (within Japan’s noise regulations). I also love hiking, art, and movies, so if that’s your thing as well, hit me up! I can’t wait to see everyone at our GAJET events – let’s make this year count.
Alice Ridley, Webmaster. Contact Alice at [email protected]
Kia Ora! My name is Alice Ridley. I will be your webmaster for GAJET this year! I hail from a small country that is often left off maps – New Zealand! Yes, we are a real country proven by the incredible three kiwis represented in GAJET this year. We may be small, but we are mighty!
I am on my second year teaching JHS & ES in my second home of Fujioka. When Alice-sensei is off the clock I like getting involved in my local community or finding hidden gems of nature in my area. Like a lot of my committee members I love hiking in Gunma! It’s an excellent way to socialise with the other members of the cabbage patch and keep on top of your mental health! I love connecting people together with their passions so please don’t hesitate to ask for my help in the coming year! Good luck and always wear sunscreen.
Valerie Landers, Seibu Rep. Contact Valerie at [email protected]
Hi everyone! My name is Valerie. I grew up in Prince George’s County, Maryland, in the Washington, DC area. Now I live in Tomioka and I’m starting my fourth year as a senior high school ALT.
I’m basically a tropical houseplant, thriving in the sun and warm temps both Fahrenheit and Celsius. I love languages and linguistics and enjoy jigsaw puzzles and amateur hiking. My favorite Gunma adventures are fireworks, gardens, cafes, and mountains . My mission is to show the world how awesome Gunma is, and make it more accessible to my fellow Gunma JETs. This year I get to showcase Seibu goodness as Seibu Rep! Looking forward to seeing you at upcoming events! Welcome to Gumma!
Chris Sept, Chubu Rep. Contact Chris at [email protected]
Hello! My name is Sept, like September but shorter. However, despite my best efforts I was born in August. That’s fine though, as it makes me a Leo. And this little ball of Limelight left Portland, Oregon and is starting his 3rs year as the ALT for Maebashi Girls High School. I had never taught before, but jumping in head first is sort of my style. If it is yours too, we should meet and compare notes. I might be able to ease some of your concerns.
When I am not juggling speech and debate contests, you can see me tagging along with other JETs to festivals and events. I love learning about the lore and trivia of a place. It helps for inspiration when you spend most of your free time writing. I am working on a killer Tomioka Silk Mill Steampunk AU.
I look forward to meeting all of you and getting to know you. This is gonna be an adventure, trust me. Take it at your own pace, remember to drink water, and good luck.
Linka Wade, Tone/Agatsuma Rep. Contact Linka at [email protected]
Hello! I`m Linka Wade and I`m the Agatsuma-Tone Regional Rep
this year. I`m from Monterey, California (NorCal > SoCal) and I live
with my husband, and two guinea pigs in the middle of a rice paddy.I am a second year ALT at two very tiny and rural schools.
In my year of living here, I’ve fallen in love with the area and our community here. I can`t wait to share that love with incoming JETs and help to bring those in the Tone/Agatsuma region closer together (even though we’re usually pretty far apart). I enjoy cooking, hiking, dragging my husband out on adventures, and (luckily) not planning a wedding anymore! Yey! I`m excited to represent these two wonderful regions this year. Welcome to Gunma!
Aidan Koch, Tobu Rep. Contact Aidan at [email protected]
Kitty Houchen, General Committee. Contact Kitty at [email protected]
Hey everyone, my name is Kitty. I’m a second year JET from New Zealand, living in Kanra-Machi.
I love film and theatre, and anything art-related. I’m currently working on improving my Japanese, and enjoying all the wonderful opportunities that Gunma and Japan have to offer. When I’m not teaching, I enjoy exploring new parts of Japan, travelling overseas, and discovering new restaurants. Keep an eye out on the Gunmajet instagram for the おすすめ series for the best eateries in the region!
I’m looking forward to meeting and sharing the best of the cabbage patch with all of you. Enjoy the summer, it can be dreadful, but you’ll get through it and into Autumn – the best season in Gunma!
Thanks to everyone who submitted an application for the 2019-2020 GAJET Committee. You can vote by clicking here. Voting will end by the end of Wednesday, June 12.
Happy Reiwa, Gunma! I’m Ciara from the UK, going into my third year as an Elementary School teacher in Yoshii-machi. I’m hoping to become your shiny, new President! I’ve had an incredible time being your Seibu Rep for the past year, getting to know as many of you as I could, and organising some pretty memorable events! (Thank you for all your support – it’s been an absolute blast). Our prefecture would be nothing without your participation and sense of community, which I hope to uphold during my time as P.
GAJET is an overwhelmingly active organisation, beyond anything I could have imagined before I arrived in Japan. My time as Seibu Rep has given me the opportunity to engage in many new aspects of country life, and expand my understanding of both Gunma and its residents. From kokeshi painting to camping, from fireworks to illuminations, I have spent this past year working my absolute hardest to bring our gigantic community closer. As President, I want to bring you even more events that bring us even closer together, as well as updating and expanding our online resources, and upholding the values of the cabbage patch.
I hope I can spend another year bringing you the best of the inaka!
Good morning and おはようございます, wonderful Gunma ALTs! My name is Edward No and I’m running for the position of GAJET president! I’m currently a Takasaki-shi ALT and am loving every minute of it. When I’m not teaching, you can find me doing calisthenics, going to church, or looking for delicious restaurants around Gunma. If I haven’t met you already, I’m looking forward to doing so at the next GAJET event!
What can I do for you:
Act as a resource for all your Gunma needs – whether you’re looking for a local Japanese-English exchange circle, just need someone to help you navigate making your first doctor’s appointment, or figure out how to send money home through furikomi – I’m here to help you out or find someone who can!
Plan and host community events for all Gunma ALTs – did you love GAJET events like Gunma Games, Canyons, I CAN, and many more? Look forward to loving these events again this year. With the combined efforts of the GAJET board and community, these events will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of your year. Additionally, if you have great ideas for community events, we can make it happen! From planning to logistics to execution, I’m here to make your ideas a reality.
Passionate about community building
Deeply engaged with the Gunma ALT community
Take pride in overcoming challenges through collaboration
Enjoy supporting and empowering others
Optimistic with a Can-Do attitude
Thank you for your time and consideration! Have a great day!
When I heard I was placed on JET in Gunma prefecture, I knew that Gunma was famous for a few things: konnyaku, cabbage and strong women, to name a few. However, one thing I was not aware of, but learnt immediately on arriving here, is how warm, friendly and supportive the JET community is here.
Growing up in the countryside in the UK, I recognise that the community plays a different and far more important role here, compared to that in the city. As an active and very sociable person, I would love the opportunity to have direct participation and influence on keeping our community strong and well connected, by serving as either Vice President or Seibu Rep.
As VP, I would actively support the work of the President in ensuring the smooth operation of the many social events and activities that run throughout the year, which are so important for keeping our community interlinked. As Seibu Rep, I would adopt a more grass roots approach to running events specifically for the Seibu area. Running some familiar events that have run in the past, and hopefully introducing some new events that cater to the wealth of resources we have in Gunma, and to your desires as to what you would like to see from GAJET this year. In particular, I would like to implement more events over the winter period, when I feel we, as a community, need each other the most.
I think I am suitable for these positions because my favourite activity is having fun, so let’s have fun and enjoy!!!!! TANOSHIMIMASHOU!!!!!!!!!!
I’m a soon-to-be third year ALT in Takasaki, and I was lucky to serve on GAJET as this past year’s secretary. I was inspired during my first year by the summer conference speaker, who encouraged us to make the most of our limited time on JET. When I thought about how I wanted to spend that time, I realized that what made me happiest was helping new ALTs and showing people Gunma’s endless gems. I made a personal vow that, during my remaining time here, I would do my best to give back to the loving community that had made this cabbage patch feel like home.
I would like to reapply for the position of secretary because I feel I served well in that capacity this past year. My strengths, which include strong organization, time management, and working well with others, allowed me to further GAGET’s goals of bringing people together and putting on great events for the community. I consistently performed my duties and enjoyed meeting many ALTs throughout Gunma from various events.
I studied Accounting and Economics all the way up until University where I changed my studies to computers but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a good equation. I enjoy numbers and balancing them at the end so I’ll make sure things stay balanced. I was the Treasurer at Auckland Universities Pokémon Club as well which gives me at least a base line of knowledge. I hope that with this experience I can learn to cooperate with other people more professionally and manage myself better too. Also, some extra sparkles for my resume would be good. Thank you for your consideration.
Salutations, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Chris Sept and I would be honored to serve you either as your Chubu representative or your Secretary.
I have been a member of this community for close to 3 years and have been enjoying the benefits of wonderful people, events, and connections and it is time I used a bit of my experience to give back to JETs both veteran and rookie.
A fastidious writer and lover of learning new things, I have often taken on the role in any given setting to be the one who either leads discussions or takes notes. Growing up, I had a mind that tended to wander, which I am assured aids in creative thinking. After coming to Japan, I have trained myself to remain grounded through asking questions and writing everything down. Plus, I have found that taking a genuine interest in what people have to say is the best way to build trust and work constructively with other people. Given that GAJET is all about working together for the benefit of the community, I am ready to lend my helping hand and any other applicable appendage.
Prior to coming to Japan, I worked in a tech company that handled the infrastructure and projects of several high-profile clients, handling assets in the tens of thousands. I understand the importance of strict deadlines, competent delegation and clear communication. I also used to work in radio as a voice-over artist and promotions coordinator. This gig trained my impressive vocal skills and gave me first-hand experience of running large-scale events and appeasing crowds. I have used these skills to great benefit in my school work and I would like to bring them to bear for the benefit of my fellow ALTs.
There are big shoes to fill in the coming year and I am eager to get started. I look forward to being your resource for all the fun events we have in store.
I would love to be a part of the GAJET committee for 2019 – 2020 as a way to give back to a group who gave me so much in my first year! GAJETs hard work and effort has been a key part of why I’ve enjoyed this past year in the cabbage patch.
I would love to be able to rep you all as web master for the coming year! Through this position I want to ensure that the GAJET committee has effective web presence to inform you all lovely ALTs about what is happening here in Gunma. And working with the Editor to showcase the articles of what you’ve been up to.
In terms of experience I have I studied information systems and management in university. I would love to be able to web design skills and navigation optimization into practice. And to learn new things on the way. Previously I have built and managed a website for a youth organization (http://www.youthvoicecanterbury.org.nz/). I am a lover of a sleek and easily navigable website!
If you haven’t already met me before, hello! I am Alice Ridley a 23-year-old from Christchurch, New Zealand. I am passionate about communities and connecting people together. In my life in NZ I was an eager member of the social enterprise community and involved myself in changing making around youth policy and environment. Fun fact about me; I used to host a weekly sustainable living radio show on an alternative radio channel. In present day Japan I am currently volunteering for Peaceboat as on ground personnel and as the community editor for CONNECT magazine.
I am a reliable and motivated individual who loves crossing things off to do lists. Constantly trying to think of new ways of how we (GAJET committee) can do things better and what is needed by our “customers” aka you. If you choose me for web master 2019-2020 I hope to make you proud! Churrr.
Howdy! My name’s Paige Adrian and I live in the Haruna area of Takasaki. I’m going into my second year as an ALT and can’t wait to dedicate more time to this beautiful place I get to call home.
I’m interested in running for the Editor or Webmaster position, since I’m constantly on my laptop while secretly making it look like I actually go outside. My time in Japan has been an absolute blast thanks to Gunma’s fantastic community spirit, which is why I want to join GAJET and keep the good vibes going! Although the fun events are a main focus, our internet resources can be just as important for JETs, which is why I’m eager to contribute both online and off.
As a jack-of-all-trades I have previous amateur experience in writing/editing, photography/videography, and graphic design/illustration. I’ve also been on top of tech ever since my first high school job, where I taught elementary schoolers how to make dinosaur PowerPoints at the library. If elected, I’m hoping to make our online presence even more comprehensive by increasing our website resources, making information accessible and inclusive, and creating connections by showcasing our Gunma adventures on social media!
Thanks a bunch for your consideration. Let’s share some great times this year and make it A E S T H E T I C !
Kia Ora, or ‘hello’ in Kiwi. I’m Kitty. I’m a first-year Junior High school JET from New Zealand, living in Kanra-machi (I know, I hadn’t heard of it either). Despite the trepidation I felt when I received my placement, I’ve had an amazing time over the past year exploring Gunma. I’ve particularly enjoyed participating in an array of GAJET events, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to contribute to the community I now call home.
I come from a film and theatre background, and spent my time before JET screenwriting and designing shows for the Hamilton Operatic Society. It’s been exciting to see the growth of the GAJET website this past year, showcasing some amazing events happening all over our lovely prefecture. As an aspiring member of GAJET, I would strive to continue the great work of our current editor, and present even more quality content from all of you in our community.
Gunma is an incredibly diverse prefecture with so much to offer. From Oze to Ueno-mura, there is an unbelievable amount of things to do. So much so, that it can be difficult to keep up with what’s going on. To help discover the best cherry blossom spots, restaurants, festivals, and fun, I want to use the GAJET website as a platform to host the knowledge of our community for everyone.
Hello again!!!! After having an absolute blast serving on the 2018-2019 GAJET committee as Vice President, I’m ready and hype for Round 2! In the upcoming year I hope to serve as a representative for the Seibu region. This year’s reps have done a spectacular job, going above and beyond to provide a variety of top-notch activities for Seibu et al, and I’m excited to follow in their footsteps. They’ve raised the bar, so let’s reach it and more!
This will be my fourth year living and working in Tomioka. A good portion of these first three years has been spent adventuring around Gunma, getting to know some of its best spots. And if there’s one thing I love, it’s introducing others to the Gunma goodness surrounding us! As a regional representative I will organize hikes, movie nights, food trips and field trips, so we can get to know the Seibu region and our JET family better. My aim is to create opportunities for Gunma JETs to make and grow connections that will help them find success and joy in their Gunma life.
When it comes to building up our fantastic Gunma JET community, my mottos are “The more the merrier” and “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”. If Gunma’s awesome activities are made more accessible, more can join in the fun! As in this past year, as a regional representative I will work to make Gunma more accessible to fellow JETs in language and transportation, so that we can enjoy the best of Gunma!
Hello! I’m Linka, a (soon to be) 2nd year elementary ALT in Higashiagatsuma-machi. I live with my very patient fiancé Nick in the middle of a rice paddy. I love photography, hiking, traveling, and finding every flavor of soft cream possible.
In my year of living in the Agatsuma region, I’ve fallen in love with the area and our community here. I want to be able to share that love with incoming JETs and help to bring those in the Tone/Agatsuma region closer together (even though we’re usually pretty far apart). I have spent almost every weekend in the past year out exploring glorious Gunma; from festivals to hiking to flowers to onsen. I know I can come up with some great ways to share those experiences with everyone in this region. The Tone/Agatsuma region is a beautiful and under-visited area. One of my goals if I were to be elected as representative would be to bring more Gunma JETs here to experience what the region has to offer.
Above all, I have passion for this area and for the Gunma JET community. I want to help support our community and bring us all closer together. Thank you!
I am interested in GAJET because of its ability to bring people from all over Gunma together. Community is very important to me, and I want to make a warm and welcoming one for all Gunma ALTs, present and future. Cultivating a strong community here will make us all feel at home, and we could all use that in some way or another. After all, we are all here together as foreigners.
I have extensive experience throughout Boy Scouts, University Student Government, and Fraternity Operations that I know will make me an invaluable member of the GAJET team. I planned and executed an Eagle Scout Project in 2014, helmed my Residence Hall Council as President, planning activities that brought residents of the hall together to enjoy each other’s company, and I held multiple E-Boare Positions within my Fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi, where I swear through many different event from committee meetings to Senior Sendoffs and Alumni Gatherings. These experiences have taught me a lot about what it takes to make an event go well, and I am eager to bring my knowledge into GAJET.
If I should be privileged enough to become the Tobu Representative, I will do everything in my power to make Tobu and Gunma as a whole as welcoming as I can. Gunma has become my home, and I want it to be all of yours as well.
Good luck to all the candidates. We are looking forward to GAJET’s continued success in the 2019-2020 contract year!
Big thanks to everyone who submitted photos for the GAJET spring 2019 photo contest! You can see all the submissions down below. Vote for your favorite pictures via the Facebook photo gallery. One “like” equals a vote.
Voting has closed and our winner has been decided. Congratulations to Paul for his amazing photo of a daruma burning!
We hope to see more great photos for the next contest!
Looking for a way to meet new people in Gunma while having fun and competing? Say no more! It’s almost time for the sixth annual Gunma Games!
Never heard of the Gunma Games? The Gunma Games is usually the first large GAJET event after the new JETs arrive in Gunma. Come on out and represent your region in this Olympic-style sporting event! Events can range from trivia, paper crane folding, relay-race, and of course the ever-popular Ultimate Cabbage!
Athletes and non-athletes alike are welcome to participate. Regardless of your abilities, you’ll be sure to have a fun time.
The Gunma Games will be held on September 1st at Takasaki Ishihara Green Space. Please arrive by 11:30 as the opening ceremonies will commence at noon.
The Gunma Games wouldn’t be complete without the following Welcome Beer Garden. There’s no better way to end off a day in the sun than with drinking with your fellow competitors. Everyone is welcome to join us as the Takasaki Takashiyama Rooftop Beer Garden after the festivities.
Please sign up via the google document (click here), and remember to wear your region appropriate color to the event (PS. Speak to your regional representative if you don’t know what color you are)!
Time: Gunma Games (11:30 – 16:00) and Welcome Beer Garden (17:00 – 21:00)
Fee: Gunma Games (free) and Welcome Beer Garden (￥3,000 for males and ￥2,600 for females)
For more information, please check out the Facebook event or contact a GAJET member.
Welcome to Gunma! You’ve just arrived in Japan (more specifically, Gunma), and have spent the past few days trying to get acclimated to your new home. Perhaps you’ve been fighting the sweltering heat, navigating the soy-sauce aisle at your local grocery store, and facing off against other daily challenges which would not be a problem back in your home country.
Regardless of how your new adventures in Gunma have been, it’s definitely time for a proper welcome for the new JETs. GAJET is hosting a Welcome Party on Friday, August 17. Hosted by your lovely GAJET Seibu Reps, the party is aimed towards new JETs living in Gunma’s Seibu region (Takasaki, Kanra, Tomioka, Shimonita, Kanna, Uenomura, Nanmoku, Annaka, and Fujioka). Of course, everyone – new, old, and non-Seibu JETs – is welcome to come!
The party will be hosted at Gru Cafe and Restaurant in Takasaki City, and festivities will be from 6 PM to 9 PM. The cost for the event will be ￥2,700 per person, and will cover two drinks (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) as well as a buffet-style pasta menu. Registration is mandatory via Google Documents (click here). Please confirm your attendence by August 13th (those who cancel after this date will still be charged). For more information, please visit the Facebook event page or contact your Seibu Reps.
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 a busy event; taking public transit is the recommended method of transportation. The park is just a 15 minute walk from Takasaki Station. GAJET will be gathering at Takasaki City Hall and heading towards the park at 6 PM. The fireworks are set to begin around 7:40 PM.
Hope to see you there!