GAJET is taking on the tallest mountain in Japan this summer! The overnight hike will begin on the morning of August 11. After a day of hiking, there will be a cabin waiting for the tired travelers. At midnight, we will continue towards the summit (another 4-5 hour hike) and catch the beautiful sunrise.
Spots are limited to 14 people, so sign up ASAP through the registration form here (click here).
Lodging per person is expected to be around 8,500 yen. After signing up, you will receive information on how to electrically transfer this fee to GAJET (payment for lodging is due by July 5th). Please also note that toilets are 200 yen per use, and that there are no showers available up the mountain.
With summer just around the corner, it’s time again to say farewell to our fellow JETs departing from the programme. Join GAJET and many leaving JETs for our annual Farewell Beer Garden on July 20 from 5:00 pm.
We will be meeting at the rooftop beer garden at the Takashimaya building near Takasaki station (map here).
You are free to come and leave as you please, although we recommend coming early to get the most out of your entry fee (and to say your goodbyes). Entry is 3,000 yen for males and 2,600 for females. This price includes all-you-can-eat and drink!
Join GAJET as we watch the first movie to be released after the epic adventures from Endgame. We will be meeting at Keyaki Walk’s United Cinemas (map here) on Saturday, June 29 to watch Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Specific movie time to be announced. Be sure to check out the Facebook event page for more information and to keep up with the updates.
Join GAJET this summer as we spend an evening in cabins among the woods. We will be meeting at Riheijaya Forest Park (map here), which is a long drive up Akagi mountain, on June 22 at 3:00pm. Come for the BBQ, stay for the good times with your friends!
Your 2,500 yen fee will cover lodgings in a cabin (with futon and bedding), a BBQ dinner, and the next morning’s breakfast.
Interested individuals should register by filling out the Google document (here).
The GAJET community gathered in Maebashi this past Saturday for the eighth annual I Can Japan charity event. ALTs and locals alike gathered for an evening of great food, performances, and prizes. All the money raised at this event is given to the Komochiyama foster home in Shibukawa, Gunma.
We hope to see you all next year. In the meantime, check out the photos from the event. Thanks to Jansen Magarro and Gavin Au-Yeung for taking pictures.
GAJET’s annual charity pot-luck dinner will be returning again. This will be the eighth annual fundraiser event. This year’s event is scheduled for May 25. 100% of proceeds from the event will be donated to Komochiyama Foster Home in Shibukawa.
We will be looking for donations and volunteers in the coming months.
Event entry is 500 yen plus a potluck dish to serve five people. Participants without potluck dishes will be asked to pay 1500 yen.
Please follow this link (click here) to sign up for the event via Google Documents.
I Can Japan began as an endeavor to support the communities affected by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Borrowing the kanji characters for love (愛, ‘ai’) and feelings (感, ‘kan’), I Can Japan 2019 will mark the third year of GAJET supporting Komochiyama’s cause; 100% of the proceeds raised will be donated to the foster home. Your contributions will help provide invaluable resources for the children living there.
Komochiyama is home to more than 50 children ranging from infants to teenagers. The home provides a safe, supportive, and engaging environment for these growing children.
During the visit, GAJET members took part in many fun activities with the children. The afternoon started off with self-introductions from the kids, staff, and GAJET members. After we got to know each other, we began the fun activities outside.
The first game we played was a hybrid of Simon Says and Red Light, Green Light. The goal of the game was to listen carefully and move forward only when ‘Simon says’. The kids caught on quick and it became an intense race to the finish line. The children had a great time taking large leaps towards the goal, while GAJET members struggled to keep their balance.
Afterwards, the group played Capture the Bacon. This game involved arranging the kids in numbered groups based on their size. When a number gets called out, the corresponding group would race towards the ‘bacon’ (in this case, a small bag), the first person to pick it up is the winner. This was initially confusing for some of the younger kids. It was hilarious to see some of them charging at the ‘bacon’ at every chance they got – regardless of which number was called out.
Finally, we played a fierce game of Duck-Duck-Goose. Racing around the circle of people with a 5 year old chasing after you was a challenge. It was actually quite defeating to be tagged by a kid a quarter of your size. Once tagged you would be forced to sit in the middle of the circle, and become the ‘duck soup.’ While in the circle, the slurping sounds and tiny chomping jaws begin. Some of the kids would say you are delicious while others would show disgust. The children had no restraint in telling us what they thought.
To cool down after all the excitement, we ventured back inside to make paper suns for I Can Japan. Be sure to come out on May 25 to see their beautiful creations. Suns, faces, and cartoon characters were only some of the pieces of art that were made.
Four o’clock had come and we had to say our goodbyes. Hugs and head pats were a plenty, and some kids held on to us a little longer than others. I found myself surrounded by the children, ripping off their nametags and slapping them onto my jacket.
This afternoon served as a reminder that we are easily caught up in our lives; losing sight of what is happening around the community. We are truly fortunate to be ALTs in Gunma. The time we spent at the foster home showed us that children are able to enjoy their lives despite their unfortunate experiences. It showed us the strength of these children. Furthermore, the workers at Komochiyama deserve recognition for maintaining a safe, clean and healthy place for these kids to grow. We were able to witness the love, compassion and kindness they have for these children.
It is from this strong sense of community that we can move forward and proudly say “I Can!”
Jansen Magarro is a fourth year JET in Tatebayashi. He is on this year’s GAJET committee as the Tobu representative. Come out and say “hi” to him at I Can Japan.