AJET Blocks

Which AJET Block represents you?

AJET Block Map

To find out what’s going on in the JET world all over Japan, check out each area’s website below or contact a Block Representative.

Block 1 Representative: Yolanda Espiritu

2013yolanda.jpg Welcome to the north side of Japan, Block 1! Our block includes Hokkaido, Aomori, Akita, and Iwate. The winter snow and the countryside are probably the most defining characteristics of our region. Here, people definitely make use of what nature and the change of seasons bring! For example, we have famous ski/snowboard resorts, national parks, forests, and of course, onsens. You will find yourself in awe at the view of Iwate’s Sanriku Coast (which some compare with Mt. Fuji), the ice sculptures in Sapporo’s annual Yukimatsuri, or “Japan’s best hanami” cherry blossoms in Hirosaki, Aomori. You can visit World Heritage sites such as the Shirakami Sanchi mountain range in Aomori and Akita, Shiretoko National Park in Hokkaido, or the golden temple, Chusonji, in Iwate. We have many historical sites too: Sannai-Maruyama Ruins, the Korekawa Ruins, the Kame-ga-oka Ruins in Aomori, the Ainu homes and museums in Hokkaido, and the samurai houses in Kakunodate, Akita, and the list goes on! There’s a variety of things to do up here! And you have your Block 1 JET community to enjoy it with! Love where you’re at, the people you’re with, and the time you’re having in Japan, with the Block 1 family! Please join our Facebook group to be up to date with info/events, and email me anytime!

Aomori, Akita, Hokkaido, Iwate

Block 2 Representative: Xan Wetherall

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Welcome to Japan, and mega-welcome to beautiful Block 2! Forming a quadruple power kick of awesome in the Tohoku region, we have a little something for each season! In the spring, check out the famous sakura blossoms of the Takizakura in Fukushima, or take part in Yamagata’s samurai battle re-enactment! For summer, hit up the warm beaches of Niigata’s Sado island, or enjoy Sendai’s massive August Tanabata! In autumn, you can’t miss the dramatic changing leaves, while winter brings forth some of the best snow-peaked mountains and snowboarding in all four prefectures! With more than 300 onsens throughout the block, you’ll find plenty of time to relax, too! Want to know more, or just have a chat? Feel free to get in touch here!

Fukushima, Miyagi, Niigata, Yamagata

Block 3 Representative: Aaron Gilling

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A big welcome to everyone in Block 3! I am excited about this region, and you should be too, because there really is something for everyone. Whether you’re sliding into a snowy hot spring in Gunma, enjoying awesome festivals on the ocean in Ibaraki, blasting a soccer ball in the gorgeous mountain-side parks of Nagano, living out Edo fantasies a stone’s throw away from Tokyo in Saitama or sipping wine in the scenic countryside of Tochigi, this region is always an exciting place to be! Be sure to check out the Block 3 Facebook Group and see what is going on in your prefecture. I will always be here to answer any of your questions as your friendly, neighbourhood, Block Rep. Please feel free to get in touch with me at any time! Cheers!

Gunma, Ibaraki, Nagano, Saitama, Tochigi

Block 4 Representative: Sarah Stout

2013sarah.jpg Welcome to Block 4! We truly offer a diverse experience of Japan. Our prefectures have wonderful views of Japan and a mix of rural, suburban and urban life. Tokyo and Kanagawa are home to the first and second largest cities in Japan, both which have wonderfully diverse populations. Chiba has both industry and agriculture and is home to the beloved Disneyland and Narita Airport. Yamanashi offers an abundance of nature, a rich history and record-breaking roller coasters at Fuji-Q Highland. Shizuoka displays wonderful sea-side views, famous onsens and beautiful green tea fields. Not to mention, we also have Mt. Fuji! However, we will let you be the judge of which prefecture has the best view of the tallest mountain in Japan. Enjoy your time in Block 4 and Japan! Join in on the discussion on our Facebook Group and feel free to contact me with your questions and suggestions!

Chiba, Kanagawa, Shizuoka, Tokyo, Yamanashi

Block 5 Representative: Thomas Wanebo

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Welcome to Block 5! Located in the center of Japan, Block 5 has everything you could want. Giant metropolis? Check. Hidden villages of thatched-roof houses? Check. Amazing beaches? Check. Great skiing? Check. Festivals involving week-long dancing, or drunk, half-dressed men spinning atop poles, or incredible fireworks, or gorgeous lanterns? Check. Head to Gifu for skiing, hiking, and endless onsen (hot springs). In Ishikawa, check out Kanazawa’s Kenroku-En, one of Japan’s three most beautiful landscape gardens, and head to the Noto Peninsula for rugged scenery, beautiful beaches, and the famous terraced rice fields. Toyama’s Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Road features snow canyons as deep as 18 meters, and spectacular scenery. Fukui’s got beautiful beaches, great skiing, and some of Japan’s most famous pottery. Inuyama Castle, in Aichi, is a Japanese National Treasure, and Nagoya is the region’s hub for travel, shopping, and nightlife. Contact me by email any time, and make sure to join the Block 5 Facebook group!

Aichi, Fukui, Gifu, Ishikawa, Toyama

Block 6 Representative: Sandy Cheng

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You hit the jackpot! Congratulations and welcome to Block 6 – the home of everything awesome. From the legendary temples and shrines of Kyoto to the stunning beauty of Lake Biwa, you’ll never be far from a breathtaking sightseeing experience. Venture to Hyogo, your hub for international exchange, and never forget to try that famous Kobe beef! In this amazing part of Kansai, you will surely grow to love your new home. Keep up to date with what we have to offer by joining our Facebook Group. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to email me anytime. よろしく!

Hyogo, Kyoto, Shiga

Block 7 Representative: Jacy Garant

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Salutations from southern Kansai! Block 7 offers a great balance between city and country life with a hint of eccentricity. Of course, there are the bustling streets of Osaka that are a favourite amongst Japanese people and expats alike. You can become a ninja in Mie on the way to visit the famous Ise shrine, or you might prefer to become a pilgrim and explore the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route in Wakayama. There is even scuba diving in the Kii peninsula, where you can see some of the northernmost coral reefs or mail an edible squid postcard in an underwater mailbox. Nestled between Wakayama and Mie is Nara, where you can see one of the biggest bronze statues of the Buddha at Todaiji. Crawl through a hole the size of the Buddha’s nostril in one of the pillars for good fortune! These are only a few examples of the fun that there is to have in Block 7. Find us on Facebook and feel free to drop me a line anytime.

Mie, Nara, Osaka, Wakayama

Block 8 Representative: Julia Mace

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On behalf of the island of Shikoku, welcome! The four prefectures of Ehime, Kagawa, Kouchi, and Tokushima are nestled together in an amazing place where both the mountains and the sea are within reach and bright cities give way to peaceful countryside. Shikoku is home to the original Dogo Onsen and the island-hopping Setouchi Art Festival. It’s the birthplace of Japanese patriot Sakamoto Ryōma and site of the enormous Awa Odori dance festival. And now Shikoku is your home, too! Stay on top of all that Shikoku has to offer by joining the Block 8 Facebook Group. Then enjoy all that Japan has to offer by receiving AJET’s eConnect News. And, as always, you may contact me, your friendly representative, at julia.mace@ajet.net. よろしくお願いします!

Ehime, Kagawa, Kochi, Tokushima

Block 9 Representative: Michelle Castro

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If you have been placed in Block 9 (Hiroshima, Okayama, Tottori, Shimane, and Yamaguchi) congratulations on winning the prefectural lottery! If you like outdoor adventures then try kayaking to Miyajima Island off the coast of Hiroshima then reward yourself with Hiroshima style okonomiyaki. Visit Tottori and ride a camel on the sand dunes or go paragliding on the beach before climbing Mt. Daisen the highest mountain in the region. Be daring and test your palate by eating puffer fish from Yamaguchi before strolling through Akiyoshido, Japan’s largest lime stone caves. In Okayama, Japan’s sunniest prefecture, take a dip in the waters off one of the numerous islands and swim with bioluminescent phytoplankton. But lets not forget Shimane which has, Izumo Taisha, the preferred vacation spot of the gods. Off the coast are the Oki Islands where you can hike alongside wild horses and end your day watching bull sumo. Join the Block 9 Facebook Group and stay up to date with volunteer opportunities, social events, and much more! Shoot me an email if you have any questions or comments.

Hiroshima, Okayama, Shimane, Tottori, Yamaguchi

Block 10 Representative: Penny Fox

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Hi to everyone in Block 10! I am excited to represent the JETs of northern Kyushu this year because I believe it’s a fantastic part of Japan with something for everyone. We have bustling cities like Fukuoka with plenty of restaurants and clubs, Nagasaki with its rich Chinese and Dutch history and culture, world-famous onsen in Oita, a huge international hot-air balloon festival in Saga and much much more. Block 10 has a great mix of rural and urban life, and an abundance of natural beauty and outdoor activities. If you have any questions or comments about our Block, please feel free to contact me and don’t forget to join our Facebook group to stay up to date with what’s happening in our area!

Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Oita, Saga

Block 11 Representative: Tamara Rytter

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Haisai はいさい and welcome to Southern Japan! Block 11 is fantastic and has so much to offer you! Okinawa is home to 160 tropical islands that dot the Pacific Ocean and East China Sea. Coral reefs in abundance offer bountiful ocean life, great diving and white sand beaches. World heritage sites and Ryukyu culture come together to create a truly unique prefecture. Kumamoto has one of Japan’s most impressive castles, which is the premier landmark of Kumamoto city. Travel north of the city to find Mount Aso with the largest active volcanic crater in the world. Kagoshima also has a giant volcano called Sakurajima, which is truly breathtaking. Travel south down to Ibusuki where you can be buried in the hot sand for a truly unique spa experience. Just off the coast of Kagoshima are the old growth forests of Yakushima, a UNESCO world heritage site that is a must see for any nature enthusiast. Miyazaki’s bold coastline offers great surfing and long stretches of beach. One of the most famous sites is Takachiho, which boasts a stunning gorge, as well as countless shrines and locations sacred to Japanese Shinto legends. I’m a third year JET on the beautiful island of Okinawa. Please email me if you have any questions and remember to join the AJET Block 11 Facebook group so we can all stay connected. よろしくお願いします!

Kagoshima, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, Okinawa