Ah, fall. Scientifically proven to be the best season in Japan, fall means a lot of things. For Japanese and JETs alike. Of course, the weather’s cooling off and the days are getting shorter. Soon the leaves will be exploding in color, and your Japanese friends will be flocking to the mountains by the busload to get a view (and you’ll tag along, if you know what’s what.)
Skill Development Conference
In addition to the leaves, there are a number if happenings between now and December. First off, there’s the Skill Development Conference, the first day of which was Tuesday September 30th. We hope you all enjoyed the Drink Bar!
The “second day” of the conference will be done in regions: for Kaga/Kanazawa-area, it’s on Wednesday, October 29th. Keeping it spooky up in the Noto, their regional conference will by Friday, October 31st.
The final day will be Friday, November 21st for all ALTs.
Lights in Wajima
On the cultural side of things, October sees the return of the nationally acclaimed Sennmaida Illumination, an event just north of Wajima up in the Noto. During this event, the “Thousand Rice Fields” are lit up with lights for a spectacular view unique to Ishikawa. The event is getting bigger and bigger, and making the leap into the 21st century — this year, the event will use LED lights instead of candles. A little less nostalgic? Probably. BUT, it means that we can see the lights any night from October 18th to March 15th, 2015! Visit this web page for all the info (in Japanese) including maps, times, and driving/public transit info.
A Tale of Two Parties
This year’s AJET Halloween Party will be a deviation from tradition. Responding to requests from JETs to have more events outside of the big city, we’ll be heading south to Matto for a night of music, drinks, and costumes.
We have teamed up with UDON BAR this year to celebrate Halloween, and it promises to be better than ever. Details will be confirmed at a later date, but last year saw fire dancers, live music, DJs, a costume competition, awesome food, lots of dancing and a few drinks to wash it all down. Entrance will likely be 1000円 or 1500円 with one drink/udon. Thinks kick off at 7pm.
But wait! Halloween only falls on a Friday once every few years – why stop with just one party? After things wind down in Matto, hop on a train for Kanazawa (200円, 10 minutes) and check out the Freak Friday Halloween Party at Orbital, featuring none other than the famous DJ Hattori Hantz! The party is always a big draw for those looking to celebrate Halloween, so don’t miss it. It’ll kick off around 10 and go late into the night.
Finally, AJET encourages you to get out and take advantage of the perfect autumn weather this year, be it a bike ride, a picnic, or a walk through town. Before long, the cold wet Ishikawa winter will be upon us. But, never fear – AJET is planning some awesome events for the winter to keep Ishikawa’s JET community connected and active year round.
Daniel is a third-year JET who lives in Kanazawa and teaches at a junior high school. He’s also serving as Ishikawa AJET’s Communication Chair. He likes drinking coffee, riding his bike, and hanging out with his wife.