Now in English: Hotel Bookings on Jalan is, by far, my favorite place to book hotels. The site has a lot of great deals and has very detailed information on the hotels: closest train station, amenities, services, photographs, maps, and what meals are included.  Plus, you can search by what kind of accommodations you want: ryokan, business hotel, single, double, Japanese-style room, and so on. Until recently, Jalan was Japanese-only, but they have opened an English version of the website.

The English site features all the details of the Japanese one, and the interface is the mostly the same but has the international traveler’s’ needs in mind.

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Join Entrepreneurial Teacher

With the new JETs arriving in two months, now is the time to upload your favorite lesson plans, proposals, and notes to Entrepreneurial Teacher. Give your successor and the rest of the Ishikawa JETs the benefit of your knowledge and experience in a format they can access before they even get to Ishikawa!

For example, what recipes went over well at English Club or your international cooking lesson? What would you do differently at your next eikaiwa? What are the best games for elementary first graders? What tips do you have for writing an event proposal?

The content of ET is only as good as we make it. Get a head start on your departure preparation or your orientation material collection today!

More Information

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Noto “Mottainai” Gelato

If you’re on the hunt for a new local ice cream, check out Noto “Mottainai” Gelato (能登のもったいないジェラート). The Japanese phrase もったいない means a variety of things depending on context, but in this case, it means “What a waste!” Why name an ice cream this? Anamizu’s Noto Wine, which prides itself on creating little waste and using most parts of the grape to make wine, has teamed up with Malga Gelato to create a gelato that uses the skin of wine grapes so as not to waste them.

Image from Malga Gelato

According to the Kanazawa Keitai Shimbun, the gelato was created during a campaign to reduce material waste during the wine-making process.  The result is a rich, creamy vanilla gelato with hint of red wine and a jam-like paste of Yama Sauvignon grape peels mixed in. I love trying unusual ice cream flavors, and I really enjoyed this. It’d be great served as a classy dessert after a homemade Italian meal. According to the article linked above, 6000 units have been sold  as of 15 April.

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JET Alum Academics Group on LinkedIn

From Jet Wit:

Many JETs will leave JET for graduate or professional school or for jobs in the academic world–and some of us already have advanced degrees or experience in that area! Steven Horowitz of JET Wit has set up a new LinkedIn group for JETs, JET alums and friends of JET who work in academia or are interested in working in academia. This includes any professors, PhD candidates, master’s degree students or anyone doing work related in any way to research and academia. Join JET Alum Academics here.

Spring Hakusan Super Rindo Walk 2011

This guest post is by Megan Lam, ALT.

Image from the Super Rindo website.

Every year the Super Rindo toll road, which runs from Ishikawa to Gifu, is closed off one weekend so that the public can walk on the roads. It becomes a beautiful trail with a lot of picturesque stops along the way–streams, waterfalls, foot onsens, etc. The scenic walk is about 15.5km, or however far you choose to walk.

This year the event will be held on the weekend of June 11th and June 12th. There’s a 1,500 yen entry fee per person and the Super Rindo will be open from 8:30-16:00 on both days. Anyone can pay on the day of at the Ichirino Ski area.

Those who will be driving can park there for free and then take a free shuttle up to the starting point. For those without a car, you can reserve a bus in advance from Kanazawa or Komatsu for 1000 yen return trip.

What: Super Rindo Walk

When: June 11th or June 12th, 8:00-16:00

Where: Starting point is Ichirino (一里野) in Hakusan

Price: 1,500 yen per person (Payable on the day of the event) (The price is reduced to 300 yen for guests staying at the hotels of the Hakusan Onsen Village  [白山温泉郷]).

Access: Drivers can park at the Ichirino Ski area for free and then take a free shuttle up to the trail.

Buses are available from Kanazawa Station or Komatsu Station, but reservations are required in advance. From both stations the price is 1000 yen for round trip.  For reservations, call the Hakusan City Tourist Information Center at 076-273-4851. Bus reservations can be made until 6 pm on 10 June.

15th Annual Noto Yosakoi Festival

This year’s Noto Yosakoi Festival will take place on 4-5 June 2011 (Sat. and Sun.) on the streets of Wakura Onsen. Yosakoi is an high-style dance style that originated in Kochi prefecture in 1954 and employs the use of naruko, distinctive (typically) red, yellow, and black noise-makes. A combination of the traditional music and dance with modern elements, yosakoi is as fun to watch as it is to dance. And where better to watch a yosakoi competition than the picturesque streets of Wakura Onsen in the Festival Country of Noto (祭りの國能登)?

The opening of the 2010 festival. From the Noto Waccha! Blog (Noto Yosakoi)

New to yosakoi? Watch a video of the 2010 winning team, Noto-guni Wakuura Shichishi, (能登國涌浦七士; known among JETs as “Hot Man Team”) here. There are pictures of all the teams on the official website.

Ginny M. and I competed in the festival last year, and I was really touched at how happy the festival-goers were to see foreign dancers and the JET friends who came to watch us. Ginny has repatriated, but I will be dancing again this year. The event is a lot of fun, and I hope you’ll come watch all the exciting dances and see the creative costumes.

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Otabi Matsuri 2011

Komatsu’s annual Otabi Matsuri (お旅祭り), one of the three largest festivals in Ishikawa, features children performing kabuki on portable shrines called hikiyama (曳山). This year’s festival will be held from 13-16 May 2011 (Friday – Monday)

From the Otabi Matsuri website.

Perfomance Schedule
The kabuki performances will be held at Daimonji-machi (大門字町) and Kyoumachi (京町).

Daimonji-machi: performing Dondoro Daishi no Ba and Keisei Awa no Naruto

Kyoumachi: perfoming Otoko no Hanamichi

Map of Performances (numbered)


The festival takes place in front of Komatsu Station (小松駅); the grounds (会場) start at the Komatsu Performing Arts Center Urara (小松芸術劇場うらら) and include Ubashi Jinja (莵橋神社), Moto-ori Hiyoshi Jinja (本折日吉神社), the Kyoumachi intersection (京町交差点). Urara is about a 15 minute walk from Komatsu Station.

Access Map (Japanese)

Paid parking is in light blue (有料). Free parking for 5/14 is in pink (無料).

Streets closed to traffic (交通止め) (see lower left) are marked in orange and green.

Places where the hikiyama will be are marked with yellow circles.

Websites (Japanese) (English)

The English site is just information on the history and basic contents of the festival.

Hyakumangoku Matsuri 2011

The Hyakumangoku Festival (百万石まつり) commemorates the 14 June 1538 entry of Lord MAEDA Toshiie, the feudal lord of the han (fiefdom) of Kaga, to Kanazawa Castle. Lord Maeda was one of ODA Nobunaga’s generals during the warring states period. Kaga, though small in size, became the richest han in feudal Japan, with a net worth of 1 million koku, a unit of measure that describes the amount of rice needed to feed one person for a year. (That’s a LOT of rice.) Celebrate your Ishikawa pride by attending the cultural events and the reenactment of Maeda’s triumphant entry to Kanazawa Castle as its lord.

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