Saturday, 27 February 2010

Visa forms submitted

Well, I'm in London right now, and have returned back to my friends' house after taking my CoE to the Japanese Embassy. I had heard from other Interac-ers that they asked you to come back in about 5 days, so I decided that it would be easier to turn up armed with a pre-paid envelope. This process was traumatic enough on its own - nobody around Green Park seemed to have any idea where the nearest Post Office way. In the end I resorted to texting 63336 to ask (ahh, the primitive methods that we must employ when we don't have an iPhone). Turns out that it was about a minute's walk away from where I was standing when an official city guard told me to walk to Holborn. Luckily I hadn't taken his advice, and I merely turned left and walked 100 yards.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

The flight is booked...

I will be leaving Manchester on the 19th of March, 8.55am. I will then fly to London, which will take a whopping one hour, and await my DIRECT flight to Narita Airport which will leave at 13:00. I will arrive at 10am the next day (in Japanese time), so around 2am for you guys in the U.K. I think that's right, anyway...

Organising life is quite a task! I successfully obtained my International Driving License today. It's very easy, as I live near one of the big Post Office branches. I took my UK license (paper and card), as well as another form of ID (passport) and a passport photo. It cost £5.50 and took all of five minutes (well, after the half hour wait to get to the desk, but they have a number-calling system which is nice!). So that's one thing done. Two, with the flights.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010


That is the date that I have to arrive in Hamamatsu. Yes, the training will take place there, not Tokyo. On the negative side, this means it will cost me at least £40 to get from the airport to Hamamatsu station (depending on the airport that I fly to)... on the plus side, when my friend asked me a few weeks ago where in Japan I hoped to go, I said "Hamamatsu". I don't really know much about the place, but I had researched it once after hearing somebody else who lived there talk about it, and decided that it was a beautiful place! And out of all the places in Japan, there I will be!

Now, this is more for my own benefit rather than yours, but here are ALL the things I have to do in the next 6 weeks...

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Fuji City!!!

So, fifteen minutes into my shift at work, whilst telling my colleague about how I was waiting for a call from Interac... when my phone rang!! David's dulcet Scottish tones informed me that the placement that they were offering me was in Fuji City, in the Shizuoka prefecture (Hamamatsu branch). I would be teaching Elementary AND Junior High in anything from 2 to 6 schools, and driving (eeek!).
So, Fuji City is (as you might guess) near Mount Fuji - you can see it looming in the background :) ... it's an 80 minute train ride from Tokyo... one of the warmer places too. I can't find too much information about it yet, but from what I can glean so far here we go:

Friday, 5 February 2010



Well, I have to start somewhere. My name is Gwynnie and I am 23 years old. I graduated from the University of Manchester back in July with a BSc in Psychology, and as of March I will be living in Japan and working as an Assistant Language Teacher! This exciting move is something that I am terrified about as well, but as I hold my breath and await my placement offer, I thought that I would start to write what will hopefully be an educational, entertaining and enlightening blog (I can't always promise that level of alliteration, but I will try). I will be leaving many loved ones behind in the U.K. for the year, and so my hope is that they can read this to see what I am up to... other ALTs in Japan can laugh and relate to my stories... and those of you who are thinking about doing the same can learn a little about what it's actually like to live and work in the Land of the Rising Sun.