The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Monday, 3 July 2006


Keeping a blog up to date is quite time-consuming, isn't it? Maybe I should take less photos so I won't feel so obliged to post them and write about them..

Anyway, just thought it was about time to give a lil update on what's happening in terms of preparations to go to Japan. A few weeks ago I informed my manager and HR and the director of my division at work about my plans to go to Japan, and received the OK to take a year off on unpaid leave. So I'm glad that I am able to keep my options open with regards to my work and career back here in Perth.

I said in a previous post, I will go to Tokyo first for my orientation, then onto my prefecture to settle in and Rob will follow a week or two after. However, the past two weeks I've been reconsidering this decision and Rob and I have had lengthy discussions over whether or not Rob should come with me to Tokyo. Spouses and children of JET participants can accompany to the Tokyo orientation but airfare and accommodation are obviously to be covered by the JET participant, and spouses and children cannot participate in any part of the orientation. So my biggest problem with Rob coming with me to Tokyo whilst I am on my orientation is what he is to do while I'm busy doing my stuff, and what he's going to eat during the meals that is provided for me. Cost is another factor (August is Japan's peak travel time as it is during the summer holidays), but it is secondary to how Rob is going to spend his time in Tokyo.

Anyway, after many to-ing and fro-ing with this topic, we decided that the bottom line is:
1) It would be nice to have some familiarity when settling in a foreign world
2) Having company on the long long flight to Japan (I will have company with the other Perth JETs, but what about Rob all on his lonesome self if he came after?)
3) He'll get to experience Tokyo with me (and on his own too)
4) We'll be together (and this is the most important thing, isn't it?)

So last week, I had to contact the Japanese consulate, the travel agency in Sydney who is taking care of the Australian JETs air tickets and accommodation, and the Ishikawa Prefecture Board of Education and let them know that I've changed my mind and will have Rob come with me. We've told our families of this change of plan, and they said (almost with a sigh of relief) that they think this arrangement is better than my original plan. Why didn't anyone say that earlier?

So now, we're in the process of figuring out what to keep and what to chuck from our apartment. Then we have to figure what to do with the stuff we wanna keep. We're also trying to suss out exactly what we are going to buy from my predecessor as she herself has a limited time in which to get rid of her stuff in Japan.

Lots to get done in such little time..


  1. I've heard some strange stuff about japan that varies greatly, but overall if you take the minimalist approach at the start and work your way from there I don't think you can go wrong. They also have some weird laws there, there was something about not being able to buy second hand goods (???) but I can't remember what it was...
    Just remember: Meat ain't cheap there, so be sure to eat the biggest steak you can find before you leave... as Az puts it, you'll be the cow's worst enemy when you come back...

  2. Thanks for the tips Kris. We're intending to go the minimalist approach, but I don't think my predecessor is too happy about that (means more things for her to get rid of).