Welcome to Kumamoto!

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We would like to extend a warm welcome to all JETs arriving in Kumamoto in July and August this year. Welcome to Kumamoto, ‘Land of Fire’ and home of Kumamon!

On this website we have gathered an abundance of information about life in Kumamoto on the JET Programme. Take some time to peruse the website and prepare yourself for coming to Japan. Additionally, if you have any questions about JET, Kumamoto, what to prepare, or what to expect, please do not hesitate to contact the Kumamoto Prefectural Advisors (kumamotopa@gmail.com).

See you in Japan soon!

2019 Leavers’ Meeting

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On Friday, 21 June, we held a meeting for Kumamoto JETs who will be leaving the JET Programme this summer. Thank you to everyone who attended, thank you to our speakers, and thank you to Vice-Governor Ono and Kumamon!

We wish everyone the best of luck in their post-JET lives!

If you would like more information on the procedures and necessary preparation for after JET, please take a look at the Information Packet for Non-Reappointing JETs.

Here are the pictures!

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ALT Cycling Event in Hitoyoshi-Kuma!

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A group of ALTs based in the Hitoyoshi-Kuma Area have organised a special cycling event for ALTs and CIRs!  Please find a message below from Charles, one of the JET ALTs organising the event:


Hello Kumamoto!

Some of the Hitoyoshi-Kuma ALTs have collaborated with the Kuma Cycle Center to bring you a special cycling event for ALTs (CIRs welcome too!). It will be held on Saturday June 29th (June 30th in case of rain) and will run from Asagiri Station to Yunomae and back again. The cost will be ¥3000 (includes lunch, bike rental and tour guide). Registration will begin at 8:30am before a safety briefing at 9am.

I recommend driving and parking at Asagiri Station, but it is possible to get a train from Kumamoto at 6am (changing in Yatsushiro and Hitoyoshi)

All information is on the poster!
If you are interested, please contact Charles Marchant by June 20th at the following email address: charles.marchant@ucdconnect.ie

2019 International Cafe in Minamata!

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Minamata City is putting on their third annual International Cafe and they are looking for participants! Please find a message below from Greg, the JET CIR organising the event:


Hello, Kumamoto JETs! This summer holidays, would you like to get out of the office, see some sights, have fun and meet people from all over the world? If so, I have the perfect event for you.

You are invited to the 2019 International Exchange Cafe in Minamata on Tuesday 6th August 2019, 10:30am-4pm.

What: 2019 International Exchange Cafe in Minamata
Time and date: Tuesday, 6th August, 2019 from 10:30am to 4:00pm
Place: Various locations around Minamata City (transport by bus)
Participants: Foreign residents living in Kumamoto, as well as Minamata High School and local junior high school students.
Program: Ice breaker, presentation by Minamata HS students, lunch and chatting, tour of Minamata’s famous spots (guided in English by Minamata HS students!)
Capacity: 40 (if there are more applications, participants will be selected by lottery)
Transportation: Please make your own way to Minamata City Hall (Temporary Building) by 9:30am.
Fee: 500 yen (includes light lunch, drinks and insurance)
Organised by: Minamata City (commissioned to the Minamata International Friendship Association (MIFA))
Application: Please complete the form attached and submit it by post, fax, or email.
Deadline: Tuesday 9th July, 2019 (The form must arrive by this date)

We hope you can attend!

Note: There will be a round trip charter bus from Kumamoto City to Minamata City available. From other locations, you will be responsible for your own transportation to Minamata. Also, we cannot guarantee that this will be treated as a work event. Please discuss with your contracting organisation, but be aware that you may have to use nenkyu to attend.

Please direct questions and registration to Greg in the Minamata City Office
(Email: mifa.english@gmail.com, Ph: 0966-61-1606)

[Click HERE to see the flyer for more information and the sign-up form.]

The YOKA Spring 2019

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The Spring 2019 YOKA is available now! This quarter’s YOKA features the following…

  • Aso Village Festivals by Zaynab Nakhid
  • Koinobori of Kyushu by Greg Corbett
  • Golden Week in Seoul and Sayonara Sensei by Alicia Lim
  • A Day in an Inaka Life and Anata no Warehouse by Jess Langshaw
  • Sakitsu Church UNESCO World Heritage Trip by Olivia Saputra
  • To Cross a Threshold by Luna Howell
  • Cat Island by Melissa Wright
  • Photos by Greg Corbett, Bilal Khan, Jess Langshaw, Alicia Lim, Charles Marchant and Daniel McCoy

This YOKA was designed by Greg Corbett. An HQ version (50 MB) of this issue is also available.

Not sure what the YOKA is? The YOKA is a quarterly English-language newsletter written and designed by Kumamoto JETs. For more information and past YOKAs, visit this page.

We happily accept submissions for future YOKAs! If you are interested in contributing an article, photo, or creative piece for a future issue, then please e-mail your submission to kumamotopa@gmail.com.

Information Packet for Non-Reappointing JETs

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The information packet for non-reappointing JETs has been updated! If you are a Kumamoto JET who is leaving the JET Programme this year, please consult this extensive guide on the procedures and preparations you should take from now. You can find the packet on this page.

If you have any questions after thoroughly reading the information provided in the packet, please feel free to contact the Kumamoto PAs.

The Leavers’ Meeting will be held on 21 June in Kumamoto City. If you are a JET departing the program this summer, please save this date!

2019 Winter YOKA

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The Winter 2019 YOKA is available now! This quarter’s YOKA features the following…

  • Winter Moments and Welcome Back Home by Ola Akindes
  • Yuki Matsuri by Kelli Yogi and Lottie Caddick
  • Aru Ressha — JR Kyushu Sweets Train by Emilie Mitchell
  • Getting on the Citrus Train (And other fruit-related adventures) by Hester Mullen
  • Entrancing Ehime by Jenifer Vosper
  • Welcome Back Home by Ola Akindes
  • The Wee Bopper on Flower Park Hill by Ruth Madden
  • The Legend of the Unkai by Zaynab Nakhid
  • Phonics Escape Room by Ming Ching Bay
  • Photos by Chase Sutherland, George Leach and Lily McDermott

This YOKA was designed by George Leach. An HQ version (133 MB) of this issue is also available.

Not sure what the YOKA is? The YOKA is a quarterly English-language newsletter written and designed by Kumamoto JETs. For more information and past YOKAs, visit this page.

We happily accept submissions for future YOKAs! If you are interested in contributing an article, photo, or creative piece for a future issue, then please e-mail your submission to kumamotopa@gmail.com.

2018 Tax Guide for US JETs

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As  you may have already noticed, the tax guide for American JETs for the 2018 tax year has been updated!  Please check the U.S. Tax Guide section of the website for the updated guides (one for first-year US JETs, one for 2nd-5th year US JETs, and a supplementary document about Japanese taxes) and the FAQ. Or, click here!

Best of luck to everyone in preparing their taxes! Oh, and this year’s version is quite different from previous years’, so do keep that in mind 😉

2018 Skill Development Conference

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The 2018 Skill Development Conference (SDC) was held on November 29th and 30th, 2018. For two days, ALTs, JTEs, and HRTs particpated in workshops focusing on teaching, English language, and living and working in Japan. We hope the conference participants learned some new things, but we also hope that they were able to enjoy networking and bonding with each other.

This year’s SDC materials are available here.

Here are some photos from the conference. Click “continue reading” to see more.

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