Sep 22, 2013

Back to Tokyo, Part Three

The 2013-2014 JET Orientation Welcome Meeting.

I have a confession to make. I'm not sorry I missed the general orientation last April. From what I've heard, there isn't enough helpful and practical advice that applies to JET's specific situation. That's what the prefectural orientation is for.

So when I was told I had to come to the Tokyo summer orientation, I looked at it as an opportunity to meet and befriend the new arrivals. That's how I found myself, on a Monday afternoon, sitting beside the new Ishikawa ALTs in a bedecked conference room, listening to speeches from the various Ministries of the Japanese government.

Meeting locale: the high-end Keio Plaza Hotel.

The view from my hotel room. I was lucky, I had the whole room to myself.

After the two hour welcome meeting, JETs were ushered into various smaller meeting rooms for workshops and information sessions. While they took copious notes about how "ESID: every situation is different," I left the hotel to continue to explore (and eat my way through) the city.

Summertime decorations (pray for rain? pray for no rain?) near Shibuya Scramble.

Out at a bar with a fellow Nanao ALT, we bumped into two JET alumni who were with the program nearly a decade ago. The two guys, one American and one Brit, had been catching up with each other at different places around the world since then. They were still close friends. I hope that I'm like them years from now, talking to the people I've befriended here in Japan and reminiscing on these good times.


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