This is the blog of Jess, who is currently in Japan… hence the name.
I’m a late 20-something Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) placed in Fujioka-shi, Gunma-ken, Japan. For the majority going “where the heck is that?!”, don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Gunma is a land-locked prefecture northwest of Tokyo about an hour driving (not counting Tokyo traffic) or about two hours by train. This means that it is close enough to get to Tokyo should I need to go, but far enough away that the effort to do so is rarely worth it.
Fujioka (藤岡市群馬県 for the google map gurus out there) is a relatively small city of about 70,000 at the southern end of the prefecture at the very edge of the Kanto plain. With about 80% of our fair city being mountains, most of the population is clustered around the main Fujioka City area, and the smaller neighborhood of Onishi. Also, due to prefectures being the approximate size of counties in my native(-ish) Texas, you can not only see the other two major cities close to Fujioka on clear days, but the main mountains of both Gunma and surrounding prefectures as well.
We have nice views.
I like my job, and I get a lot of benefits. My pay is decent, and I work 35 hour work weeks with frequent breaks. While I wont be doing this the rest of my life, it’s a pretty nice niche I’ve found for the time being.
No, I don’t speak Japanese. Yes, I’m studying it. How do you get things done you may ask? When I’m not co-opting the services of my fluent boyfriend despite his protests, I get along with words and short phrases, interesting facial expressions, and a whole lot of pantomiming. I’m pretty sure I can beat most people at charades these days.
What you’ll find here on this blog is a lot of rambling, a lot of pictures, and a lot of experiences. In essence, this is just another blog of just another Jess in Japan. Hope you enjoy it!