Akita Orientation 2017

From Akita Wiki

2017 Akita Orientation is a two day conference for new JETs that will be held on August 16th & 17th at the Prefectural Education Center in Tenno, slightly north of Akita City.


  • Check in time: 12:00 noon
  • Where: The Prefectural Education Center, just outside of Akita City.
  • When: August 16th & 17th

All presentations will be given by the PAs, Block Leaders, and other JETs from Akita.

What to expect

Akita Orientation is designed to give new JETs all the information they need to thrive in Akita. There will be almost no instruction on culture shock or other topics that were covered at Tokyo Orientation. If there is overlap with Tokyo Orientation, it is because we believe our presentations will be of more use. New JETs should leave the conference with a solid idea of what to expect throughout the upcoming year and the particulars of their specific area of Akita.

What to bring

Akita Orientation is considered part of your normal work activities and you are expected to dress professionally throughout the conference. Because the August heat in Akita is rather harsh, short sleeved collared shirts without suit coats or ties are appropriate for men (known in Japan as Cool Biz). Dress for women is business casual.

With the exception of a very few people, new JETs will be staying overnight at the Education Center during orientation. Assume you will be staying over unless you have been told otherwise directly from your CO. Showers and public baths for males and females are available. See Onsen Etiquette for using the public bath. Soap is provided but that is about all in the way of amenities. You should bring everything else including the following:

  • A bath towel & small vanity towel to cover up in the bath
  • Shower amenities other than soap and shampoo
  • Cash. There is no ATM at the center
  • Athletic shoes, should you need them

There is a cafeteria at the center where you can buy breakfast and lunch. You will need to buy meal tickets at vending machines in the cafeteria at the center. The vending machines accept notes of ¥1000, and change no smaller than ¥10. Meal tickets should be bought as early as possible as they have a tendency to run out.

Keep in mind that the Prefectural Education center is not a hotel, but rather a training center for government employees. As such, please treat the building, staff, and others staying there with respect.

Dinner Party

Charity Akita will be providing a sushi dinner catered by Kappa Sushi with an assorted of soft drinks for the night of the 16th.
Menu: Sushi selection with soft drinks
Price: ¥1200


Akita Information

  • Alexander Dao & Jennifer Campbell

Learn a little about your new home, Akita! This presentation will cover climate, festivals, food, language, and other things unique to our prefecture.


Education 101

  • Dave Wilson & Michael Aubrey

A brief overview of what to expect when teaching at various educational levels. Every situation may be different, but this presentation should be able to give you the basics on how to figure out your school life.


Budgeting Your Life

  • Michelle Mellor & Aaron Kern

Keeping tack of finances can be challenging, so sit back and let your senpai teach you how to make a budget and stick to it while still trying to enjoy your JET life.


The Art of Lesson Planning

  • Dave Wilson & Didy Huang

Making a lesson may seem pretty daunting for those who have never taught. This presentation will provide you with tips on structure and what content would be good for your English classes.


The Japanese Workplace and You

  • Brianna Hom & Michael Aubrey & Aaron Kern

On the surface, working in the school office seems like a breeze. But there's a lot more going on beneath the surface. This workshop will introduce you to some key concepts and traditions to remember to help you from committing serious social faux pas.


Block Presentations

  • (North) Tristan Hill & Aaron Kern
  • (Central) Didy Huang & Dave Wilson
  • (South) Liam Fahy & Chloe Doole

From Kosaka to Yuzawa, all of Akita is wonderful, but our Block Leaders are going to show you the best of your areas in one exciting show! Afterwards, you will be getting to know your block a little better with some ice breaker games.

North Block Presentation
Central Block Presentation
South Block Presentation (Missing)

Laws & Safety

  • Jennifer Campbell & Tristan Hill

Laws in Japan are going to differ from those in your home country. This presentation will go over basic laws for daily life, safety precautions, as well as who to consult for legal matters.


Travel & Transportation

  • Alexander Dao & Liam Fahy

Are you still walking around Akita? Too scared to get on that bus/train? Well this workshop will help you get over that fear with easy to follow guides on how to use each mode of transportation that is available in Akita! Also stay tuned for budget travel advice for all of japan!


Getting Into Your Students' Shoes

  • Eli Clarke

It may be hard to understand how your students will feel during your classes, so this lecture will put you in their perspective for a full language lesson. This class will be conducted completely in the language of the teacher's choice.

Japanese Culture 101

  • Michael Aubrey & Brianna Hom

Many ALTs experience frustration in their offices, such as feeling left out of the loop or not understanding why they take so long to get back to you when you ask for something. This workshop will introduce you to the Japanese mentality and approach to forming relationships, both personal and professional.


Driving in Japan

  • Alexander Dao & Derek Bonilla

Looking to drive in Japan? We will show you the basic steps you need to know on accomplishing that goal. We will also discuss the basic rules and road signs you will come across on your daily drive.


Cleaning and Home Life

  • Brianna Hom & Chloe Doole

Did you move in and were greeted by a funny smell in your washing machine? Is your shower drain already clogging? Black spots on your futon? Taking care of your house and belongings in Japan is different than your home countries, and our presentation aims to teach you these differences so you can keep your house clean (and avoid an embarrassing call to your supervisor to get a plumber).


Health, Safety, Culture Shock, Drinking

  • Brianna Hom, Jennifer Campbell, Michael Aubrey, Alexander Dao

ALTs will be separated into women's and men's discussion panels where your PAs and BLs will talk to you about mental and physical health, how to deal with culture shock, how to stay safe during different seasons, and how to deal with drinking culture.

Men's Presentation
Women's Presentation

Table Talks

Table Talks are a new format introduced at this Akita Orientation. Participants are allowed to go around a room filled with tables dedicated to specific topics. At each table, new ALTs can ask their sempai about a specific topic. This year's table talks were as follows.

Table Topic Presenters
Studying Japanese Chloe Doole & Tristan Hill
Charity Akita Derek Bonilla
LGBTQ+ Mei Arce
Mental & Physical Health Didy Huang & Jenny Campbell
Finances Jackson Zeman & Michelle Mellor
Speech Contest Dave Wilson & Michael Aubrey
Seasonal Talk Alex Dao & Brianna Hom
Ask Sempai Liam Fahy & Aaron Kern

See also

Akita Orientation
2008 2009
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
2020 2021