2002-10-05, 09:13 PM
Hi, I'm a Aussie (Sydney) girl thinking of working with Aeon or Nova in Japan from january next year... any recommendations on where's a good place to live? I've looked at a couple of these forums and everyone seems to like Sapporo, Osaka, and Fukuoka. Dunno about Sapporo, though...I'm a bit of a wuss when it comes to the cold. I want to steer clear of the expense of Tokyo, but also have the convenience of a larger city (rather than being isolated in a smaller place), that is ideally accessible to nature (hills for hiking or the ocean) and some culture (if this isn't asking too much!). Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
2002-10-06, 08:08 AM
I'll tell you a bit about Sapporo here, and if you are still interested, you can send me an email. I've been in Sapporo 4 years.
Winters get as cold as -15C, and we have tons of snow (annual seems to be about 6 meters). Roads and sidewalks are generally NOT salted to melt the ice, so it is slippery going, and (I'm not kidding here) people either wear special shoes with a type of rubber-cleated sole, or they attach metal cleats like a mountain climber to avoid slipping when they walk. Even canes have cleat attachments! Winter is a long season here, too, lasting from November to April.
People are very nice. Seafood is great. Plenty of foreigners around, but if you don't want to bump into them at every turn, they are easy enough to avoid. There is an international communication plaza for posting ads for free and for conducting private lessons (until about 5pm, anyway). Plenty of Internet cafes around. We even have a Starbucks coffee shop or 2, as well as many other international restaurants and coffee shops. Lots of high schools and a few universities and many language schools if you are looking for work as a teacher.
Summers are terrific. Not hot, not humid. Spring and fall typically bring monsoons to the other regions of Japan, not here. Nice, although late, viewing seasons for cherry blossoms in spring and colored leaves in fall. Plenty of hot springs. BUT, there is very little traditional architecture here, and the sightseeing is focused more at natural phenomena than shrines or sculpted gardens or geisha houses, etc.
Best of luck.