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Frequently Asked Questions

Congratulations on your placement in Fukuoka!

We’re sure you have many questions, and we hope The Fukuoka JET Website can answer them.

Who made this site?

This site was written by volunteers from the Fukuoka JET community, including ALTs, CIRs and PAs. We aren’t “The JET Programme” or your employers, so feel free to contact us if you have ANY questions or concerns.

Where will I live?

Fukuoka is a prefecture on Kyushu, the southern island of Japan. It’s also a city – called “Fukuoka-shi” (福岡市) but sometimes just “Fukuoka” (福岡). Fukuoka-shi is the hub of the region as the biggest city in Kyushu, and is bustling with young people and things to do.

You can visit the specific region pages for Fukuoka CityFukuoka, Chikugo, Chikuho, Kitakyushu or Kitakyushu City.

If you aren’t sure which region you belong to, you can see a bigger map of the area and find your city here.

What will my apartment be like?

For the most part, Fukuoka JETs will live in public housing for teachers, or kyoshokuin jutaku (教職員住宅), often paying reduced rent. Frankly, the quality of these apartments varies, but here’s a basic idea of what your apartment will be like. Fukuoka JETs do have the option of moving into private housing, but rent can be very high and likely won’t be covered by your contracting organization.

Is there anything to do in Fukuoka?

In fact, Fukuoka is bustling, with a range of options – from the busy city life to the quiet rural towns, there’s plenty to do. You can check the Leisure pages for a sample, but be sure to ask your co-workers and friends too. You can also look at The Refill, an online blog produced by JETs, for more details and first-hand accounts of some of the experiences waiting for you in Japan. For more up-to-date information about events and nightlife in Fukuoka you can check out Fukuoka’s English-Language Magazine, Fukuoka Now (you will leave our site).

What will I do at work?

It’s difficult to give a general answer about anyone’s day-to-day work duties. To understand this better, the JET Programme is responsible for hiring you. Once you are in Japan, each office, school or other entity – the “contracting organization”- has its own expectations and responsibilities. (This is oversimplified, but it’s essentially what you need to know).

For this reason, answers will vary. The best way to get an idea is to connect with your predecessor – the person you’ll be replacing.

However, we have asked some JETs in various job types to provide a very rough idea of what you might expect at work, depending on your job type:

If the Contracting Organization (CO) on your JET placement sheet ends in “-shi” (and not, for example, Fukuoka-ken), then you are likely a Municipal ALT. If your placement ends in “-ken” then you are likely a Prefectural Junior High School (JHS) ALT or Prefectural Senior High School (SHS) ALT.

You may also have a specific designation as an ALT in Kitakyushu City.

Click here to read about Designated City CIRs.
Click here to read about Town CIRs.

What should I pack?

The key point to remember is that Fukuoka is home to the sixth-largest city in Japan, so weekend shopping trips are relatively easy to some of the more rural placements possible in Japan. When packing electronics and / or worrying about non-Japanese clothing sizes, you don’t have to pack for a remote mountain village.

That said, the region is very hot in the summer and rather chilly in the winter. You can find out more through our in-depth guide to packing for your life in Japan.

What will happen when I first arrive?

Most ALTs will arrive from Tokyo Orientation and be greeted by school staff at Fukuoka Airport. Your first day in Fukuoka may be tiring, and you may be taken to a school or office immediately. Wear your suit or business attire to your school and be prepared to say something nice to important people almost immediately after you get off the plane.

From there, you should be taken to your apartment – even if you’re tired, make sure to ask someone to show you how to use the shower, air conditioner (if you have one) and stove.

Like ALTs, most CIRs will arrive at the airport, with your supervisor and/or colleagues there to greet you. You will very likely visit your work place immediately, so wear your suit or business attire, and be prepared to do a simple self-introduction.  On another day, you will most likely go through jinrei (辞令), or Letter of Appointment, in which a formal document will be given to you annoucning your employment in front of all your colleagues. Be prepared then to do a more thorough self-introduction.

Afterward, you should be taken to your local ward/town office to go through move-in procedures. You will also be brought to your apartment. Perhaps you would be very tired at this point, but this is the best time to ask someone to show you how to use the shower, gas stove, etc.

What will happen in my first month?

Your first week in Fukuoka will probably be spent in an empty office, as many teachers will be on holiday. We’ve created a checklist of things to do in your first month.

In August, there is a Fukuoka-specific orientation meeting.

Most of your first month will be spent waiting. You should be prepared to spend some time without a phone or Internet in your home. This can be a challenging period! Prepare to pass the time by exploring your area or bringing books to read (Japanese textbooks are a great start!) and try to keep up your excitement, patience and energy until you’re finally settled in.

ALTs: What if I don’t know anything about teaching?

One reason you find so little information about teaching with JET is because of the variety of possible situations ALTs find themselves in. Things like lesson plans, worksheets, test making – you may be expected to do them, or not. What you teach will vary by position and school, as will the length and number of classes and the skill level of your students. So, think about teaching in broad terms, but remember that you will need to spend some time at your school and with your students first.