Yep. That's where I'll be for an entire year of my life. It's exactly OPPOSITE of any of the places I requested in my JET application, but hey, it could be worst. I could be an alternate...or just a flat out rejection.
Emails came about two days ago and I was all psyched when I saw mine in the inbox. It was such a let down to be saying "no" to sunny Japan and "hello" to snowstorm Japan. That really is the only thing I'm holding against the North. The cold and the snow.
But then I calmed down. I did some reading. I scoured the BD and ITIL message boards for Hokkaido JETs and their opinions and now I'm very cool with my placement. At least I'll be able to learn how to snowboard in one of the best regions in the world for it. And, it has onsens galore apparently and they have nice views of rivers and mountains. Very cool.
Hokkaido, for those who don't know, is the most northerly island of Japan. Its very northern part is very close to Russia. It has mild, dry summers and cold, snowy winters. It is connected to the prefecture of Honshu by an underwater tunnel. It's capital city is Sapporo (yes, the beer).
This is what it looks like from space.
While some of the other people I've talked to have found out exactly WHERE in this large prefecture they will be placed, I have been designated a prefectural JET which basically means that I will be teaching a high school possibly in one of the big cities or a town. While some prefectural JETs find out specifics about their placement only weeks after being notified, I have heard horror stories of people who didn't know where they would be until a week or two before they got on the plane to Tokyo. Yikes! Hope that doesn't happen to me.
The prefectural Board of Education oversees all of the high schools in the region and will be distributing JETs however they see fit. I hope I get placed in or around Hakodate, a large city in the south of Hokkaido. Sapporo would be cool too though.
If you want more info on my placement, visit here.