The very first FuJET newsletter, with all the info in one place!
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The 2013 FuJET Council

From April 1st, the new council came into effect. Thanks to everyone who voted! Also, a big hand to last year's council!

So without further ado:

Co-President: Erika Ehren
Hellooo Fukushima! My name is Erika Ehren and I'm currently your FuJET Co-President. よろしく! I hail from the great state of Wisconsin, USA, but currently I live in Aizumisato, just outside of Aizuwakamatsu. You'll see me hanging about Fukushima, and if you're lucky, you may even hear me sing karaoke. This year I'm really hoping to get our FuJET Wiki started up, and I hope everyone will be able to pitch in, whether it's photos, information, or snarky comments.  We're in the process of setting up the website now, but once it's up and ready, we welcome contributions! Feel free to contact me with questions, concerns, ideas, and whatever else you can think of throughout the upcoming year.

Co-President: Joshua Tweedy (Rokan)
Let me tell you a small story about who I am. 26 years ago, on Mount Olympus, Zeus, father of the Gods, turned into a sheep (as one is wont to do) and came to the Land Down Under's third island – New Zealand. Now, Zeus, having a certain way with the ladies, did just that – and had his way with a certain lady. 5 months later, I was born. Then, the Prime Minister of NZ (who was also the local baker and hair dresser...NZ is a small place) held me aloft and declared the day on which I was born, a public holiday. This day is known in NZ as “National Sheep Day” and is one of the most popular holidays in NZ. Why? Well, in NZ, there are more sheep than people....and let me just say that winter's can be very cold indeed....unless you have a “friend”...Anyway, they named me Joshua Tweedy, but within days, friends had allocated me the nickname of Rokan. Josh is what my mother named me, but Rokan was the name Zeus liked to call me. So please call me Rokan – nice to meet you!  Along with Erika, I will be your Co-President this year! How are you? I am fine thank you, and me? I have been in Japan for almost four years. Again, you may wonder why? Well, let's just say, that thanks to me, many high school kids now know the difference between “erections” and “elections”, which I consider no 'small' feat! I can further take credit for about 10 kids NOW knowing that New Zealand isn't actually part of Australia, but is it's own country (some people say 11, but Akira still thinks that the North and South Islands are like North Korea and South Korea. She got points for at least knowing about NZ, but lost points for obvious reasons.) I keep myself busy handling these tasks!

Treasurer: Mark Noizumi
This man of many talents was in America sorting through his life when this was being put together, so I'll speak on his behalf. ;) Mark is a 5th-year JET hailing from the USA and now living in Minami Aizu, better known as the Miz. You may know him as That Guy Behind The Camera. As Treasurer he looks after all of our money things, like when you pay for a trip somewhere so he is important. Be nice to him. Maybe.

Volunteer Coordinator: David Tacoronte
Another busy bee so I am again writing on David's behalf. Let's see how that goes. David is a first-year JET from the USA, now living in Minami Soma. I've seen this guy jump off a bridge so he's got guts, that's for sure. As our Volunteer Coordinator David will look after our many volunteering efforts so if you are interested in helping out, give him a shout and he'll hook you up!

Merchandise and Publications: Xan Wetherall
Xan is a 3rd-year JET in Iwaki, Fukushima. Xan is this year's FuJET merch manager, as well as an elementary-only ALT, teaching at 10 different schools! She enjoys long walks off of short piers, eating, sleeping, and other general tomfoolery. Xan is also AJET's Block 2 representative for the 2013-2014 year, and an editor for the AJET CONNECT magazine, hence the awful format. Xan is currently seeking help for conversion into first-person, amongst other things.

News Editor: Felicity Kerkham
G'day! (As if I ever actually say that. Although I am, contrary to what many think, born-and-bred Aussie. Don't let the accent fool you!) I'm Felicity and I'm a first-year ALT in Iwaki. I'm super excited about serving on the FuJET council as news editor. You're gonna feel so informed, you won't know what to do. No missing out on events because you "didn't know" on my watch! Also, I'm hoping that a lot of you will help out and write articles about the cool stuff you are doing in your area. If you're interested, throw me a line, or a bone, or something shiny. Looking forward to working with you all!

Director of Visual Media: Merran Eby
Hey friends, Merran here! I'm a first-year and completely human Canadian ALT hailing from sunny southern Iwaki, and I'm really excited to be this year's Director of Visual Media on the 2013-14 FuJET council! As your DVM, I'll be working on the more artistic side of FuJET's activities, such as photography (for events), graphic design (for publications), and extremely serious drawings of your fellow ALTs (for shiggles). I'm also happy to talk to all of you any time, so whether you also like these things, you've got an idea you want to see happen, or you just want to say hey, please feel free to drop me a line! :)
From the Editor

Felicitations! Welcome to the first FuJET newsletter, our newest and possibly bestest method of communicating with all of you! 

The newsletter will include articles on past events, interesting information and tips, upcoming events, a foodie corner, and other amusing tidbits! Of course, I can't do all of this alone, so your input is greatly appreciated. Email us and see your article in this newsletter!

I'm looking forward to working with all of you and presenting a great newsletter each month!

- Felicity

Name the Newsletter competition!

SO. We haven't decided on a name for this awesomeness yet. Help us out! Email, Facebook or Tweet your suggestions and I'll put them to a vote!

Recent events

Visit to Iris Gakuen

On Sunday April 14, FuJET and friends made our first visit to Iris Gakuen for the year. We make several visits a year to the orphanage and enjoy time with the kids there. This weekend was Easter-themed. A big thanks as always to the organisers, Jason, Brian and Catherine, and to everyone who came and made the day a huge success.

In the morning we made neat little Easter baskets, which we followed up with lunch outside. After lunch, the Easter Bunny came to visit! We played games and had a quiz, then all of the kids enjoyed a large-scale Easter egg hunt with prizes for the fastest hunters.

As always, it was bitter-sweet to say goodbye, but we will be looking forward to next time! We’ll keep you posted!

Did you go to an awesome event recently? Want to tell everyone about it? We are always looking for articles for both the newlsetter and the website, so send us an email!

Tips and useful information

The "Basic Resident Registration Network System" and the "Basic Resident Registration Card"

These are being introduced by the the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and will commence operation from July 8, 2013. The "Basic Resident Registration Network System" is a system that enables nationwide identity verification by putting resident registration on a network for increased convenience.

It is not necessary for residents to do anything when this starts, however all residents will receive a Resident Record Code via their municipality of residence, and entry of this code may be required for some administrative procedures. If you choose, you can get the new "Basic Resident Registration Card from your municipality of residence. For more information, contact your municipality of residence.


Is there a restaurant you've been to that you absolutely LOVED and you think everyone should know about? Write a review and send it to . If possible I would love to have info about restaurants all over the prefecture, so locals and travellers alike can hear about all the delicious food in Fuksuhima! 

I am also looking for recipe submissions. Is there something awesome that you have made here in Japan that you think all kitchen-proficient (or even kitchen failures) should know about? Send it through!

Approaching FuJET Events

FuJET events, as I'm sure you're aware, are awesome fun. However, there is a lot of planning and organising involved, so most events require you to sign up and plan in advance. To make sure you mark them all down in your calendar and sign up in time, here is a list of all of the known upcoming events!

June 6: Let's Climbing Mt Bandai. A climb organised in preparation for those who are inclined to go on the Fuji trip this year (though you can come even if you're not planning on climbing Fuji!). This event is STRONGLY suggested for anyone planning on joining the Fuji Climb in July. If you're planning on coming along to this event, please click "Attending" on the Facebook page.

June 15: Oze National Park, otherwise known as the Middle of Nowhere. This hike is another event organised in preparation for the Fuji Climb, but but you're welcome whether you're going to Fuji or not. Oze is an out-of-the-way bit of Fukushima, buried in the depths of the Miz, but it's a beautiful area and we definitely recommend grabbing some fresh air there. The hike through Oze will be a longer, steeper, more difficult hike than the hike to the summit of Mt. Bandai. If you're planning on coming along to this event, please click "Attending" on the Facebook page.

July 12~14: Art and Culture Show @ Sendai-shi, Shimin Katsudo Support Centre Theatre. Ok, so this isn't exactly a FuJET event but our lovely friends in Miyagi desperately want us, their kindly neighbours, to come to this event. This used to be a yearly event but it has been on hiatus since the Great East Japan Earthquake. The show showcases the artistic talents of JETs (primarily Miyagi/Sendai JETs but they are taking contributions from JETs in other areas). This year's theme is REVIVAL and they hope to have artist workshops, cultural workshops, live performances and artworks from artists in and around Tohoku. If you are interested in submitting art, leading a workshop and/or performing in the show, please email More information about the event is available here: 
or from the Facebook event page:

July 20~21: Mt Fuji Torture...I mean, Climb! For centuries Mt. Fuji has been worshipped from afar, but every year a brave group of FuJETs decides to worship (or curse?) Mt. Fuji up close. For the brave souls out there who are ready to climb through the night to see a glorious sunrise from the summit of Japan's iconic mountain, the annual FuJET Fuji Climb is right up your alley! This is a formal FuJET event so you will have to sign up by sending an email to from 6pm on May 19. There are about 45 places available, first in first served. More information about this event is available on the Facebook page:

MAY Events in Fukushima

April 30th~May 6th: Fukushima Ramen Show 2013 @ Kaiseizan Park, Jiyu Square, Koriyama City. From 10am~8pm. Famous Ramen restaurants from around Japan, Fukushima prefecture and Koriyama will be gathered in one place, so you can enjoy various types of unique ramen. For more information and inquiries please contact the Fukushima Central Television Business Promotion Division: 024-923-3264.
May 2nd ~ 3rd: Iwaki Yumoto Onsen Satsuki Matsuri @ Yumoto Onsen Shrine, near Yumoto Station, Iwaki. This is an annual festival, with a small festival  on the 2nd and the main festival on the 3rd. During the main festival 6 omikoshi (portable shrines) will be carried through the town. For more information and inquiries please contact the Yumoto Onsen Satsuki Matsuri Committee: 0246-42-4322.

May 3rd: Onahama Suwa Shrine Annual Matsuri @ Onahama, Iwaki, from 8am. This is an annual omikoshi (portable shrine) festival held in Onahama. There will be various types of omikoshi carrying in the Onahama area, including an omikoshi that weighs around 2 tons and children’s omikoshi. For more information and inquiries please contact Onahama Suwa Shrine: 0246-92-2656.

May 3rd& 4th: Okunitama Shrine Annual Matsuri @ Okunitama Shrine, Taira, Iwaki. There will be many traditional dance performances dedicated to the gods and omikoshi (portable shrine) carrying on the main festival day on the 4th. For more information and inquiries please contact Okunitama Shrine: 0246-34-0092.
May 3rd: Koshidai Sakura Matsuri @ Furudono Town, Ishikawa District. This festival will be held under the over 400-year-old prefecture designated natural monument, Koshidai Sakura Tree. There will be performances of Yosakoi dancing, Karaoke competitions, Yabusame Dakio drumming and festival stalls selling food. For more information and inquiries please contact the Furudono Town Industry Promotion Division: TEL: 0247-53-4620. Website:
May 5th: Kitashiobara Onsen Village Bear Matsuri @ Wasezawa Hama Camping Ground, Kitashiobara Village, Yama District. In the mountainous areas of Urabandai, Wasezawa, the culture of Matagi (traditional winter hunters of the Tohoku region) has been well preserved. During this festival you will be able to experience the tradition and culture that has been passed on for generations. There will be bear soup, radish soba, yaseuma noodles and other local cuisines available to try. You can also try making your own local sweets and there will be stalls selling local products as well. For more information and inquiries please contact the Urabandai Wasezawa Onsen「Bear Festival」Action Committee: TEL: 0241-34-2161. Website:

May 5th: Niko Niko Festival @ Machinaka Hiroba, Fukushima-shi, from 10am - 3pm. This event was created three years ago to cheer up and support children after 3.11. There will be games, performances, lotta yakitori and others. 

May 11th: World  Café @ Fukushima-shi, from 10am - 2pm. This is an event created by Kevin Hsien to foster interactions between local citizens and foreigners in order to promote international exchange. After meeting at the Fukushima International Association the group will head to Fukushima City Fureai Museum to experience the history of Fukushima and to do arts and crafts. This will be followed up with lunch at Funaba Café. Spaces are limited so contact Kevin at 024-524-1315 or Website:
May 12th: Atago Shrine Festival Kabuki Offering @ Hinoemata stage, in front of Chinju Shrine, Hinoemata Village, Minamiaizu District. Kabuki performance starts at 7pm, doors open at 6pm. This rural Kabuki is performed as an offering to the Atago god and has been a tradition from the Edo period. For more information and inquiries please contact the Oze-Hinoemata Onsen Tourism Association: 0241-75-2432. Website:

May 18th: World Tour Australia @ Aizu Wakamatsu, from 10am. This is an Aizu Wakamatsu International Association event, where local JET Nicole Clarke will introduce Australia and Australian food in Japanese. The event is free for AWIA members and 300yen for everyone else. Places are limited so contact the AWIA by May 17 to secure a spot. Email:

May 25th: 5km Spring Hike in Oze @ Aizu Wakamatsu, from 6.45am - 6.45pm. The event will start and end at Aizu Wakamatsu Station. Join other hikers and enjoy the natural landscape of Oze. On the way back, participants will stop by a hot spring to relax. The trip cost (excluding hot spring entry) is 4800yen. Bring your own lunch. Apply to the Aizu Railway Co. by May 22nd for a place. Phone: 0242-28-5886.

June 1st: Black Light SHINE @ Pronto, Aizu-Wakamatsu, from 8pm - 2am. The next SHINE party is on! This night's theme is black light graffiti. Guests are asked to wear black light-friendly clothing that other guests can decorate and display their artistic talent. See the SHINE Facebook page for more details:  

June 1st ~ 2nd: Rokkonsai (The Six Soul Festival) @ Fukushima-shi. Set to be one of the highlights of the year. There are 6 prefectures in the Tohoku region and each has its own unique festivals.This weekend each prefecture will showcase their festivals in Fukushima-shi. A rare opportunity! Website:

Big thanks to Nam-Hee in Iwaki, Kevin in Fukushima-shi and Andrew in Aizu-Wakamatsu for all of the event information!
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