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Survival Guide for Tokyo Orientation

WARNING! The next 3 nights and 2 days will be jam packed and very intense.

Tokyo Oriention at Keio Plaza Shinjuku - August 2018 - B intake
Tokyo Oriention at Keio Plaza Shinjuku - August 2018 - B intake

Don't worry or stress yourself over this time period it might feel like they are telling you all the worst case scenarios but really ESID (every situation is different) also a lot of what they say and cram into your brains won't be relevant for your area or schools.

For this post I will be talking about:

Stage Five // Survival Guide for Tokyo Orientation

You will feel:

  • Tired

  • Jet-lagged

  • Anxious

  • Excited

You may also feel:

  • Scared

  • Isolated

  • Overwhelmed

Don't decide to go home based on what you feel and hear at orientation. Things get better once you get settled in your home prefecture/city. But also understand you may be passing the honeymoon phase as well which means you will be going from a big, bright city to a small quiet town/village and will need to come to terms with the different environments. Take it in and get to know your surroundings, don't compare and judge based on what you see and experience through your frustrations of setting up your home.

If you‘re lucky you will have sempais who will help you set up all the important stuff like registering at town hall, internet, best places to eat and buy stuff. Or you may have an awesome supervisor who will have time to help you out in these areas and maybe more (very rare - they are usually busy). It isn't the worse thing to be left to fend for yourself. They will definitely help you with the legal and important stuff. But the living and homeware you might have to find yourself (Amazon and Nitori will be your best friend).


Tokyo Orientation will basically be people constantly talking at you and you having to sit for hours. You are technically on the clock from 9am - 5pm (so don’t skip or be late to the sessions) and after the last session you will be free to do what you like. There is usually a Welcome dinner on the second night and the third night there is the embassy or prefectural dinner. All dinners are not compulsory but the Welcome dinner will be a good chance to network with the other JETs going to your area/prefecture.

2018 Group B Schedule:

Day 1- Basically this day is to sleep and settle in. You will arrive in Japan in the afternoon (you won’t arrive at the hotel till 6pm) this is for NZers.

I heard that the American Jets arrived in the morning before check in time and was not able to rest or lay down till 1pm as their rooms were not ready. (Be warned American JETs)

The Canadians arrived at 2-3pm in Tokyo and at the hotel at 4pm.

The JETs from the United Kingdom arrived around 6-7pm and the hotel at 8pm.

Day 2 - Breakfast + Welcome + session + Lunch + session + session + Welcome dinner ( not compulsory)

Day 3 - Breakfast + session + session + Lunch + session + session + Prefectural or Embassy dinner ( not compulsory)

Possible accomodation scenarios: It should say in your contracts what they will supply you with.

  • Furnished/Unfurnished Apartment (Old or Renovated)

  • Furnished/Unfurnished House (Old or Renovated)

  • Furnished/Unfurnished Share house with another JET (Old or Renovated)

If you are contracted with the BoE you will get 20 days annual leave and if you are contracted by a school you get at least 10 days annual leave it should say on your contracts (Private COs do not have to give you 20 days by law they only have to give you 10minimum).


You will be assigned a real estate agent to help you find an apartment. It's best to let them know you're requirements and locations you are hoping for. Please also know the internet/data plan they offer you is not always the best plan. Thats why I recommend getting a pocket wifi for a month (it will cost a bit but its better than being stuck on an expensive data plan). Check out NTT DOCOMO for internet. It may be different in different areas but they should be about 4,000+tax yen a month - unlimited (I got a 2 year plan with Plala - cancellation fee is 8,000yen+tax). They take the money out from your account monthly to set this up you will have needed to create a bank account.

ALSO for Sim Card plans:

Read my blog about Best Japanese Sim card plan for long term stayers or JETs it can be as cheap as 1500yen+tax a month.

Next will be... Stage Six // First Months in Japan (Coming Soon)

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