Kirishima

-David Dumbleton, Kirishima City

Hi everyone! My name is David Dumbleton. I’m a second year ALT based in Kirishima City. I’m here to share some of my thoughts and impressions about life in Kagoshima!

First of all, let’s talk about my school life. I’m a municipal ALT working for the Kirishima City Board of Education. Kirishima is known for being a huge area with many schools, and with the current situation making it difficult for new ALTs to come to Japan we’ve all been incredibly busy here! I currently have 16 schools, which basically boils down to four main Junior High Schools and a number of Elementary and Special Needs visit schools.

While this may seem like a lot, it’s allowed me to travel to loads of interesting places in my city and get involved in many different forms of school life in Japan; from tending the flower gardens of tiny schools nestled in the mountains, to experiencing the excitement of culture festivals at huge schools in the heart of Kirishima city, I’m grateful to have the opportunity to teach in such a rich variety of locations.

Being based in a relatively large city, there are plenty of opportunities for socialising here in Kirishima. If, like me, you enjoy the nightlife, then you’ll definitely want to head to central Kokubu. Featuring a wide variety of amazing restaurants and izakayas, as well as plenty of awesome karaoke bars, it has everything you need for a great night out.

With the current situation, traveling around Japan has become a bit more difficult, but there are still some amazing places to visit in Kagoshima and its surrounding areas. If you’re a fan of hiking, then this prefecture is definitely the place for you! From stunning mountains with breath-taking views to deep valleys with gorgeous nature trails, there’s something for every nature-lover to enjoy. My personal recommendation for hiking is Kinkowan national park in Kirishima. It’s in the mountainous region to the north of Kirishima city, and features many stunning mountains of varying difficulty. At the base of the mountain range, you can find Kirishima Shrine and Takachiho hot springs, both great places to relax and unwind after a long day of hiking!

All in all, Kirishima really is a fantastic place to live. If you have a chance to travel here, or even are lucky enough to be placed here in the JET Programme, I sincerely recommend that you check out what is has to offer!

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