Rainy Season in Miyazaki

The ajisai (hydrangeas) have bloomed and the rainy season is fast approaching. For veteran JETs, this is old news, but first year JETs are in for a real treat (sarcasm intended).

Rainy season in Miyazaki usually lasts for about a month or so, and generally starts around June. You can expect anywhere from a little to a whole heck of a lot of rain on any given day. The lack of reprieve makes it incredibly difficult for anything to dry off, and the accumulated moisture and humidity can be very damaging not only to our souls, but also to our clothes and furniture.

But never fear! We’ve previously covered what to wear during the rainy season. This time we’re here to guide you through this swampy season with some tried and true methods to keep your home dry and mold-free!

Prevention is Key

So, I live in the southernmost town, which is quite warm and humid. My apartment also has no A/C and no dehumidifier. However, I’ve never had any major issues with mold. Why is that? Well, I grew up in a home where my mother regularly bleached the walls. At the time, I thought she was crazy (and still do, to an extent), but after coming to Japan I began to think that maybe she was on to something.

Giving everything (walls, windows, hard surfaces of furniture, etc.) a good wipe-down with bleach water or カビキラー (kabi killer) before the rainy season sets in makes sure there is no dirt, dust, or grime for moisture to attach to. Then, even if you don’t fully scrub your shower every single weekend, you’re not likely to get much mold accumulation, and what does accumulate is relatively easy to take care of. So, despite having no appliances to help me keep my apartment’s climate under control, I’ve rarely had any problems.

In the event your house still develops mold, you can also buy mold bombs, which not only kill existing mold but also help prevent future mold. To use one, simply remove it from the packaging, fill the container to the marked line with water, then place the container in your shower area, drop the tablet in, and quickly close the door. Be sure to air out your shower for a few hours after using this.

Use DESICCANTS

What are desiccants? Desiccants absorb moisture. You can find a variety of them at any general store. You can get small ones to put inside drawers, hanging ones to put in your closets, sheets for under your futon, box-shaped ones to just sit out in the room—there are even desiccants to keep in your shoes! You may find this amusing, however, it is actually a godsend for suede and other fabric shoes.

You might have to replace desiccants several times during the rainy season (it’s that humid), but they’re pretty cheap, and outside of the rainy season they’ll usually last several months at a time. You should be able to find them near the laundry detergent and other cleaning supplies. Speaking of laundry…

Dry Your Laundry Inside

Especially if you have an air conditioner! Most A/C’s will have a ドライ setting which will help your clothes dry infinitely faster than hanging them outside. If you don’t have an A/C, even just pointing a fan at your clothes will make a huge difference. Having good airflow is key, which is why it’s also better to hang your laundry in a large/open room than to hang it in the bathroom.

Alternatively, you could dish out the money to take it to a laundromat and dry it there.

Wrapping Up…

So there you have it! Should any other cleaning problems crop up, be sure to check out this post all about keeping your house clean.

We hope you’ll enter into your first rainy season feeling a bit more confident about how to handle it. If you have any questions or additional suggestions, don’t hesitate to reach out!

The Past and Future of MAJET

Hello Miyazaki JETs! This is Cassie, your humble-ish President. This post has been sitting in the drafts for a while because I’ve been debating how exactly I wanted my message to sound. I’m still not sure it sounds exactly right, but I figured I should prooooobably get myself in gear and finish it, so here goes. It’s a bit long-winded, so I hope you’ll bear with me 😉 Continue reading

Mad for Mountains!

Miyazaki is known as the sunniest place of Japan (the original name of Himuka literally means “facing the sun”), so many people think that summer is the best time to visit. However, the autumn can be just as exciting, if you know where to look. 😉

Many of Miyazaki’s hidden gems are tucked away in the mountains to the northwest. Forests boasting beautiful foliage, hidden rivers and waterfalls, excellent hiking, and much more await the intrepid explorer! Here, the towns are small and unique customs are passed on from generation to generation. The locals are friendly and eager to share their experiences with passersby. And lucky for you, MAJET has planned an event to show you all of these wonderful things in a single weekend! Continue reading

Second MAJET Sports Day!

Why should the kids have all the fun? Gather your friends and join us at Oyodo River Park across from Miyazaki City Hall on October 14th to put your speed, strength, and skill to the test!  After the rousing success of last year’s Undoukai, MAJET is excited to host another one! In 2016, Team Instinct (pictured below) took home the very first MAJET Undoukai Cup.  Will your team rise to the occasion and top Instinct’s final score?! Continue reading

Buzzin! Miyazaki’s Coffee Shops

 

Hemingway once wrote, “Coffee is good for you, it’s the caffeine in it”. As a self-professed caffeine addict, I’m inclined to agree. I am the sort of individual who, in the morning, can not even begin to contort myself into any kind of personable or even functioning human being without a hit of caffeine. After living in Miyazaki for over a year, only recently have I started to discover, to my surprise, that there’s a little bit of an artisan coffee scene brewing (apologies for the pun… it’s the only one, promise) in this small semi-rural city. So, if you’re looking for something a little more authentic, and a little less ‘blended-frappuccino-whipped-cream-topped-mocha-latte’ you’ve come to the right blog post. Continue reading

Last-Minute Speech Contest Prep!

For all those high school ALTs out there, the Miyazaki Prefectural High School English Speech Contest is only one week away! Soon, the extra after-school hours and lunchtime practice sessions will be over, but until then, we’re sure everyone is working hard to make sure their students can give their best performances next Wednesday.

Veteran ALTs have probably got their tricks and strategies down, but for those just starting out, they may not be sure what to focus on. So, we’ve put together some advice and strategies to use to help you really boost your students’ performance. At this point in time, nothing can be done about the manuscripts themselves, so we can only focus on three things: pronunciation, time, and delivery. Continue reading

The Battle for Cleanliness: A Fight You Don’t Have to Face Alone

So you’ve survived your journey to the Far East, somehow stumbled through three days of Tokyo Orientation, and, after what feels like a lifetime, you’ve finally arrived in the place that will be your new home for (at least) the next year.

You were picturing it all–either your predecessor gave you a virtual tour and sent you pictures, or you were just imagining the quintessential Japanese apartment: tatami rooms with that fresh straw smell, the small but quaint rooms, and of course a fancy Toto Toilet that would not only spray your bottom, but would revolutionize the very way you experienced the bathroom. Yes, life in Japan would be beautiful, organized and neat, just like the train stations in Tokyo and Osaka. Continue reading

Meet Me in Miyazaki!

One of Miyazaki’s biggest and most exciting festivals, the Cape Toi Fire Festival, will be held on the 25th-26th of August this year. For those who don’t know, the Fire Festival features locals slinging lit torches towards the top of a 100-foot pole in order to light it: a sight not to be missed!

So that our new arrivals don’t miss out on this amazing festival, MAJET is planning a nearby welcome barbecue before the festival, so it’s a truly unforgettable weekend! Senpais, reach out to our newest additions by offering them a lift and let’s give them a proper welcome to beautiful, sunny Miyazaki!!
Continue reading

What to Wear in the Workplace

One of the most difficult parts of preparing to come to Japan is figuring out what to pack! This can be especially difficult for those of us who are more outgoing with our fashion choices. Japan is often viewed as a very conservative culture, and in many ways, that is true. There are many outfits which would be considered work-appropriate in the US and other western countries that would not go over well here. However, this doesn’t mean you have to completely abandon your personal style.

It is important for us to try and fit into our workplaces, but it is also important for us to be ourselves and feel comfortable. The question is how to show off your unique fashion sense while still being office-appropriate. To help you with your planning, we talked to a bunch of current and former ALTs to get their perspective on “the clothing issue.” Continue reading