- Appreciate the uniqueness of Japanese island life. You probably didn’t ask to be placed on a remote island, right? There are very few island placements, and you got one of them! It’ll be all right. You get the special experience of living in a place that is so different from the Japan that everyone knows. And your backyard might be a beach.
2. Pick up a water sport. You can snorkel, dive, surf, do SUP, or more than one! You may even make some local friends while out on the water, too.
3. We are always on 島時間 down here. If you are stuck behind a truck full of sweet potatoes and end up being late for something, blame it on island time.
4. Join a local cultural activity in your community like shamisen, eisa, or hula. Dont feel too bad about missing out on all the fun culture events on the mainland. The islands have plenty of culture, too!
5. It is so exciting when you have the chance to go to the mainland. Going to _Uniqlo or Starbucks in Amu Plaza is all the more exciting when you have to take a plane or overnight ferry to get there!
6. Islander bonding. Even if you are on an island by yourself, you still have the other islanders who understand you. And you can always hop on the ferry and visit another island for the weekend. Your Island card helps you save a little money on travel costs.
7. Island life is cheap. You will probably save a lot of money living down here. Unless you spend all your paycheck on island mangoes. Those are like 2000 yen for just one.
8. Island people are ridiculously nice. One time we asked for directions to a restaurant at a gas station on Okinoerabu, and the guy got in his car and had us follow him so he could show us the way.
9. When it’s summertime, you are living in a tropical paradise. Most tourists skip us and head right to Okinawa, so a crowded day at the beach can sometimes mean you are sharing the sand with 5 other people.
Becca Simas is a 1st year ALT on Amami Oshima