What We Do

The short answer is: we provide information, connections, and funds. But that’s not appropriate, that doesn’t cover what we have going on. You can’t sum up HAJET’s job in six words. In fact, we think a solid case can be made for: you won’t understand what we do unless you join us and take advantage of what we have to offer.

But here’s an attempt at cataloguing our business, what we do.

INTERNATIONAL EVENT FUNDING

We know you have great ideas for events in your town. But we similarly know that you blew your gas on a long-distance trip to see your friends last weekend (we did too). But HAJET has funds specifically set aside to give you, to create and promote the English-language in your town — or heck, not in your town, so long as you’re promoting English. Fill out the funding application at the bottom of this page and send it off to President Ferfie Brownoff, and he’ll make sure the funds find their way to the right end (Starburst candies and construction paper, are we right?).

TATAMI TIMESHARE

Have you ever wanted to travel around Japan, but you didn’t have the money for hotels, ryokans, minshukus, capsules, Internet cafes, places to stay? Of course you have. Tatami Timeshare is a network of foreigners living across Japan whose spare rooms, living room floors, sofas, and excess futons are at your disposal. If this sounds like something you’re into, fill out this Google Docs form and we’ll send you an invitation to the map. From there it’s just a question of connecting with the right people.

Once you have signed up, you should be able to access the map from MyMaps in gmail. If you have trouble, you can always access the map here.

Why is this under HAJET’s ‘What We Do’? We helped start it. Hokkaido’s a big, wide place, but we know the value of keeping your friends close.

Please be respectful when using this service. Some people may live in housing provided by their boards of education, or have teachers for neighbors.

If you have any questions, please email us at tatami.timeshare@hajet.org.

HOKKAIDO ENGLISH CHALLENGE

Also known as HEC, the Hokkaido English Challenge is an annual contest run by ALTs whereby students compete to attend a communication-based, all-English camp at the end of the summer. The winner of the Hokkaido English Challenge also gets the opportunity to visit any English-speaking country of their choice, paid for in full by HAJET. To learn more, visit hec.hajet.org or email the HEC Coordinator at hec@hajet.org.

POLESTAR

Polestar is a monthly webzine issued to HAJET members. It contains messages from yours trulys (HAJET), stories about Hokkaido, original works from ALTs and Japanese people alike, information on events, and guides for handling life in the Northern Sea Circuit (that’s Hokkaido, if you don’t speak Japanese). If you’d like to write for Polestar, or if you’d like to receive a copy, don’t hesitate to message our editor-in-chief, Trenna Anziiz, at editor@hajet.org.

BOOKSTORE

English books are hard to find in Japan. You have your choice of big-shelf bookstore in Asahikawa or a handful in Sapporo and maybe one in Kitami or Kushiro and that’s about it. Or — the HAJET bookstore. We have over 500 books from all walks of (book) life. Hardcover, softcover, thriller, non-fic, pulpy, pretentious — we got it all. And they’re competitively priced besides — cheaper than a stick of Hi-Chews and a CC Lemon in most cases. Email Marie Gentle at bookseller@hajet.org to find out more, or check out the list of books that we have here.

SNOW TOUR

Organized and run by HAJET, the Snow Tour is an annual event that gives JETs of southern prefectures the chance to experience the best of Hokkaido winter. Participants get to visit famed winter festivals like the Sapporo Yuki Matsuri or Otaru Lantern festival, sample delicious cuisine unique to Ezo Japan, and let loose on the world-renowned Niseko ski slopes. And the best part yet: unlike us Hokkaido-ites who have to grind and bear 4 months of harsh winter, participants get to leave when the fun’s over! Now in over 10* years of existence, the Snow Tour is the perfect way to explore the beauty of Japan, North of the Tsugaru Strait!

*Estimated; our historians are on the job trying to figure out a more precise date

TRI-ANNUAL MEETINGS

HAJET organizes meetings for ALTs three times a year — summer, fall, and winter. Beyond being a great opportunity to network and catch up with friends you don’t see often (Hokkaido can, after all, be a pretty big place), HAJET also hosts seminars at these meetings meant to provide ALTs with the skills to succeed in the classroom and out.  Keep an eye on the Journal for the next upcoming HAJET meeting.