I’m Laura Payne. I just finished my undergraduate studies and now I’m starting my English teaching career by heading over to Shimane Prefecture in Japan through the JET Program.

Since I came to Shimane, I’ve been awed over and over by the wonders that exist in this area. Many of the traditional myths detailing the creation of Japan are said to have happened here; Matsue City is home to one of only twelve castles in Japan that maintains its original structure; Izumo City’s Izumo Taisha shrine is where people go to pray for love, marriage, and fateful connections; and that’s not even close to everything you can see and experience here! Before I was assigned to come here, though, I had never heard of this prefecture!

I hope this blog can teach you something about one of Japan’s well-hidden treasures. If you’re planning on traveling to Japan sometime, I hope this blog can give you some ideas for unique places to see. If nothing else, I hope you can enjoy reading these posts and hearing stories from rural Japan.

Also, to any incoming ALTs either on JET or another program, I hope this blog can give you some good advice! Years ago, blogs like this were what helped me decide to become an assistant language teacher, and they were a lifesaver during my application process. If you ever need a tip or some support, I’m all ears!

If you have questions about life in Japan, feel free to ask!

I hope you enjoy your stay here!