On Saturday January 28th, the NW chapter held our annual shinnenkai at Etsu, Liverpool. It was the perfect chance to start the new year by making new acquaintances whilst enjoying authentic Japanese food and delicious Japanese beer. We were also lucky to have one of the first ever JETs join us and give us her thoughts on Japan, JET, and life afterwards. In addition, one of the people who was attending was Japanese so it was a great opportunity to brush up on our language skills too.
Between us we had tsukemono, edamame, agedashidofu, sushi, gyoza, karaage, nanbanzuke, koroke, sushi, grilled fish, curry, udon, tempura, and of course lots of beer. It also happened to be one of our member's birthday so the restaurant decorated her place at the table with origami and birthday messages as well as giving her a surprise birthday dessert. It was lovely!
On a personal note, something wonderful happened to me during the evening. Of course the first thing you ask an ex-JET is where they were placed. I had not found anyone else who was placed in Toyama, however, on Saturday I found someone who not only lived in Toyama but also lived in the same apartment block as me! They left Toyama just one year before I arrived so we knew a few of the same people too. It was an unbelievable coincidence, and we will certainly have lots to chat about from now on!
The whole evening was lovely and I gave everyone a small Japanese souvenir to express my gratitude for making the event so nice and memorable. We discussed our hopes and ideas for JETAA NW and we now have lots of events planned for the coming year. I am looking forward to meeting up with everyone again and hope you will also join us to have fun, make new friends, and keep our memories of Japan alive!
Best wishes to all,
Corrina Ellis - North West Vice Chair