Nankoku is a small city located in the center of Kochi Prefecture with a population of about 50,000 people. Kochi City is located 30 minutes east of Nankoku and the city of Konan is about 10 minutes west.
Gomen Station is on both the Gomen-Nahari train line and Dosan train line. A ride to Kochi City is about 20 minutes and costs 260円 one way. Taking a limited express train only takes 7 minutes, but costs 510円. The densha (street tram) also runs through Nankoku and stops at Gomennishimachi (後免西町), Gomennakamachi (後免中町), Gomenhigashimachi (後免東町) and finally ends at Gomenmachi (後免町). The ride to Kochi City costs 450円and takes less than 40 minutes.
Nankoku's main roads are 55 and 32. Kochi's Expressway also has an exit at Nankoku.
Kochi's only airport, Kochi Ryoma Airport, is located in southern Nankoku. A taxi from Gomen Station costs about 1500円 and takes less than 15 minutes. Airport buses are also avaliable from Kochi Station.
Nankoku's five JETs may teach at Kindergartens, Elementary Schools or Junior High Schools. Elementary Schools include Nissho and Ominatou. Junior High Schools include Tobigaike and Konan.
In early September, Nankoku-shi holds its annual Junior High School Speech Contest. JETs placed at Junior High Schools will participate as speech coaches in the summer and may be asked to MC or keep time at the speech contest. ALTs from other cities in Kochi usually make up part of the panel of judges.
JETs are currently supplied bicycles by the BOE, although some JETs have purchased cars in the past.
Due to the proximity of Kochi University, Nankoku schools often have international college students come to speak about their home culture. It's a fun opportunity for students to show off their English skills as well as nice break from a weekly lesson when they happen to visit your school :)
Nankoku is famous for it's agriculture, WWII airplane hangers and of course, it's long-tailed roosters! Due to the many farms located in Nankoku, local grocery stores have a portion of the produce area resevered especially for local vegetables. Not only are they fresh and delicious, but also cheap.
WWII airplane hangers are scattered amoung the rice fields near Ominato Elementary near the airport. JETs visit the hangers on the BOE bus tour during the first weeks after arriving.
Nankoku's onaga-dori, or long-tailed roosters, are world famous! Their tails can reach up to 30ft long. The roosters make appearances everywhere- as stuffed models in the post office, paintinged on the sides of buildings and even in a three-story mural inside City Hall. Live roosters can be seen at the Onaga-dori Center, where you the 500円admission also gets you a picture with one. They also keep a few roosters, amoung other types of chickens, at the Ryugado Caves. Due to it's close proximity to Kochi City, most important events and festivals take place outside Nankoku.
Nankoku Super, also known as Paste, is across the street from the JET apartment complex. The food is cheaper than Sunshine and is signigicantly marked down towards closing time. They also have a great point card system which culminates in 1000円 cash back after spending a certain amount. A book store, dry cleaners and laundry mat are also in the shopping complex across the street. The laundry mat is open until 10pm and has large washers and dryers which cost 100円per 10 minutes.
Sunshine, a large grocery store, is just over a 5 minute walk from the apartment complex. It has a wider selection of food as well as several smaller shops inside (children's clothing store, takoyaki stall, etc). There is also a great cafe inside Sunshine that makes amazing waffles.
Family Mart, open 24 hours, is the closest conbini and is useful for paying bills, purchasing airline tickets and anything else you might fancy. A beauty and drug store is also nearby, about a 10 minute walk north of the apartments. Finally, there is the larger shopping complex and home center, Marunaka and Maruni, about a 20 minute walk south.
Again, Kochi City and AEON Mall are the best bests for serious shopping sprees.
There are few of the more popular Japanese food chains within walking/biking distance in Nankoku. However, there are several great restaraunts nearby:
Noodles Lunch: Ramen restraunt about a minute walk away. The woman who runs it is very sweet and makes the best にんにく (garlic) ramen a person could ask for. Bowls are huge and average about 600円. Open weekdays for lunch and dinner.
Begin: Okonomiyaki. Tables have the heated tops to keep your food warm while you eat. They also have great ices in the summer and an amazing desert called "sugar cheese" which is as amazing as it sounds.
Demitasse: Great restraunt for lunch that makes amazing chicken curry.
Sala: Classier restraunt which has great pasta in addition to Japanese cuisine.
Nankoku JETS are currently housed together in the same apartment complex in central Nankoku. Across from the apartment complex is a supermarket. A larger supermarket is about a 7 minute walk away. Shikoku Bank, JP Bank and Post Office are situated nearby, about a 5 minute walk.
Dr. Yamamoto, an eye doctor who speaks English, works with her husband, a general practitioner, and is located about 5 minutes walk from the JET apartments.
Japense lessons are offered once a week by the Nankoku International Association for ￥100 yen per lesson. They will pick you up by car from the apartments. Kochi International Association also holds Japanese lesson once per week in their office near Kochi Castle.
- http://www.city.nankoku.kochi.jp (Japanese)