山伏

pathway between traditional houses

キウイ

Getting accepted onto the JET Programme

Way back in 2009 I had applied for the 2010 JET Programme, where the Japanese government takes in applications from mostly English-speaking nations and sends participants, named JETs, all throughout Japan. This is how I originally came to Yamagata.

Even though I had extensive experience learning Japanese and even living in Japan, coupled with my TESOL and other English teaching experience, I wasn’t accepted on the first round, nor the second, but I was chosen to be a reserve JET, meaning I would go if someone pulled out.

This really made me wonder what the criteria was for becoming a JET, I thought I would be perfect for the role and had worked towards this one goal over the past few years, but at least I was chosen as a reserve. After thinking about it for a while though, I thought that I would have been the perfect reserve anyway, judging on my own evaluation.

As it so happens, I got a call later in 2010 that I was accepted, and that I would be moving to Shonai Town in Yamagata. I remember googling the name and nothing coming up (I think I had added the ‘u’), but that didn’t actually bother me at all because I simply wanted to live in Japan.

As you can probably tell I’m really glad I did make the move as I have been in the Shonai region ever since. I love this place and I don’t think I’ll ever move, but you never know.

Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hi, I’m Tim Bunting AKA the Kiwi Yamabushi, a New Zealander who became a Yamabushi Ascetic in the Dewa Sanzan mountains of north Japan. I’m part of the Yamabushido team, and we host life-altering Yamabushi training on the Dewa Sanzan (website link). People come to us for the ultimate mindfulness experience, to reach the next level, or simply connect with nature and themselves.


I’m on a mission to summit all 100 Famous Mountains of Yamagata Prefecture to spread the splendour of this fabulous location, and in dedication to all those who lost their lives out in nature, including my father.


On my daily blog I post thoughts of a practicing Yamabushi that I hope people can use to better themselves and live as fulfilling a life as possible.


Sign up to the weekly Mountains of Wisdom newsletter, follow me on social (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, Clubhouse, all @kiwiyamabushi), or send me an email via the link below to stay in touch.


Tim.

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CONTACT ME

Get In Touch

Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 

timb008@gmail.com

All photos my own. Contact for more. 

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