To/from the airportEdit
Narita is the nearest airport, approx. 3 hours by car and train (including transfers).
There is no train station in Kanna-machi. The nearest station Gummafujioka is a 45 minute drive in Fujioka Shinmachi is the best one to get to Tokyo or anywhere else. The drive, however, is very simple and nearly impossible for anyone to get lost.
There is a bus stop offering direct trips to Shinmachi Station in Fujioka for 1050 yen (one way). Service is hourly in the morning/early afternoon, dropping off to 90 minutes in the afternoon/evening. The bus goes from Ueno-mura to Shinmachi Station and has many small stops along the way.
Getting to GummaFujioka station is 15 minutes faster and costs 1000 yen (one way). Though the train service only goes to Kuragano and Takasaki station.
You'll have to drive, but you'll only need to drive to Nakasato Junior High School (12km away, straight shot with no turns), the grocery store (next to Shinmachi Station, also a straight drive). From Shinmachi, the rest of the prefecture is a short train ride away.
Get a car, because it gets cold in the winter with the mountain winds (karekaze).
Currently Kanna has two JETs.
One who teaches at Nakasato Junior High School 4 days per week in the centre of town, at a nearby elementary school one day a week and occasionally at a kindergarden school.
It is the epitome of the inaka. Civilization is a 45 minute drive away. However, these are the perks offered by the BoE to the Junior high JET:
- Large house, rent-free and no key money - Subsidized utilities - Heated Western toilet in the house - 6500 yen gas allowance per month - Cheap internet via the town office free public pool - Free gym access
Both schools also have unfiltered internet, and the elementary school is a 30 second walk from the house. The junior high school also has a beautiful new gym and is surrounded by gorgeous mountain views.
The ALT teaches in Manba High School on the edge of Kanna town Monday to Wednesday and at Fujioka Chou High School on Thursdays and Fridays.
-The Manba ALT lives in a teachers dormintory with three other teachers in a small building overlooking the mountains and the school. It is a private dorm as only the washrooms are shared. It is small place but only 7200 yen a month and average bills don't go over 12500 yen a month inclusive of rent. There is no airconditioning but it has some great views of the mountains covered in mist.
The JET is the foreign community. The nearest Jet is 25 minutes away in Ueno.
Places to visitEdit
Beautiful mountain scenery. Two temples w/ cherry blossoms Dinosaur museum (Japan's first dinosaur prints were found in Kanna) Kanna River (shallow, runs through the town, crystal clear and you can drive your car up to it and have a picnic)
There is the Koinobori festival in May where they string thousands of carp streamers across the river. It's big in Gunma and Kanna does get traffic, which only occurs once a year. There is also the Obon festival in August but usually only locals come and there are fireworks.
- There are three very small..food shops, only one sells a wide selection of fresh fruit and veg. Only buy here in a pinch if you're out of bread or liquor. - There is a small clothing store, but since exactly 50% of the population is over 65, don't shop here unless you like dressing like an old man - There are three liquor stores (go figure) - A pastry shop  - two restaurants that are only open for lunch (generally)  - A post office  - 2 banks - A hairdresser - A tabacco shop - A clock and spectacles shop - A stationary shop - and two garages.
They are all located on the "main" street next to the house for the middle school JET.
If you want to shop at a real grocery store, the nearest are 2 Fressays and a Co-op about 35-45 minutes away by car. A good plan is to spend Saturday or Sunday in Tokyo, come back to shinmachi station and go shopping in the evening at the Fressay (open until midnight).
Though outside of Maebashi, there is now a Costco that is well worth the occasional trip for luxeries like cheese or brown bread.
Fressay approx. 30 min drive towards Fujioka.
Co-Op 40 min drive towards Fujioka in a small shopping complex with a Daiso two stores down.
A larger 24 hours Fressay next to the Shinmachi Station (the back part of the station).
There are no department stores. There is an AEON approx. 40 minutes away by car.
Home & Garden storesEdit
Nearest one is Sekichu in Fujioka.
There is a book shop and a stationary shop.
Ha, that's funny. Only an hour away.
Unless you eat at home, there's only Japanese food
Fressay has most normal Western foods (steak, chicken, hamburgers, cheese, mixed vegetables, pizza, etc..)
(There WAS a small Sake Bar with red light, right on the main street about a block away from Gunma Bank.)
Though there is a vending machine with beer and sake that is useful for nights spent drinking by the river.
A Gunma bank branch that has stupid hours so you would have to get there immediately after work to go to the ATM. The second agricultural bank that has more normal hours, but they won't let you open an account there because the BoE uses Gunma Bank.
Four post offices: one on the way to Fujioka, the other adjacent to the house which is the main one in town. One heading towards the JHS and the last after you pass the Dinosaur Museum.
Medium-sized clinic, that is only open on the weekdays til midday. Don't fall off any mountains.
There is one next to the BoE building which is also across from the post office. All books in Japanese.
Two, but only one can cut Western hair:
Starting from the town office, walk (no parking for cars) towards Fujioka for approx. 10 minutes until you see the spinning barber pole. Female barber (can cut both male and female hair), reservation required, no English and they open at 3. It is highly suggested that you bring a translation of how you want your hair done, or better yet, bring pictures. Providing pictures ensures a perfect cut. 3000 yen for 3 shampoos, a shave, two massages, two scalp massages, haircut and tonic treatment.
Both schools have small tracks. Gym across from the JHS that may be used for free by residents (including the JET)
MapEditUse the controls on the left to scroll and zoom around the map below.
- Kanna-machi official homepage (Japanese)