Oumu is a small fishing village located in the Okhotsk region in northeast Hokkaido, with a population of about 5000. There are more cows than people. It lies about 45 minutes northwest of Monbetsu, and about two hours north of Nayoro.


Transportation to Oumu from other areas (or to other areas from Oumu) can be difficult, as the nearest train station (Nayoro) is about two hours away by car. Once in town, however, transportation is easy: the interesting bits of town are situated along a main road, with Lawson at the south end and the Corolla dealership at the north. Beyond that, one has the ocean on the east and craggy hills to the west; it's difficult to get lost.


JETs placed in this town will (as of 2012) be assigned to the BOE, visiting Oumu Middle School twice a week, with the remaining days divided amongst the preschool, five elementary schools, and the high school. The furthest school is Horonai Elementary, which is a short 15-minute jaunt from town; so there isn't a significant amount of travel involved in visiting schools.

Most of the citizens of Oumu work in the fishing industry in some capacity (cleaning, packing, catching, etc.) and there is a significant Chinese population working here as well, so if you ever get bored practicing Japanese, you can always hone your Mandarin skills!


Oumu itself is very, very quiet. The crows are probably the noisiest thing here (there are lots of them). If you want something interesting to do, Oumu is not the place to do it. Drive to Nayoro and take the train to Asahikawa or Sapporo for a weekend.


Not much to say: a tiny town, with not much to offer; go to the Aeon in Nayoro instead.


However: we have the BEST katsu-karee that has ever graced this planet. Jun Restaurant, located across the street from the library (one block east of the main road) has discovered the secret to heaven on earth. Their pastas are also delicious.

There are many other restaurants in Oumu (quite a high proportion with respect to population, actually), all of which serve delicious fare. The world's best yakisoba is also here.


We have two banks, a post office, a grocery store, three konbini (one Lawson and two Seicomarts), a park golf facility (actually quite nice), and a rink where we play broomball in the winter. Other than that, again, we're pretty quiet here. Head out to the big cities if you want the kind of blood-pumping excitement that a small town can't afford.

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