Actually, coming here was a twist of fate so to speak – we never planned on it, but we consider ourselves blessed that it eventuated. Mandy and I were working in Toyota city, in Aichi prefecture. Yep, that’s the place famous for the Toyota automobile company. That year, our recruitment company lost its contracts with the local Board of Education to a competitor. We were worried about what would happen next.
Our company’s manager gave us three options: resign from the company and take our chances with the incoming company; look for another job in another place with another employer, or stay with the company and go to a rural town called Matsusaka. We had never heard of it, but we liked the idea of living in a rural area. Hence, we moved to Matsusaka and have never regretted it. So what's so good about this place you ask. Lots.
Situated on the east coast of Honshu (the main island), between Nagoya and Osaka, Matsusaka has a temperate climate. It rarely drops below zero degrees Celsius in winter, and almost never reaches forty degrees Celsius in summer (the highest temperature in 2014 being thirty-six degrees Celsius.) Surrounded by the sea on one side, mountains on the other, and blessed with numerous rivers, the city has a very natural environment. There are many large, grassy parks and recreational areas for families.