If the Tokyo Orientation stays the same, which I don’t see why it wouldn’t, this is what you can expect.
Be mentally prepared for the long day ahead of lectures and business formal attire.
7:00am – 8:30am Breakfast
This meal is provided by JET and you have many options to choose from. You can come at any time during the hour and a half breakfast slot and leave whenever you please. Just make sure to be at the Opening Ceremony on time. If you haven’t made any friends yet, please enjoy the awkward fun of finding a place to sit (this was totally me haha). But don’t worry, everyone is really friendly so you won’t have to endure too much awkwardness.
9:00am – 9:20am Opening Ceremony
If you haven’t already, go put on your suit! Everyone will be dressed nicely so don’t be the odd one out. During this time you will simply sit with all your fellow JETs and listen to some speeches. Get used to it. This will basically be the rest of your day.
9:35am – 12:00pm Lectures
Sit there and absorb all the information that will be told to you. At this point you will be so excited to be in Japan, unable to believe that this is really happening, that you’ll fully pay attention to everything you’re being told. If you’re lucky, you can keep up that attitude for the whole orientation. If you can’t, don’t worry, you’ll have a 15 minute break every so often.
12:00pm – 1:15pm Lunch
This meal will also be provided by JET. Their meals are usually pretty good so enjoy it.
1:15pm – 3:30pm More Lectures
This time you’ll be divided by your school level, i.e. elementary, middle, and high school.
3:45pm – 5:15pm Japanese Workplace Manners for ALTs
If everything stays the same, and they use the same company with the same instructors and the same speeches, be prepared. This will straight up be the most discouraging part of the orientation. You will leave feeling like instead of learning how to be respectful in Japan, you have learned that no matter what you do, you will be disrespecting somebody somehow. (*This is not just my opinion. I asked several JETs how they felt about this part of the orientation.) Shake off that feeling, I promise it’s nothing like what they describe.
6:30pm – 8:00pm Welcome Reception
If you took off your suit jacket during some point and time of the day, it’s time to put it back on. I hope you’re ready to meet the fellow JETs who will also be living in your prefecture. Now is the time to mingle and make friends if you already haven’t. These people will be the closest people to you (geographically) and more than likely the closest friends you’ll make in Japan (at least for now).
That’s it! You’re done for the day! The rest of the time is your own to do what you please.