Homestay is the way to learn the culture

I like to learn about new cultures while visiting another countries, discovering places, connect with people, but to my mind you will not get enough of cultural understanding until sharing the same house with the locals.
Homestay in Yamaguchi with a family of governmental workers gave me more than I was expected. I was suppose to be hosted by local students, but instead I’ve got brilliant family of mother, father and 2 beautiful kids aged 8 and 3.


What did I learn while homesteading in Yamaguchi:
  • I’ve got to know the Japanese bath style, which they take every day after the shower and keep the water during several days, while heating it with the special system;
  • I was able to try traditional Japanese breakfast with rice and miso soup and other delicious additions;


  • experience sleeping on the floor, cos Japanese style bed is considering to be a mattress only with the sleeping set;


  • cycling with the founder of Yamaguchi all cycle fest;


  • I was able to share my Ukrainian stories and our own traditions;
  • invited our host family to Ukraine;
  • experienced hospitality and friendship of Japanese people;


  • cooking asparagus and octopus balls;
  • travelling to touristic destinations within the Yamaguchi prefecture;


  • learn a bit of Japanese;)
This is my personal experience and I would like share the thoughts of other members of Ukrainian team about their homestay:
“Home stay in Yamaguchi prefecture was not first time for me to live in Japanese family, though it was nice and interesting. It was interesting to talk about Japanese culture, economy and other topic with family on Japanese. Finally I could try Fugu fish sushi and wheal meat that would be hard to do in other parts of Japan. Thanks to SWY Yamaguchi homestay experience I will remember this trip for a long time!”  Pavlo Kotenko
“We were hosted in a family of retired Japanese couple of `Kamimura family. Father – Tatsu san is a retired math teacher and his wife Etsuko san makes home made souvenirs from kimono. We had an amazing experience living in a traditional Japanese house with a modest house planning. The best part of our experience was celebrating birthday party in a very common cultural manner sitting on our knees for 40 minutes and giving our respect to the host. All in all our homestay made us discover real Japan from a different perspective. Arigato gozaimas”  – Homestay in Yamaguchi prefecture of Rostyslav K. and Andrew D.


Bobino Anya: “Before I met my homestay family, I was a little bit nervous because of my homestay in Yamaguchi – new people, new culture and so many rules. But when we met Nabuchiro and Rie, I was so happy! They are modern but, at same time, keep the traditional Japanese ways. They explained to us everything about  the Japanese lifestyle, which was very different and exciting. 


We were cycling to Motonosumi shrine with their friends and children, Totoe and Yuri. Actually, Totoe was the best part of our trip. He is the cutest child that I have ever seen. I miss them so much!


It was a small but  very cool experience and challenge for Lidiia and I, and I wish to visit Yamaguchi one more time and cannot wait until our host family comes to Ukraine.”


Anastasia Stasiuk: “When I met my home stay family I was so impressed how beautiful and kind they are. We spent our time in ordinary life of Japanese. We prepared a lot of famous Japanese dishes, such as rice cake(mochi),udon,sukiyaki. Also, I was create my name by calligraphy and prepare my own stamp. We went shopping, bought a lot of Japanese snacks and ate ice cream together.
It was a good experienced  for me. Thank you very much to my host family for a great time together.”


Alisa Berezutska:  “I was really worrying about the homestay experience, but after my first evening with Ikea family that hosted me as their own daughter – I realised how blessed I am. They had small cards saying “Welcome to our family” everywhere: in my towels, on me bed etc. They put a poster on the door of my room with Ukrainian “Laskavo Prosymo”, but what impressed me most they were heating my bed with a special device under the blanket. My japans mom – is a cook.
People could be different and the point is when you find your soul-mate, everything will go smooth and you would be satisfied with the experience. Playing on the same level of a game will lead us to understanding and complete investments to into all stages of participation. May be this is the secret of sharing same attitudes towards each other.


14 thoughts on “Homestay is the way to learn the culture

  1. That’s one is reason why sites like air bnb is becoming popular. People are tired of the usual hotel and want interaction and experience. I’m happy that it enriched your life, Lidiia

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was thinking that air bnb is just a place to rent an appartment, but the thing to have a homestay experience is couchsurfing. Being a couchserfer gives you an opportunity to stay with locals, walk aroud together and have a place to sleep for free.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, that’s true. While couchsurfing is free, in airbnb you need to pay. some people rent out spare room and apartment under airbnb. Have you ever used couchsurfing?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I used couch surfing in Turkey and France. Those people were so nice to host us and show around. As for me I did’t host anyone yet with couch surfing, but I’ve hosted many of my friends.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you =) Japan is quite expensive country, but for me it was ok, since all the basic costs were covered by the Ship for world youth program, which is funded by the Government of Japan.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, dear Lidiia, you’ve got an excellent chance to dive into Japanese life and traditions. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I have never been to Japan, but I am interested in this country, there are so many things they can teach us, I think people there are very wisdom and society lives according to some rules. For instance, children do travel to schools on their own, sometimes even in electrical trains, and in case child is lost, society helps him/her, si parents can be always calm. Isn’t it the best level of society life? It should be everywhere…
    You prepared a cool video!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you dear for sharing your thoughts and comments. Japan is really unique country, but there are some issues which made them oppressed somehow. We live in the less developed country, but i would say that our freedom of expression is way bigger than Japanese.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I did not know that, it can be great to find out more about that country, I’d love to read more of your posts on this topic!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I really discovered a lot of things about Japan and it’s people. Japanese people are very kind, polite and smart, but they also have something to learn from Ukrainians as we need to learn from them =D

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I just happen to stumble upon your page, I really like how honest you are in your writing! Keep giving more 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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