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.