Have you ever thought about doing Homestay in Japan? Do you want to stay with a Japanese man? So you need to read this article and understand a few things before starting this adventure. We all know that Japan has a rich and unique culture, so we can imagine that the Japanese are totally different from the Brazilians in the way they think and act.
The Japanese are some of the nicest individuals in the world, they will be happy to host you. Japan is also one of the safest countries in the world, making it the perfect opportunity to live with the locals. In this article we will see some tips and curiosities for those who are staying at the home of a Japanese.
Don't you know the definition of Homestay? This is one of the best ways to interact with the Japanese and learn about Japan, its lifestyle and culture. Homestay literally means family home, where native Japanese host foreigners in their home, offering fun, food and social interaction. Homestay can be either paid, voluntary or at the homes of friends and acquaintances.
It doesn't matter if the person doesn't know Japanese fluently. These families are patient and trained, and their goal is to teach you how to communicate. Sometimes it is much cheaper and advantageous to stay with a Japanese family. That's because it can include breakfast, dinner, cultural immersion, learning Japanese, meeting and making friends, in addition to the comfort of being at home. And it's super cheap! You can find HomeStay of up to 80 reais a day.
Preparing for Homestay in Japan
The first thing you should do is choose the location and family that will be hosting you. Whether through websites, friends, phone, etc. Try as much local information as possible, such as: nearby train stations, sights and even the weather. Try to know the family that will host you.
Also remember to check what the house offers for food. Sometimes you may not like things like natto, fish and some vegetables. Or maybe you are allergic to something. The homestay sites show a complete description of the family, breakfast and dinner. Make sure!
The first thing you have to keep in mind when going to a Japanese family home is to bring a gift. We already wrote a article talking about these gifts (omiyage), you can take something from your country, souvenirs, sweets or things like that. Just keep in mind that taking gift when visiting someone in Japan is necessary and part of the country's culture.
Japanese family home
Remember that in Japan you take off your shoes to enter the houses. You can take your own slippers, just do not forget to take them off when entering a tatami room and in the bathroom you usually use other shoes to enter. Don't worry, the places to take your shoes off will be very visible, and family members will be there to help you.
No matter what you're paying for HomeStay, Japanese families will be happy to take you to see their culture and city. They can take you to a local restaurant, a park and even for walks outside the city. Just make sure you are prepared to participate in all the activities offered by the family and eat what they offer!
When taking a shower, make sure you can use the bathtub, but remember to bathe before you immerse yourself in the bathtub, as every family will use the same water. At dinner time, remember to say itadakimasu and eat properly with chopsticks (chopsticks) respecting their rules. Of course, there are many other rules regarding eating at home or in restaurants. We recommend doing a good research on our website to be fully prepared for this experience.
The Japanese do not usually have rooms for visitors, possibly they will offer the living room that used to be in tatami. You will sleep on the floor, in a mattress called futon, it may seem strange but it is an amazing experience, be sure to fold it at dawn. One thing you may notice when saying goodbye to the Japanese family, is that some people keep waving their hands until you are out of sight. I saw it every day (xD) it was so loving.
My HomeStay experience
During my trip to Japan in 2016 I stayed for free at 5 friends' houses. The difference between staying at the home of someone who charges for HomeStay is that they will be able to spend most of their time with you. The families that stayed with me worked, but I had good experiences in all of them.
The first family that hosted me was Brazilian, the house was huge, breaking the paradigm of small houses in Japan. It had 2 floors and I slept in a double bed. In this house I stayed only one day, the family took me to lunch at KFC, to shop at costco and to have dinner at a Chinese restaurant. There was another day that I stayed in Hamamatsu at the home of a Brazilian who took me to different places, yakiniku and even onsen.
Two other families stayed with me for almost a week in Osaka. They took me for a walk around the city, and provided wonderful experiences. During my trip to Japan, staying with a Japanese family was what enriched me and made my trip more fun. It is much better to be accompanied than walking around alone.
Although cultural differences may seem daunting and spending time with an unknown family. Homestay in Japan is one of the most significant experiences you can have in the country. Have you had this opportunity? Leave your experience in the comments! We appreciate comments and shares.