Homestay experience


It was mostly nice and warm weather last week, which lead me and a couple of my friends to study at the beach. We had towels to sit on and something to eat and drink. I was reading a book for my Japanese literature in English translation class. The book is called Penance and it’s written by Kanae Minato. I don’t usually read suspense, but this book has been very interesting so far.

Hanging out at Momochi Beach

Last weekend, me and a friend of mine spent a night at a Japanese student’s home. We signed up for a home stay in March via the CIE office and a couple of weeks ago we were matched with a student.

I had a History of Japan make-up class 5th period on Saturday and we’d agreed to meet after that at Nishijin station. It is a custom in Japan to bring omiyage (souvenir) to people you are grateful to, so me and my friend both brought something. When I left Finland, I packed some Moomin and Marimekko notebooks with me in case I wanted to give omiyage. I also have some Finnish chocolate my mother has sent me during my stay.

We got on a train at Tenjin and got off at her stop, where her father was waiting for us with a car. It was nice to see a more suburban area, since we live in the middle of the city, where there’s not that much nature to see. The family had prepared a curry dinner, which is one of me and my friend’s favorite dishes. The food was delicious and we spoke about our countries and places we’d been to in Japanese while eating. After the dinner we watched some One Piece on TV and played a fun board game, where you had to drop everyone else’s balls from the board to win.

We slept on futons in a Japanese style room with tatami floors. The futons were nice and soft and we slept quite well. The next morning we left to Dazaifu shrine with our host and her big sister. There was a Yosakoi festival at the shrine and different high school dance clubs were performing, dressed up. I heard that Yosakoi is a Fukuoka only festival, which is held from time to time. We were lucky to go to Dazaifu when it was held.

A branch of a huge tree at Dazaifu

At Dazaifu, we bought souvenirs, took a lot of pictures, paid a visit to the shrine and got omikuji (fortunes). This time I got 中吉, which is the second best fortune. There was also a man performing with his monkey.

Koi in a pond

After Dazaifu shrine, we went to eat sushi at a local shopping mall. I got to taste some new sushi and they were delicious. After the sushi, we needed to get our stuff and make our way back to Nishijin. I am very grateful to my host family and hope we’ll be able to meet before my departure. I had a great time.

There was also a welcome party for new Dormy residents on Sunday. We played bingo with the new Japanese residents and winners got housekeeping items like detergents, body soap or air freshers. Everyone won at least two items of their choice. There was also food and soft drinks.

This week I’m going to go see another baseball match as the actual season starts. We’re also going to visit Nagasaki on the weekend.