Living Japanese-ly


Part of my itinerary in Japan was to fly more than an hour from Tokyo and meet the local government of Asahikawa City, Hokkaido. Promote the use of English as a second language among the junior and senior high school students in the city and be in one with its locals. Hokkaido is an island in the north most of Japan famous for its produce, floras and a colder weather (11.4 degrees).

A sweet Japanese couple adopted me as a foster son on my short stay in Asahikawa. Perhaps my best armor in this experience is coming from a mixed-Chinese decent where my parents pushed me the importance of learning how to use chopsticks at an early age.

Living with them was a wonderful experience, their hospitality is genuinely felt but the language barriers are indeed a challenge. Although I could speak conversational Nihonggo, I could not converse far deeper upon trying to interact with them intimately.

Their home is a visual delight, its architectural design signify being modern and Japanese at the same time, the landscape adds up to that and you can really tell.


I would also have to remember saying Itadakimasu as the grace before meal and Gochisosama Deshita as a way to say gratitude for the food. And never play with your chopsticks, Filipinos have a lot of superstitious and the Japanese have a lot of manner-rules in the table.

Living with them and getting accustomed to their way of life was a highlight in the experience. I personally suggest that everyone else wanting to fly to Japan find a family to immerse with. Not only can you practice frugality in spending for a hotel accommodation but even for a night, staying with the locals gives you one step ahead from other tourists. It will surprise you on how easy you can adapt to them and even live with those traits even after you step out from their home. Their culture and lifestyle are full of interesting details to ponder and live about that you just cant help falling in love with them.

1 comment:

  1. True enough, we shouldn't be tourists whenever we travel. Engage in conversations with the locals and have a first-hand taste of their culture is truly a remarkable experience. :D