Friday, June 20, 2014

Homestay Experience in Tono

It was only for a night but the homestay program in Tono City during the TISP 2013 was one of the things I was really looking forward to!

With my co-participants Mika and Mikako, we stayed in a lovely home owned by an elderly Japanese couple who we call "obaasan" and "ojiisan" (Japanese for grandmother and grandfather respectively).

The house looked very traditional with tatami mats and paper doors but the kitchen, toilet and bath had modern touches! Obaasan also owned a lot of beautiful chinaware. I was in awe just looking at her beautiful kitchen.

Our host grandparents didn't speak and English so staying there was quite a challenge! However, with Mika and Mikako's help (and maybe my little knowledge of Japanese), I was still able to communicate with our host family. 


We had Jingisukan (Genghis Khan?), a Tono specialty, for dinner. It's basically grilled lamb with vegetables. Obaasan kept telling us "Ippai tabete, ippai tabete!" which means "Eat a lot!" and so I did and I got so full!



After cleaning up, we took a bath and then obaasan dressed us up in beautiful kimonos. She also fixed our hair. (Apparently, she's a licensed hair stylist!)




In the morning, we found obaasan making breakfast. Vegetables in Japan are expensive but because obaasan has her own vegetable garden, she feeds us a lot of vegetables! Again, she made a lot of food and I made sure to finish everything up. I felt like I gained a couple of pounds in just one day lol.



Staying in a lovely Japanese house, the experience of having grandparents again, dressing up in a kimono and eating good, homemade Japanese food. Even if it was only for a day, I really loved that homestay experience.

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