Eyyy it’s homestay week! Today we tried wearing kimonos, and we had a 2nd Zen Meditation experience, which, funnily enough, was 10 minutes longer than the first, but felt shorter. The kimonos were absolutely beautiful, but very stiff, warm, and heavy. To be fair tho, they were winter kimonos.
Homestay has been amazing! I can’t speak for everyone, but my family is super sweet and friendly. I’ve got 3 little sisters, Shiki, Ann, and Tamaki, who are all completely adorable. I feel like my homestay family, along with people in Japan overall, are much more open and in-the-know about anime and video games, which makes sense. But it’s so much fun whenever some anime I know comes on TV and my host family goes “Oh, you know that one?”
And it’s not just anime and games and stuff that are fun. Japanese home lifestyle is very effective and relatively relaxing once you get over the whole language barrier situation. I wake up in the morning and come downstairs, and depending on what day of the week it is, homestay mom either makes me a Bento (all of which I’ve absolutely loved) or we all eat together, and in both cases, we watch the news and whatever else is on. On Saturday and Sunday, my homestay family took me to some of my sister’s clubs/weekend activities, and afterwards we visited some fun places, including a bookstore, where I bought Octotune and kind of bought the Off the Hook amiibo. More on that in a bit. Homestay mom rented a few movies for us, including Remember Me (Coco,) Doraimon Stand by Me, and a CD for herself. I saw Coco for the for at time very recently, on the plane to Tokyo actually, so the story was very fresh in my memory, and I was tearing up again. Stand by Me was a little weird, but very cute. I forgot I was watching it in Japanese sometimes cause I know enough to get the idea of what they were saying (We were watching without subtitles.) The egg machine was creepy though.
After daytime activities, we come home and watch TV, go upstairs and play with toys, draw things, unwind, basically. Mom makes dinner and I wash the dishes that are there after dinner. Then everyone brushes teeth, takes a bath/shower, and helps fold laundry, which gets done every day. The day’s clothes get seperated into 3 laundry bags per person, main clothes, underwear, and socks, and there’s a drying room upstairs to hang washed clothes. When someone helps host mom with anything around the house, they get a point, or 2 sometimes. All of us kids have point cards. When get 10 points stamped off, mom lets us have something! That’s how I kind of bought the amiibo. The day we were in Tsutaya Bookstore, mom saw me debating over buying the amiibo. My budget is short, and I want enough to get 3 figures at the end of the trip that are pretty expensive, so I was about to leave the amiibo when mom offered to buy them for me. I felt bad about letting her do that, since this part of the trip is supposed to be about connections more than crazy shopping, which we’ve been doing and will spend the last 2 days on, so host mom introduced me to the system and bought me the amiibo. I just finished earning the points yesterday. :3
My host family is really sweet and rather curious, too. They’re interested in what’s popular in America that is or isn’t in Japan, and they like to know what I’m into and what Seattle is like. Japanese Google Maps is incredible btw, the bird’s eye view is all 3D, we could see the blurry figure of the trellis arch on my porch. They also followed my Instagram and I feel bad cause I swear there sometimes. And I hear Japanese people aren’t too bothered by American swearing but still. :/
Nanae is much cooler than Tokyo. The countryside is beautiful to look at too, and the prices of things here are much cheaper. David and Adam were really sweet and bought me some Pokemon merchandise since things here are so cheap. Actual mom is gonna see me with 3 new Snivy plushies and shake her head. One of those Snivys is actually from the ferry here. Ramon, Julian, Adam, and Matt found a claw machine game on the ferry and saw a Snivy in it. They were SOOOO SWEET THEY SPENT $20 GETTING IT FOR ME AND THEY’RE SO NICE AND WHERE HAVE THESE KINDS OF PEOPLE BEEN MY WHOLE LIFE I LOVE YOU GUYSSSS. Speaking of the ferry, I love the dorms we were given. There were 4 bunks in the walls of each section of the room, little caverns of just a bed, a wall TV, a light, and 2 smol shelves, as well as a charging port, and a speaker and headphone jack in the wall for the TV. And a curtain for privacy. I WANT THAT ROOM. I’VE ALWAYS WANTED A HIDEOUT BED. AND ALL THAT STUFF TOO? PLEASE.
I also finally have WiFi in the evenings. I heard that Barb doesn’t though, so that’s a problem. I’m glad I do tho, I can get and send messages and pictures to my friends and the rest of our group. Poor Barbara though, she needs to send reports and stuff but she can’t send them. Hope she’s writing then in advance so she can email them all at once when she does have it. Anyway that’s it! Looking forward to coming back to Ueno to finish shopping and come home, but I’m not looking forward to saying goodbye to my host family, or to Japan really, everything here is just better. Merchandise, restaurants, awareness, technology, prices, politeness, kindness, sights, work ethic… I’m gonna miss it.