My Homestay Experience in Japan

Programs for this blog post

Open Campus Block

Authored By:

CIEE Kyoto
Authored by Hanson Dai,

 CIEE Kyoto Open Campus Block II Fall 2023



Short, but sweet. Although cliche, this phrase effectively summarizes my homestay

experience in Japan. By living with a Japanese family for nearly two months, I was granted a

unique opportunity to capture a glimpse of “what life is really like” in Japan. Allow me to share a

few highlights from my experience.

I was warmly welcomed into the home of the Matsumura Family on September 25th,

2023. This is a family picture we took together. The father, Yoshiaki is on the left followed by

Yoshiharu (15), me, and Yoshitomo (13) in the back row. In the front row, Yoshimasa (9),

Yoshikazu (7), and Mayo (mother).


Japan is well regarded as the “culinary capital of the world.” This was evident not only in

all the restaurants and convenience stores I visited, but also in the meals Mrs. Matsumura

graciously prepared for me everyday. Growing up, I always envied the delicious looking food

Japanese families ate at the dinner table presented in movies and dramas. Lucky for me, my

dream to eat Japanese home cooking came true. Something I noticed about the Japanese

population is that everyone tends to put their heart and soul into everything they do, and Mrs.

Matsumura’s cooking further illustrated this observation.

Here is a picture of what was my favorite teishoku (set) dinner, Saba Shioyaki (Grilled


Hanson 3

And of course, a picture of a bento box Mrs. Matsumura prepared for me on days that I had my

global internship:


In Japan, people have incredibly busy school and work schedules. As a surgeon, there

were times where Mr. Matsumura worked all day. Additionally, Yoshiharu (15) and Yoshitomo

(13) attended school six days a week. Nevertheless, the Matsumura Family is able to

extensively spend time together one day per week. Some activities I participated in with the

Matsumura Family were visiting the father’s parents in the rural Asuka Village, tea ceremony

and onsen with the mother’s sister’s family, and elementary sports day.


Us at a Yakiniku restaurant in Asuka


Tea Ceremony


Sports Day


Overall, my time with the Matsumura Family was wonderful. Nearly two months after

leaving Japan I still keep in touch with them and am confident that we are lifelong friends.

Thank you CIEE Kyoto for organizing this homestay.

Thank you Matsumura Family for the memories that I will cherish forever.