Simajirigun, Okinawaken kp, VXs

28 Jul - 10 Aug 2005

Lim Soo Keong
A fantastic homestay filled with adventures

I have always wanted to visit Japan and opportunity came when I stumbled across the homestay program organized by Titan Planet in the internet late year 2004. There were many homestay locations and time to choose from, but I chose Okinawa, because it's well known for its beautiful beaches and it will be during summer, where the weather is warm and furthermore, homestay is where we get to meet and live with locals, which is very different from a tour.

My Okinawa homestay was in a period of 1 week, from July 28th to 3rd Aug, 2005. My home stay started when my host family (father, brother & sister) greeted me at the Naha Airport. From there onwards, my adventures in Okinawa have begun..

Most of the time, I had to converse in my super-broken Japanese with my host families as they could speak only a little bit of English. But I still remember, my host father answered me in perfect sounding English. "I can't speak English", when I asked him "pꂪb܂" That's one thing I could never forget.

My host family especially my host father, talks to me a lot and asked me a lot of things about Malaysia. Luckily I brought my electronic dictionary along. That helped a lot. My host mother cooks delicious meals, and breakfast was like something that takes hours to prepare - for breakfast, most of the time we had rice, vegetables & dishes! Sometimes we had soup too. Back here in Malaysia, breakfast is simple - bread & coffee, nothing more.

My youngest host brother & sister, Kazemaru & Nabira were two of the most active kids I've ever met. I went to a Hippo gathering; we had fun there and did singing, dancing and played some games too. We also had to introduce ourselves using the presentation we had prepared. Hippo members learned other languages through mostly singing and dancing. That's interesting as it makes learning a new language fun, rather than sitting in a boring classroom!

We also experienced Japanese Tea ceremony at a Hippo member's house, Kiyoko-san who was kind enough to show us the event.

We visited places such as Kids World, Awamori Factory, Churami Aquarium, Shuri Jo and others which were truly enjoyable. One memorable activity is joining the yearly giant tug of war. We joined in thousands of locals in this event, and we won!

It has been a fantastic homestay filled with adventures for me and I would not hesitate to do it again. My only regret is not spending enough time with my host family as I was always out. I hope to spend more time with them next time.

Impression by Lim Soo Keong, Regional Sales Engineer



Host grandmother at her house. Still a very healthy woman. She can speak some English

We had a firework celebration on my last day in Okinawa

Introducing myself during Hippo meeting

Me and my concubines all dressed up!

Japanese tea ceromony has many rules. You have to bow here & there, take a step back, and there's even a rule on how to hold the cup!

'Tsunahiki' - Japanese giant tug of war! One of the Naha summer festival event

We won! Two times in a row! But somebody has got to carry me back home now. No more energy left to walk.