#MagandangHapon Day 6: A Day with the Horiguchis


In my humble opinion, the highlight of the JENESYS programme is the home stay program. The delegates get to experience living with a real Japanese family in order to truly and fully get a taste of what Japanese life is like.

After our tour at Josai and Otaki, we headed back to the Mobara City Hall again to meet our host family. Here I am with Alaine, my home stay sister, and Kanako, our host mother.

We were very fortunate to have a host mother who speaks very good English. We had no difficulty in communicating at all! Here I am with Kanako's kids, Yuri-chan and Toshiki-kun. Yuri's a very smart girl (she can also speak good English for a 7 year old!) while Toshiki's really mischievous and active!

The very next day, Kanako and her husband, Shinji, took us out. Here we are with Fabiola, their au pair from Germany. I learned that an au pair is kind of like a foreign nanny, but treated as part of the family. She helps with the housework or child care in exchange for room and board. Fabi just finished school and wanted to go to Japan so she said she just found that when Kanako needed an au pair, they communicated and that's how she got there! That gave me a really good idea for you know, if I want to travel and stay somewhere for a long time =))

Yuri-chan with Milky the dog :-)

Our first stop was the temple where Yuri and Toshiki had their Shichigosan, a ceremony for 3 year old children, 5 year old boys and 7 year old girls, in Japan.

There was a path you walk on barefoot. It is believed that the stones will help heal you of your pains and that if you can walk without much difficulty, you are in good health.

Kanako-san and Shinji-san also taught us how to worship and make a wish at the temple. We also got (love) fortunes. Thank God we had Kanako-san to translate! :P I got a so-so one. It said my best match was someone 3 years older than I and it would be better off if we started as friends. LOL =))

Told you Toshiki was very makulit!

Our next stop was a restaurant about half an hour away. It was a quaint place that Shinji-san and Kanako-san picked because it was on the way to our next stop...the waterfall!

I had Japanese burger steak. Look! It's a really elaborate meal that looks too good to eat! Sometimes I wonder how the Japanese don't get fat when they have so much food all the time!

This is one of my favorite photos of that day. I noticed that Japanese people are not as showy as Filipinos but I still feel the love between Kanako-san and Shinji-san. :) It's a kind of love wherein you're both so comfortable with each other that's almost like you're best friends. My parents have that and someday I hope to have that as well. #relationshipgoals

The night before, Kanako-san showed us some of their photo albums and their wedding photos. She even told us a bit about their love story. :) I thought it was very endearing. She said she fell in love with Shinji-san's kindness. And it's true. I was shy at first because I only met Shinji-san that day since he came home late. I thought he was strict because he was very quiet, but even though Shinji-san cannot speak English as well as Kanako-san, he really tried hard to communicate with us, even teaching us a bit about Japanese history. That night, after dinner, I was studying for an exam I'd have when I come home and he and Kanako-san were very curious and supportive about it! That was so cute! :)

We had to hike a bit to get to the waterfall. Here's the view from the top. It reminded me of Forks, the place in the movie Twilight.

That's the waterfall behind us! It doesn't look like much but I loved it. :) The Philippines is known for the natural resources, however, we don't really develop, preserve or enhance it as much. Instead, we destroy it to build malls or what not. That, I noticed, is one of the differences between the Philippines and Japan. There's still unity with nature amidst advancements. 

The trip to the waterfall was such a refreshing way to spend my weekend! I felt relaxed, a far cry from our hectic schedule in Japan, a far cry from the way I normally spend my weekends (at the mall. LOL) There, I could just sit, reflect and feel one with nature. I just can't properly describe it but it was something I needed. At the moment, I felt very grateful to be alive, to be there with my very kind host family, seeing one of God's amazing creations. I wish we had something like this here--just a place to escape to when the pressures of the world are eating us up.

There are so much photos of Fabi and I (mostly me though, lol my blog) and that's thanks to my ever supportive home stay sister, Alaine! She even taught me how to tweak my camera settings so my photos come out good. Thank you Alaine!

Another one of my favorite photos from the trip! :)

This is one of the highlights of my trip--seeing PURPLE chili! Yes, PURPLE!!!

photos by Alaine and I


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