Japan absolutely has different kind of people and it changed me personally especially from the very simple things like how to say ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’ to people although sometimes with no reasons at all. Sense of appreciation and doing small things to respect and to thanks to, won’t be found easily in my home country.
Staying with Japanese family for 4 weeks have taught me many new things such as life values and different perspective of life through a meaningful journey. I love to meet new people and widen my networking, but this program offered me more than I expected! For instance, I visited some of my dream places in Kyoto that I only saw on YouTube before. It was incredible and unforgettable!
In Japan, I also tried something I was afraid of, not to care about what people think about me, so that I could totally express myself as who am I. I really appreciated all people in Japan who tried very hard to talk with English with me to keep the conversations up, even though I knew, it was tiring for them.
Moreover, I got impressed with all sophisticated technologies, clean environment with good waste management, and how Japanese telling a stories.
Visiting some tourism destinations in Japan taught me well about something attracted many people want to come and explore Kyoto, Uniqueness. Yes, the way Japanese telling a stories of “old city where rich of history” in a smart way make people curious so bad. Including me, along the way in Kyoto, I could see that some temples might looks the same but enrich with totally different stories and purposes.
There are very simple things I have observed and good to be implemented to myself. First, we have to be proud with our culture and we have to make people curious about it. How is it to make them want to know more about it? Explain them in a smart and interesting way, just like Japanese do. Culture is always interesting to be told to tourists, so it is very important to save them.
Visiting the holiest and oldest temple in Kyoto Sarutahiko jinja (Ise-jinja) was very memorable, seeing the God bridges and wishing a life full of happiness completed my journey. Makudo-san (Matsui-sensei's wife) taught me about how to purify ouselves in Naiku River Shogu, eat Soba in Okahe-Yokotyo Restaurant Street, get some courage energy from three stones in Geku(Mitsu-ishi) and visit Futamiokitama-jinja where many couples were coming to wish their relationships will last forever.
I got so many new insight and became so close to culture beliefs of Kyoto people. I also learnt about the importance of respecting others religion/beliefs even more here.
Makudo-san has a religion (I didn't exactly understand what kind of religion) but Matsui sensei does not have a religion. They are married and have been together for more than 17 years. They didn't worry about different religions they believe. Unbelievable that Matsui sensei usually goes to the temples to accompany his wife. What a sweet couple!
It was a very worth weekend to spend with this family. The value of togetherness and quality time with both friends and family.
I miss people I met in Japan, more than the places. I still remember when I started to pack my luggage, it was very hard to leave these great people; my host family who always take care of me as their daughter and new friends at internship place who treat me and offered me once in a lifetime experiences. Time flies so fast, I found my feet here in Japan. Many valuable experiences/moments I can not explain by words.
I will agree to say that I will never be complete like at home again, because part of my heart will always be elsewhere in Japan. Yes Japan is part of my young journey which shaping me as a new person when I am heading back home again. That is the price I pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place. Japan is not only a country where Sakura awaited the most to bloom and cherish but also its friendships will last forever in diversity. The worst kind of sadness is not being able to explain why it hurts so deep. How lucky I am to have something that makes saying good bye so hard.
Many thanks to Kiku-san and Dede-san especially for making this great opportunities happened in my very young age which widen my networking and experiences.
GMB Japan and GMB Indonesia, my beloved team of Japan Homestayers, donors and all the people behind this program, I would like to send my high gratitude for your countless support.
This journey makes me deeply understand myself even more.
Thank you Gerakan Mari Berbagi!
Peserta GMB Japan Youth Leadership Homestay Program – Japan 2018