Tokyo Tech News
The Home Visit program allows participants in the Tokyo Tech Summer and Winter Program to spend time in the homes of Tokyo Tech families.
In the summer of 2019, twelve Summer Program participants took advantage of this opportunity to enjoy cultural exchanges, deepen friendships, and immerse themselves in genuine local life.
Carnegie Mellon University
Participating in the Home Visit was one of the most informational and enjoyable experiences I've had in Japan.
We agreed to meet at Ookayama Station, where I met my host mother, her daughter, and Daisuke, a Tokyo Tech student. We all took the train together and stopped at a local store to buy groceries for dinner. Afterwards, we proceeded to their home, where I was introduced to the list of activities my host daughter had planned to do together with Daisuke and me. It was very sweet, and I enjoyed it because it reminded me of my little sister and her never-ending energy.
Some of the activities she included were playing various Japanese board games, playing with her drone, and making gyoza dumplings from scratch. I very much enjoyed all these experiences as I love board games, and I liked playing new ones from a different country. Making the gyoza was also very enjoyable. It reminded me of home as I frequently help my mom make dishes. Additionally, the dumplings were very tasty, and they have become one of my favorite dishes to eat in Tokyo.
Soon after, my host father arrived, and we were able to chat about his work and about the U.S. in general. Specifically, they asked questions about Texas. They told me they have family close to where I live. For dinner, we ate seaweed, sashimi, and yakitori skewers, which is also one of my favorite dishes in Tokyo. Later, we played board games — with the whole family this time — and spoke more about the similarities and differences in our cultures. Finishing the night, we all shared laughs over coffee and a delicious pastry.
I very much enjoyed my experience with the family, and I hope to see them again in the future, whether it be in the U.S. or in Tokyo.
I will always remember our Home Visit when I think about my experience in Japan. Along with my fellow Summer Program students and a Tokyo Tech student, I felt so welcome in our hosts’ home and experienced a snippet of Japanese home life. I loved playing with the host family children and witnessing how much their parents supported them. I learned how certain cultural values, such as family, respect, and perseverance, are integrated into their lives. For example, when we were playing the kanji game, I noticed how thoughtful and helpful the elder sister is towards her younger brother. Experiencing Japanese cultural values in a home setting was truly a unique experience.